BOOK REVIEW: Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness

Reviewed by Leah Rudnicki

Wait, there is a secret to success, sanity and happiness? Yes, please! If you haven’t read this book yet, this is the perfect start to your 2018 reading list.

I read this book from April 25 to May 5, 2017 according to my Goodreads recording, which is usually pretty accurate. It was also the topic of my second post on Instagram using my @tablepoundingladylawyer account. I am 99% sure that Girl Code inspired me to start my fun little account where achievements, disappointments, and observations are shared by a lawyer who also happens to be female.

Why am I telling you about my Instagram account in the middle of a book review? First, Girl Code is inspiring and pushes readers to move out of their comfort zone to find their authentic selves. My own, small step toward that goal was creating this Instagram account. Second, Girl Code is written by Cara Alwill Leyba, or @thechampagnediet, on Instagram. Cara and I have become close friends since I finished Girl Code, and we share a lot of the same interests, I know that her favorite color is pink, her favorite brand is Chanel, her favorite exercise is Soul Cycle, and her favorite drink is champagne. Most importantly, we connect on a deep level because her driving passion is to empower women. Basically, she and I are soul mates, which I may or may not have confessed to her on her Instagram page a time or two. Okay, you are right – I don’t really know Cara but I feel like I do!

On both her Instagram and in Girl Code, Cara uses a voice and style that draws readers in and makes them believe she is speaking to them directly. The result is a connection between author and reader that lends depth, validity, and an essential relatability to her message. It feels like she is speaking to you directly. Cara doesn’t write in a typical, overdramatic and underwhelming motivational speaker mode. She is much craftier and more talented than that. Take this quote: “Fear wears many different outfits—and none of them are cute.” No one wants to wear a fear-cloaked outfit that is ugly!

Beyond the prose, Cara’s format in Girl Code also stands out. She doesn’t spend chapter after chapter talking about herself. Instead, she interviews a different female entrepreneur and uses their own voice and experiences to showcase women in business. These women come from all walks of life and have faced different challenges to reach their dreams. In their own words, these women describe how they found their passion and persisted past the struggles or naysayers in their own unique fashion. Nevertheless, two main themes ran through every interview – believe in yourself and empower others to do the same. Another of my favorite sentiments in the book is that women should not to compete with each other. Yes, she wants us all to push aside that little girl that was trained to find our worth through comparison to others and instead realize that there will always be a need for our unique talents.

I started down my own path to realizing my dream of establishing and leading my own law firm in 2017. Since The Rudnicki Firm currently is comprised of all women it is not surprising that I was drawn to a book called Girl Code. Looking back through the chapters and stories, I had an epiphany—our team of lawyers (who happen to be all female) employ the secrets of the Girl Code every day. We do not compete. We do not judge. We see the best in each other and strive each day to make each other’s lives better. That is why we found success in our first year, and I have no doubt we will continue to do so.

If you want to start out 2018 by reading a book that will make you laugh and inspire you to be the best version of yourself, read Girl Code by Cara Alwill Leyba. After you do, go forth and spread Cara’s message to other women in your life. I know you will want to.

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