“You can’t just be the smartest. You have to be the most athletic, you have to be able to have the most fun, you have to be the prettiest, the best-dress, the nicest, the most wanted. You have to constantly be out on the twon partying, and then you have to get straight A’s. And most of all, you have to appear to be happy.” –CJ (The Overachievers: The Secret Life of Driven Kids.)
Who here considers themselves an overachiever? How many people here can say that they overload themselves with work, school activities, and more? In The Overachievers: The Secret Life of Driven Kids, by Alexandra Robbins, a lot of the students from Whitman High School can. In this stunning novel, Robbins focuses on stress, helicopter parents, the push to be the best of the best, and the overall effects it has on students. The story shifts from character to character, giving us a glimpse of these overachievers’ lives. From Julie the Superstar, to Audrey the Perfectionist, and AP Frank the Workhorse, we get a piece of their life stories and how the drive to be the best is slowly destroying them. Not only does Robbins give us the chance to see what it is like for the overachieving, but also the kids who aren’t perfect like the overachievers, the ones who are considered “second-tier.” People like Sam, CJ, and Ryland are afraid they won’t make it into a good college, or are jealous because they can’t seem to reach the level of “perfect.” Continuing through the novel, Robbins fills us in with surprising facts, knowledge, and stories about the craze to be the best. The information about colleges, high schools, parents, students, and even preschools is horrifying. Overall, the story ends with an excellent message about how society’s over-competitive views need to change.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Even if you aren’t a big fan of non-fiction books, you’ll love it from the very beginning all the way to the end. I for one absolutely adored The Overachievers: The Secret Life of Driven Kid. Being an overachiever myself, this book spoke to me. This book made me think about not only what society needs to do about the overachieving problems, but what I can do for myself to reduce all the stress and its negative effects. Seeing how much it killed the students having to deal with the problems of overachieving made me think a lot about the idea of being "better than everyone." One student in this novel even reveals that his mother broke his finger because he wasn’t sitting at his desk studying. Alexandra Robbins does a wonderful job driving her point about the problems of being the “crème de la crème,” the best of the best.
Please consider reading this book, as it is absolutely spectacular and brings you into a whole new perspective of achieving. So what do you think about overachieving, do you think it’s a problem? Is it hurting everyone? If you’ve read this book, what did you think of it? Are there any other things you have to add about this book or overachieving? Let me know in the comments below!
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