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BN Book Review: Lara’s Lessons by Ronke Giwa-Onafuwa | Review by Varvara Astapova

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Growing up is a tremendous challenge, especially for those little human beings who are desperate to develop into mature adults before their turn comes. Although time waits for no one, it is a perilous adventure to rush things that need to grow. Gradual lifespan development is critical for harmonious life, and yet so many children and teenagers tend to get ahead of themselves, tempted by illusory absolute benefits of being a grown up.

Omolara is one of those who cannot wait to open the adulthood gateway. Eager to grab a ripe fruit without sowing the seeds, she earnestly believes that almost everyone viciously deters her from desirable ‘adult’ lifestyle: parents treat her like a toddler; her sister pesters and tattles; cousins and school peers relegate her to an unstylish, uncool girl, and the whole world stumbles at her independence.

While Omolara is sincerely discouraged by the seeming external obstacles stacked against her, she unconsciously overlooks the major one: her immature attempt to bite off more than she can chew and moreover swallow. As real life disillusions her when she traps herself in situations she is unable to resolve owing to naturally meagre experience, she step by step realises that those she deemed her tormentors actually turn out to be her saviours from sensitive circumstances, as well as that livelihood does not fall from the sky and life is a disheartening conundrum when you are willing to take ownership only of your smartphone instead of your own self. The whole story represents a collision of Lara`s naive expectations and sobering reality.

To pay her fair tribute, Lara has a good head on her shoulders. She obviously has a propensity to negotiate and persuade. Every time she converses with her parents, Lara does it as an equal to them. She undoubtedly can stay her ground, but alas, this ground is shaky due to her age and therefore excusable gullibility.

Lara’s Lessons’ structure is easily digestible and each chapter presents a teachable moment in Lara’s journey towards hasty and untimely adulting in a plain conversational language. Aimed to enlighten teenage girls, the novel is aptly tailored to it. It is a no brainer for more mature ladies to recognise themselves within the similar age bracket as the dilemmas and problems are quite typical for a majority of girls overcoming puberty. If you are bringing up a girl-child and perhaps facing more challenges than the very girl, Lara’s Lessons will extend a helping hand to teach you to understand adolescent psychology and improve your parenting skills.

Lara’s Lessons is a must read if you are a teenage girl, you have a teenage girl within your social circle, you have ever been a teenage girl or you have ever been a teenager in general. These lessons are never out of fashion; whether you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond, the book equips you with all-time relevant knowledge on how to accept your fallacies and learn from your mistakes even before you make them.


Varvara Astapova is a project manager and communications professional with a social science background. She works in B2B public relations across Russia and sub-Saharan Africa and is serving as a Communications Advisor to Vangold Finance in Russia — a global blockchain company headquartered in Nigeria. See more updates from Varvara on Twitter @VaryaAstapova.

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