Fast Girl: Don't Brake Until You See The Face of God...
An honest look from a woman behind the wheel
I had trepidations about reading Ingrid Steffenson's book, Fast Girl: Don't Brake Until You See the Face of God and Other Good Advice from the Racetrack simply because it takes too bloody long to say the entire title. That aside, I was intrigued by Ingrid's story and eager to find out how another "car girl" got dragged into the whole automotive addiction thing.
Lately, I've discovered the wonderful world of memoirs, and Steffeson's down-to-earth approach to hers was both enjoyable to read and slightly aggravating at times. I get that Fast Girl is a relaxed, understandable-by-anyone novel, but at times I found the style of writing a bit tiresome. However, one must remember that reading is a very personal thing (a lot like choosing a car, actually) and we all have our likes and dislikes which include preferences over writing styles.
That aside, I had a hard time putting Fast Girl down; I was as enraptured by Steffenson's introduction to the world of car racing as she was herself. Knowing first-hand quite a bit what and how she felt, what she was seeing, feeling and experiencing, made her personal tales that much more relatable (for me).
The most interesting thing about Steffenson's particular story is the fact that she proves anyone can take it upon themselves to enjoy this sport, at any time in their life. Fast Girl is a relatable story, even if you're not too keen on cars. The automobile racing facts and information may bore some, but her introspective journey and road to self-improvement at the track are sure to inspire and enlighten even the most car-illiterate out there.
Moms don't have to stay trapped in their kitchens and laundry rooms, and Steffenson proves this in a rather "extreme" way -- and I love that. Forget joining a local Zumba class or running club to spice things up, Steffenson would rather rip around a track in a tiny little sports car; my kind of girl.
If you've ever been faced with a challenge, something you didn't think you could do, and wanted to know what it feels like to truly conquer that fear, that unknown, and then absolutely fall in love with it all; this is book is worth the read. Male or female, Steffenson offers up an experience that many (if not all) can truly understand, and will be relieved to know someone else has been through the same thing -- even if not with cars and racing.
As a woman in a man's world every day, I was also particularly taken with Steffenson's antidotes about being trackside with "the boys" -- her witty, comedic stories brought a smile to my face and, again, were instantly relatable.
Steffenson also toes a fine line of feminism and "girl power" without overdoing it or being too obnoxious about it. This was another hang-up of mine when I first laid eyes on the cover photo (in which Steffenson is standing in a pretty cocktail dress with a racing helmet on). I hate pro-woman BS and was afraid the entire 264-page book would be a male-bashing trip down "women do it better because we can" lane. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Steffenson's tone and overall feel towards her feminine ways and her position in a very male-dominated sport.
Would I recommend Fast Girl to a friend to read? Indeed, I would. This light-hearted memoir is a good read, a perfect travel companion for a vacation or even a quick weekend read (if you've got the time to steal away for a few hours while the kiddies amuse themselves and the husband naps on the couch).