Book Review: Perfectly Unique by Annie Downs

Perfectly UniquePerfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to FootBook review of Perfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to Foot by Annie Downs by Annie Downs.

Don’t miss yesterday’s interview with Annie Downs where she discusses which chapter in Perfectly Unique was her favorite to write, as well as the one big take-away she wants readers to get from the book.

I’ve read Annie Downs’ blog off and on for a few years, and I knew she had book out this Fall, but I’d read that it was geared towards teenage girls. So, while I was once a teenage girl, I am most definitely not one now, and figured the book wasn’t one that I’d read. Too many books, not enough reading time.

And then I heard Downs speak at Influence Conference. Not about her book that much, but about Mocha Club and her work with them. And she was so real and approachable, and the little bit that she said about her book made me sit up and think “I have got to read it.”

I am so, so, so glad that I did. So glad that I went to her workshop yes, but so glad that I didn’t let the supposed target audience put me off from reading the book. Because honestly? If you’re a female and you’ve ever wondered how you’re supposed to honor God with the body he gave you – all of it, yes, every part – this book is for you. What does it mean to praise God from head to foot? How exactly do I honor God with my knees (and mind, and eyes, and stomach, and … well all of it)?

Best of all, Downs doesn’t just write a theoretical treatise on praising and honoring God. Not at all. She is specific, she gives examples, and she is funny. And heart-wrenchingly honest too. I admire her openness in how she shares what she’s learned, and what she’s still working on learning. Each chapter also ends with helpful additions – questions to ponder, Scripture to read, things to do, and advice on how to follow through on the concepts discussed.

I don’t usually write in my books. Most of my books come from the library and they frown on that. My copy of this one has stars and portions underlined on almost every page. You don’t have to be a teenager to appreciate and learn from the book. I do think you probably need to be a girl or woman however; even though most of it is gender-neutral in how we should praise and honor God, in reality Annie’s voice is so strong, and her focus is so much on what it’s like as a female to do these things, that I don’t think guys would always appreciate her stories and perspective.

It may sound strange to say that I appreciated that the book was not just a long discussion on sexual purity. It’s not that I don’t think that’s important, but it seems that so often when discussing honoring God with our bodies (especially if the audience is teenagers), that seems to be where the discussion starts and ends. Perfectly Unique makes it clear that there is so much more than that involved with glorifying and honoring God. Downs helps to show the way to “genuinely [live] a life of praise to God … from head to foot.”

Highly recommended.

Want more about Annie or Perfectly Unique? Visit Annie’s blog and Facebook page.

She also provides a free leader’s guide for Perfectly Unique, as well as a free 30 day devotional.

Publisher’s Description:
Your body is an instrument. No, it’s not a flute, or a guitar (I hope). It is a sacred and original design by a master craftsman with a specific plan and purpose. That’s a pretty big deal. From head to foot, the way you view your body is directly connected to how you serve God. Seriously. From the thoughts you think to the steps you take, every part of you is linked to the divine. Perhaps you are struggling with your body image or are trying to make sense of why God made you as you are. Maybe you are looking for new ways to understand Scripture or to love God more fully. Either way, this book will take you on a thoughtful, funny, and spirit-filled exploration of the way you were designed and will help you better honor the Creator by learning to value his perfectly unique creation (yourself!).

Book Details

Title: Perfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to Foot
Author: Annie Downs
Category: Nonfiction / Teens / Christian Living
Length: 224 pages
Format: Trade Paperback
Release Date: 2012
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 0310724341 / 978-0310724346
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received a pre-release copy of the book from the publisher for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


  1. This sounds great! I was intrigued by it, but figured it was more for teens … great to hear your perspective of and appreciation for it!

    • It may have been written for, and marketed to them, but it’s still almost entirely relevant no matter your age.* There are occasional lines and comments that speak to teens and their concerns and situation, but unless you’ll be bothered by that I wouldn’t let those keep you from reading. it.

      *Assuming you haven’t already got it all figured out about how to praise God for and honor him with the body you’ve got. All of it. Even those parts you don’t like so much. I don’t think I can possibly be the only adult woman who still needed to hear this message.


  1. […] Downs to the blog to answer some questions about her book Perfectly Unique (which I’ll be reviewing tomorrow), as well as questions about her reading habits and writing […]

  2. […] Perfectly Unique. So so good. Anxiously waiting for my copy of her newest book. So what if I’m old enough to be a mom to her target audience? […]

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