I would like to thank the internet for being my eternal, never-ending book recommendation resource. Even when I’m not actively seeking them, I get them anyway. That’s how I discovered singer-songwriter Ashely Cleveland’s memoir Little Black Sheep. It’s Ashley’s story of coming through drug and alcohol problems and finding her faith. I love a good story from the underdog and was excited to buy this with some gift cards I received for Christmas. Sadly I was disappointed by the book.
While Cleveland certainly went through a lot of destructive, ugly, bad things in her life, and eventually allowed God to change her, this book really doesn’t show that. Her stories are interesting but given the complexity of what she’s dealing with here — addition — everything feels rushed. She goes from childhood additions to adult freedom in 200 pages and it just doesn’t work.
I think the best way to describe my lackluster feelings for this book is that it feels so very clinical. She recites the facts of her life, but there seems to be no personality infused with what she’s saying. It’s as though I’m reading a record of things recorded by an unbiased third party: simply the who, what, when, where, why, and how — and any reflection and emotion is absent or forced.
Further, for a book that is by a Christian author talking about how she really found Jesus, so little of this book seems focused on the “how she found Jesus” part. I don’t think it in any way glorifies drinking, drugs, or sex, but its focus is not well done.
Overall, I don’t recommend, and I am honestly shocked by the very overwhelming number of positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads given how very underwhelming this book was.