Reviewed by Tiffany M. Davis
Actor and entertainer Darrin Henson returns with his second nonfiction work, Ain't That The Truth: Acknowledging, Admitting, & Inviting Truth Into Your Life. In this book, he uses his popularity as an actor and dancer to promote a platform of positivity that encourages people to see the best in themselves and others, and to foster determination and perseverance. He also harnesses the power of social media, utilizing the power of Twitter hashtags and retweets to propulgate motivational sayings.
The book was a disappointment. In anticipation of self-help wisdom for the modern age, this reviewer was dismayed to realize that Henson instead relied upon both anonymous or unattributed quotes, as well as those specifically credited to other people (e.g., Sun Tzu, Joel Osteen, Jim Rohn) to provide content matter. To add insult to injury, each inspirational quote was placed opposite a page that only contained the hashtag #aintthatthetruth, so as to allow for fans to more readily find his advice on Twitter. Indeed, the entire book came off as amateurish, including the photo section in the center of the book. These pictures of Henson with various celebrites, with whom he's worked, looked as if they were culled from Facebook photos and copied and pasted onto a blank page prior to printing. The inconsistent formatting and grammatical issues were distracting and further attributed to the slapdash quality of the book.
The book lacked quality production and original content, which was surprising given Henson's professionalism. Most of the quotes can be found a click away, via social media or an Internet search. If any of the quotes were originally spoken or written by Henson, it was not obvious to this reviewer. Henson is too talented to rely on rehashing the wisdom of others and repackaging them as his own. His many followers on Twitter and other social media will appreciate the book, but this reviewer would not recommend it to anyone else.
Tiffany M. Davis is the Senior Editor of QBR: The Black Book Review. She has been published in anthologies and The Backlist newsletter, and has contributed her award-winning writing and editorial services to clients that include National Geographic, Sodexho, the American Society for Cell Biology, and Triple Crown Publications. A graduate of Georgetown University and a former chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America, she currently lives in Georgia.