By Jesse Payne, EdD
Harlequin, $16.95, 292 pages
This book can be summarized in a few words: everything about human behavior revolves around brain science; alcohol, drugs, toxins, technology, stress, contact sports, and a lack of sleep will all damage your brain. After the first sixty percent of the book – which is less informational and more fear based – Jesse Payne provides tips on diet, exercise, relaxation, and other ways to help your brain function properly. It is likely that readers interested in this book will be looking primarily for ways to change your brain, when in actuality, they will find a long lecture on the parts of the brain, followed by a list of ways we damage our brains.
Unfortunately, Change Your Brain Change Your Life Before 25 only gets one star. Readers will find that the writing is astronomically narcissistic, for example, the author constantly interjects anecdotes from his own life in order to solidify the brain science that he describes. One of the biggest issues presented in this book is the scientific evidence used to justify particular concepts. When the author discusses the ways drugs and alcohol impact the brain, there is only one brain scan used for each situation – which is problematic. There was no empirical data used to legitimize the claims that were made, and nothing about them were collective. Not to mention all of the different variables that could also be impacting the individuals who had brain scans. The only redeeming quality about this novel are the few suggestions Jesse Payne makes toward the end about how to improve and support brain development. Anyone who reads Change Your Brain Change Your Life Before 25 should be skeptical of the information being presented and do their own research on the topics.
Reviewed by Sydney Finn