Reading Journey 3: The Boys by Katie Hafner

Hello, fellow bookworm! Today I'm going to share with you updates on the book that I am reading, The Boys by Katie Hafner.  It's about an introverted man Ethan who fell in love with Barb, an extroverted woman. They thought that they complemented each other but it turns out their differences drove them apart.  In the beginning, Ethan left the most impression on me because of his introvertedness to which I could relate. His sad childhood made me identify with him more. When he met Barb, it's so nice seeing he's opening up to new experiences. Barb was his total opposite. She loved to explore the world.  They got married, went to an amazing escapade in Italy, but when they fostered twin boys, their relationship became wobbly. It was aggravated by the pandemic when people globally literally stayed and worked from home. This part made the story realistic as I also experienced staying at home, social distancing, and the wearing of the mask and plastic face shield.  The strain

Book Review: The Best of You by Dr. Alison Cook


Dr. Alison Cook’s book, The Best of You, guides us on how to thrive, not just survive, in a life full of challenges. It aims to support healing and finding our true selves. 

Dr. Cook’s mission is to empower people through her research, podcasts, and books. She got her education from  Dartmouth College (BA), Denver Seminary (MA), and the University of Denver (PhD). Her research focuses on the relationship between religion and psychology, and she skillfully integrates feelings, thoughts, and beliefs about God in her studies.

For 20 years, she has been helping women, leaders, and couples to develop a sense of self and experience God's love, and, through her emails and podcast, she touches the lives of 50,000 people weekly. 

Dr. Cook lives in Boston together with her husband and two children.


Serving others is a beautiful act. It is a way of helping others meet their needs that eventually leads to their enrichment and growth. We feel happy and fulfilled when we lend others a hand. 

However, when we overly give ourselves to others, sometimes there are unpleasant consequences. We could become a doormat, being taken advantage of and sidelined by people who don’t see our true value. 

But there are hard-hitting questions that we need to answer…

Are we just going to let this happen to us and take no action?

How do we perceive our genuine worth and self-image?

What are our boundaries?

God created us to thrive, not just survive. 

So in this book, The Best of You, Dr. Alison Cook shares strategies on how to find your voice, set limits, and create your breakthrough with the guidance of faith and psychology. 


  1. What are the questions the book is trying to answer? 
  2. Did the book satisfactorily answer these questions? Why or why not?
  3. What are the four spiritual and psychological roots? And what are their roles in your true self-development?
  4. What disconnects us from our true sense of self?
  5. What is your role in designing your own life?


“The best of you is humble but never self-rejecting.” — page 205

“As you envision the best of you, here’s the irony: she’s already inside you, waiting for you to release her into the world. The best of you has been inside you all along. You may have lost sight of her, but she’s been with you.” — page 206

“What’s powerful is that you are also designed to heal.” — page 209


Aristotle once said, "The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." 

This quote makes me realize that there’s an overarching reason why we go to school from elementary to college, and some even pursue master's and doctoral degrees afterward, which is to flourish like the flowers and trees.

However, something along the way to reaching our full potential as individuals hampers our self-actualization, perhaps because we sometimes give too much to others, manifesting weak boundaries. We can become doormats, patronized, and taken advantage of. This results in a loss of purpose and authenticity in life, which is not a way of living. 

Dr. Alison Cook’s The Best of You aims to help us rediscover who we indeed are and what kind of life we should be living. The questions posed in every chapter, the journaling activities, and practical advice direct us to the best version of ourselves. 

I appreciate the book's thought-provoking chapter titles, which encourage deep self-reflection and foster a better understanding of oneself. Among the eleven chapters, the questions that resonated with me the most were “How did I get here?”, “How do I find my way out?”, and “How will I know I’ve arrived?” These questions prompted me to reflect on my past decisions and how they shaped my current situation. The idea that there is a path to change gave me hope and helped me overcome feelings of helplessness. Also, the book's emphasis on understanding what it means to have arrived put my mind at ease and clarified my sense of place. I appreciate that the book acknowledges and accepts where I am without imposing any expectations.

The reflections at the end of every chapter provide actionable steps to enhance self-reflection. The exercises allowed me to engage in activities like journaling my thoughts, answering thought-provoking questions, and looking deeply into my desires and current life circumstances with honesty.  This opportunity encourages me to ponder on the topics discussed in the chapter, fostering further introspection. 

In conclusion, the book's honesty about what it means to change shifts how I see life's difficulties. I don't have to make them disappear; I just need to understand them and accept them for what they are. This is the first step towards the fulfillment of my utmost purpose-- to flourish and become the best version of myself. 

If you are looking for a way to turn your life on its head and find your true self, I recommend this book. 


Dr. Alison Cook's Website 
Book Information:

The Best of You Sky by Dr. Alison Cook
Published on September 13, 2022, by Thomas Nelson
240 pages (eBook)

Find it here: