Book Reviews

Review: Don’t Let it Get You Down: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Body by Savala Nolan

I ended up listening to Don’t Let it Get You Down in a matter of days. Talk about an audiobook or even just a memoir I want to buy for everyone in my life. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Savala Nolan knows what it means to live in the in-between. Descended from a Black and Mexican father and a white mother, Nolan’s mixed-race identity is obvious, for better and worse. At her mother’s encouragement, she began her first diet at the age of three and has been both fat and painfully thin throughout her life. She has experienced both the discomfort of generational poverty and the ease of wealth and privilege.

It is these liminal spaces—of race, class, and body type—that the essays in Don’t Let It Get You Down excavate, presenting a clear and nuanced understanding of our society’s most intractable points of tension. The twelve essays that comprise this collection are rich with unforgettable anecdotes and are as humorous and as full of Nolan’s appetites as they are of anxieties. The result is lyrical and magnetic.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Don’t Let It Get You Down exists in between spaces. In spaces where belonging is never singular. Personal and lyrical, this essay collection is full of anecdotes that echo and sentences that stop you in your tracks. Dating preferences turn into reflections on self-erasure and coping mechanisms. Don’t Let It Get You Down haunted my thoughts long after finishing. About the instances of being overlooked by people then being gaslit.

I was swept away in particular by the audio book which is read by the author. The emotions and pauses felt like you were having a conversation. One that you need to digest and rings true in your own heart. I could go on and on about how much I loved the conversations and content of this memoir. Or how I’m already checking it out from the library to read again. So just trust me when I say that you need to read this. It has to be one of my favorite non-fiction reads from 2021.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

Find Don’t Let It Get You Down on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound,,, Google Play & The Book Depository.


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