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Review: Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark

Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation.

In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being ‘nice’ or ‘helpful.’ They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness.

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There’s something to be said about a book that you have a certain expectation of.  As a fan of the My Favorite Murder podcast, I expected to find this book full of true crime stories as well as Karen’s and Georgia’s typical anecdotes.  Honestly, I believed this book would be a retelling of their favorite moments since they began the podcast.  Boy was I happily surprised to find that this book was nothing like I expected.

Georgia and Karen often discuss therapy, anxiety, and mental health issues during their podcasts, but it’s not usually the bulk of the episode.  Which makes sense, since it’s called My Favorite Murder.  However, in Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murder, the two not only delve into their own personal backgrounds, but they explore how their anxiety and body issues affected the choices they made throughout their lives.  As someone who has been recently admitting that I can’t control my anxiety on my own, it was helpful to listen to these two talk about their own journeys.  My own therapist and I even talked about how their message opened up my eyes to some things I need to be more aware of as I continue to fight the battle of depression and anxiety in my personal life.

If I’m being honest, I’m glad they didn’t delve into true crime anymore than they did.  I love true crime, but these two often read their stories directly from the Wikipedia pages (trust me, I’ve sat there and checked it time and time again).  Yes, they add their own commentary or have moments of humor during their retelling, but they aren’t the ones I expect to be writing the next Ann Rule-esque novel on about a murder.  Instead, they delivered a book that was real and easy to connect with.  They explained some of their earlier connections with true crime.  Hell, Georgia’s story about going for a photoshoot with some guy she knew from the diner where she worked, more than helped to show how easy it was to make those kind of dangerous mistake when you’re young.  It helps to shed light on their motto to “Fuck Politeness,” and it resonated with someone like me who use to make stupid decisions like that when I was younger.

I purchased the book and then the audiobook.  The truth is, I think the best way to embark on this journey as a MFM fan is through the audio version.  Hearing Georgia and Karen tell their stories about their battles with anxiety and body issues, trying to find joy in work, and even recounting stupid choices they look back on and think, “What the fuck was I thinking?”, makes this book even better than I expected.  For a few hours, it’s like you are getting to know them on a far more personal level than they have ever shared before and it helps you to realize that it doesn’t matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past or that you’re in therapy.  All that matters is that you learn from those experiences and you continue to try and grow.  That’s all any of us can hope for and their message is both helpful and inspiring.  And if you don’t get it, you don’t get it.  But it’s definitely more than a memoir in my book and it’s helped me realize I can do this.  It’s not just the journey that defines us, but how we grow and continue to push ourselves to be uncomfortable.

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About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

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