Book Review: The Dark Dictionary – A Guide to Help Eradicate Your Darkness, Restore Your Light, and Redefine Your Life

Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Self-help

Summary: [From Goodreads] There is no guarantee that the lives we lead will be easy, and our unique stories–both our inner and outer worlds–are shaped by our perceptions. But what happens when our self-defeating behaviors begin to take a toll on our lives–on these perceptions? What happens when we forget that our identities are not products of our mind or what we’re going through? And when we’re trapped in this endless cycle of misery and negativity we find ourselves settling for lackluster lives, so how do we instead choose to redefine our lives and embrace a world filled with vitality and color? In The Dark Dictionary, author Andrew Kendall explores his own personal journey through the self–one that began in darkness but is now paved with self-discovery and improvement. From A to Z, The Dark Dictionary is about transforming the definitions in our lives into the ones we’ve always imagined living by. But it starts first with releasing ourselves from the very grip that more often than not keeps us stuck–anxiety, fear, victimization, poor choices, unhappiness, and toxic relationships. With new definitions of these concepts, new perceptions give rise to new lives. For all those both seeking and willing to shed a little light on their darkness, this personal yet universal journey can transform a world of darkness into a world of optimism, gratitude, happiness, and abundance. And by applying the knowledge within, you’ll realize that the keys to success and happiness were qualities you already possessed–that just needed to be brought to light with the power of your thoughts.


  • He is a peer, so the book feels like a relatable conversation instead of a lecture.
  • Interesting layout. I’ve never seen anything like it.
  • I kind of needed this book in my life right now and I didn’t even know it.
  • The book itself is his own journey, while being a book about using words to make your own journey.
  • I love words. This is a book about words. Need I say more?
  • So much about this book spoke to me.
  • He didn’t make this book about him. There was a clean line between his story and the bulk of the book. Both are important.
  • A lot of this book made me feel very defensive, but that’s only because they are true.
  • The Britney reference in 2015 made me smile.
  • Inspiration strikes anywhere – even a US history class.
  • Adding a little bias here, but finally seeing this book in real life is amazing after all these months.


  • There were some sentence structure issues here and there.
  • Honestly I can’t think of anything else, but I guess the defensive thing could count as a con too.


  • We’ve already survived 100 percent of our worst days.
  • Words left unsaid can last a lifetime.
  • If you wouldn’t say it to someone else, why on earth would you say it to yourself?
  • Take care of your mental health like you would your physical health.
  • The fact of the matter is that I am magic.
  • We cling to the familiar.

My Thoughts

This book is one of a kind. Sure, there are a plethora of self-help books out there. But this one is different.

The biggest difference is written by someone my age. I often feel like self-help books are written by older people who have lived more than I have and are judging me (although I am well aware this is not their intent). Even while reading The Dark Dictionary, I felt very defensive at times. But the things that made me feel defensive were also the things that made me sit down and think about why I was feeling that way. They were things that are true.

Then there is the format. Switching between chapters about his personal life and the dictionary we can all apply to our own lives was a very interesting move – and it did his words justice.

Which brings me to my next point.

Words are important. They’re clusters of sounds and symbols we use to communicate. But words can take on any number of meanings with the right – or wrong – emphasis or context. This book lays that exact point out beautifully.

Andrew Kendall is wise beyond his years, and reading about his ongoing journey is very special. There’s a lot to be learned from this book – about life, about words, about circumstance. About myself. It is definitely a book that will be kept to my heart and revisited often.

Note: While I am close friends with Andrew, our relationship in no way influenced any part of this review.


Andrew Kendall
Barnes & Noble
Archway Publishing

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