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All In With Love

James Gardiner’s memoir, All in With Love: My Journey to the Hero Within, is a story of perseverance, compassion, and the many iterations of love. The story opens in Rhode Island, where “little Jimmy” is a severe asthmatic dreaming of athletic glory. Gardiner takes us through attempts at sports, hospital stays, and even young love. This section was by far the most positive and left the reader with a sense of hope. The writing is full of wit and humor. It’s clear that Gardiner has fond memories of his youth, and I smiled reading his recollections.

He then moves into adulthood, where Jim chases dreams of acting. Gardiner does work as a professional actor but writes about achieving success in such a hollow way that it leaves the reader disappointed in him. He illustrates loss in such a poetic way it moved me to tears. These sections were written to be more emotional, and I found them harder to read. He works to become a better version of himself, which is a concept readers can relate to, as we all want to remake aspects of ourselves. Gardiner ultimately finds the “hero within” is his dream-filled youth, which feels somewhat nostalgic.

All in With Love: My Journey to the Hero Within takes the reader on a journey through the life of James Gardiner but also serves to help readers reveal who they are and who they want to become. I found his writing engaging, and the way he tells his story is full of passion, regret, and creativity, leaving me feeling that I understand him. There were parts I didn’t find quite as intriguing or well-written as others, but overall I enjoyed reading Gardiner’s story, and many unexpected twists kept me on my toes. This emotional memoir reminds readers to live an authentic life and to hold on to the things that matter most.

Pages: 482 | ASIN : B0BB8VYPH2

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