Book Review: KeKe Palmer’s “I Don’t Belong To You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice”


Reading opens the gates to one’s imagination and provides an opportunity to connect with others’ stories. Recently, within the last year, I had the opportunity to read KeKe Palmer’s book,I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice”. I was super excited, as I always say that we have similar insights. Palmer is an award-winning actress and singer. She was also the first African-American to play Cinderella on Broadway and the youngest to have her own Talk Show on BET. From the very beginning the book opens with A Letter from KeKe and I couldn’t wait to turn the page. One component that captured my attention was the graphics. I truly enjoy a good quote and so does KeKe! This book is filled with colors, visual references, and motivational quotes to help inspire you along her journey. She also adds emoji’s, which makes it feel like she is having a conversation with you through text.

In this book, Palmer addresses a variety of topics such as mental health issues, childhood fame, relationships, friendships, career decisions, self care, and overcoming to name a few. She uses catchy and relatable titles such as, With My Mind on My Money and My Money on My Mind and Hold the Phone. One chapter title to highlight is the #GrowingNotGrown; which is the very last chapter. As we grow up, we are to believe that once we turn 18 and then 21 we are GROWN. Technically we are, but once we get there a lot of the times we either don’t feel that way, wish we could go back to being a child, or wish we could for once be a child because we didn’t get the chance to truly be one (WELL).

Grown is essentially the relative term for the popular term called ADULTING. Adulting is a verb and the act of doing adult things. To be an adult takes a constant effort filled with experiences, decisions, and responsibility. Anyone can turn a particular age, but what does being an adult truly mean? That is up to you to define (maybe I will do a post about that soon; leave a comment below saying #yasssss if you’re interested). Anyhow, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself while becoming a young adult is to embrace the fact that no one is a pro and we are all trying to figure it out (BOOM, yeah I said it, *drops mic*). We are all…GROWING. KeKe discusses this by talking finding purpose, being humble, giving back to her community, acceptance, and finding balance.

As a young adult, you may get to a period in your life where you are frustrated because, you want to feel what it is like to be free to be authentically yourself. You can’t truly define who you are and tap into your inner voice if everyone and everything is in your ear and head. Going inward can be new and sometimes even scary, but getting to know YOU can be one of the best decisions you ever make. KeKe did a great job with speaking her truth; she learned that no one can do that for you, but you. When I think of the title I Don’t Belong to You”, it brings up for me the idea that you don’t have to belong to other’s perceptions of you.

You don’t have to belong to other’s dreams for you. You don’t have to belong to your past mistakes, challenges, pain, & disappointment. You don’t have to belong to social media likes and comments. You don’t have to belong to that major that you want to change. You don’t have to belong to the idea that what you choose to do right now will be what you have to do for the rest of your life. You don’t have to belong to debt. You don’t have to belong to labels. You don’t have to belong to what ever is holding you back and keeping you from becoming the young woman and man you dream of being.


Take a moment. Close your eyes. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out slowly through your mouth. Be still for a few moments. What did you want to be when you were growing up? What is your dream job? What talent’s and skill’s do you hold? Can you see yourself doing what you love? Do you see yourself dressed for success? What qualities do you have? Who are you as a person? Who and what is apart of your life? If you can envision yourself living a life you dream of…you can accomplish it! Take another deep breathe in, exhale, and go make it happen.

Palmer’s approach to writing this book was unique and refreshing. It was very clear that although this book is a memoir, she wanted to be sure that her readers could relate and connect with her. I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice”, is a great representation of what it means to Always Live Lovely. KeKe found a way to elevate her thinking to help herself aspire to new levels to be her best self. This book was a fun read and I recommend it to youth and young adults. I often found myself highlighting sentences and writing “YASSS KEKE” in the sidelines. KeKe Palmer, is a wonderful young woman who truly embraces every part of her journey and who she is. She uses her voice and platform to spread the messages she feels supports millennials. She lives a life that flows and is all her own, doing what works for her. Showing up for herself, celebrating the highs, and having self compassion during the lows.

KeKe recently did an interview on the Breakfast Club, which is a popular radio show based in New York hosted by Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy. She speaks on topics such as depression, anxiety, social media, sexual assault, compassion, adult children relationship with their parents, using your voice, going to therapy, and more. Some of the topics are similar to what comes up in her book. Watch it here.

Please be aware some parts of the interview may be triggering to hear. If at any point you are triggered take a break, breathe deeply, check in with how you feel. There are resources here that offer mental health support.

Always Live Lovely,


Written: April 22, 2018


Palmer, K. (2017). I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice. New

York, NY: North Star Way.


Although I am a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and registered associate professional clinical counselor, the contents on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the specialized training and judgment of a health care or mental health professional. There is no Therapist-Client relationship created by accessing the information on this blog. Always seek the help of a physician or qualified mental health professional if you have any questions regarding a medical or mental health condition. Always Live Lovely is not held responsible for the use of the information provided. Reliance on any of the information provided by this blog only is solely at your own risk. Please see Health Disclaimer for further information .