How Starbucks Saved my Life Book Review

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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Why do I like this book?

Well, to begin with this book has a lot of life lessons and have taught me a lot personally. This book has a very sonorous story. To begin, explaining why I like this book so much, I’ll have to elaborate on the story. Michael Gates Gill, the author, was a topnotch creative director and was making six-figure salary until he got fired from his job after twenty-five years. He then had Acoustic Neuroma, a tumor on the inner ear almost close to the brain, with this condition and no health care and job he decided to start working at Starbucks. To living such a high lifestyle and to such a low lifestyle changed Michael Gill gates a lot.  Being a low-class citizen allowed Michael to realize more about his life. Now, working at this job he got closer with his manager, Crystal. Crystal was a black African woman who was basically a teacher for Michael (Mike for short). Working at Starbucks, Crystal taught Michael a lot about dignity and respect and treating people equally no matter what their background is. Michael even said in the book “Now, finally, I was “getting it” as I faced a new reality of what the world could be like without inherited advantages” (Gill 42). Without all the advantages he had before he began to learn about the importance of family and the people who loves him and their great importance.

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Why am I glad that I read this book? For starters I’m glad I read this book because it allowed me to contemplate on all the negative things and think of a more exuberant way to handle things. This book made me a more prestigious character. In the book Mike was used to disrespecting anyone or acting whichever way he wants to people inferior because he thought he was superior. He also put his all in his work instead of paying attention to his wife and children, he even said in the book that this was a good thing to him, so he told himself “This is why your smart to dedicate yourself …. —– the stability and the pay,” (Gill 7). I’m glad this book allowed me to understand, even more than I originally knew, to treat everyone with respect, no matter what their title and rank is.

What rhetorical strategies are useful? Well Gill uses numerous different rhetorical strategies. One of the rhetorical strategies he used that made this book effective is Anaphora. He uses this when he hypothesizes, “Even cleaning toilets! I should sing and dance more…Out of respect for Gordon…Out of respect for Crystal….Out of respect for myself….” (Gill 86). He repeatedly uses the phrase “Out of respect”. As I was reading this book, I also noticed a lot of similes. For example, “but the unexpected meeting with Benjamin that day had reminded me that I had also fallen, like Alice through a rabbit hole, into a great world I could have never imagined…” (Gill 174). In this example he compares an unexpected meeting with ‘Alice’. Gill uses imagery by stating “”As I walked toward the subway, the lights seemed brighter in the city. Maybe it was a trick of the dropping temperature. They seemed to twinkle magically in the arctic air.” (Gill 204). By reading this sentence I was able to imagine or form an image in my head that described what Gill was emphasizing. Gill uses repetition when he’s asked about how he’s doing, “”Great, Great people, great coffee… and great benefits.” (Gill 158) Another style or structure that I notice Gill uses is stating a quote from someone before the beginning of each chapter.

Analyze the way the three appeals are employed by the author:

The author uses Credibility by stating how he’s a college graduate and not just any college but specifically Yale. He was also working at the top and best advertising company. He was making a six-figure salary. Also, his dad helped him build a lot of credibility because he was famous for writing for the New Yorker for more than 60 years and wrote a popular book. His dad was even able to open opportunities for him because his dad was well known and respected. His was also self-centered and very conceited. He says to himself, “This is why you were smart to dedicate yourself to one company—- the stability and the pay.” (Gill 7). He continuously talks about his devotion to his work, he says “I was a loyal JWT man”, (JWT was the name of his advertising company). (Gill 8).

The author appeals to emotion by explaining all his experiences and how he changes over time. Being so privileged at first, he didn’t have the best attitude. He treated lower class differently. So, when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and jobless, I felt that the readers or the audience felt sympathetic for him and see that he was going through a lot and contemplating about all the manic things he’s done to other people. He then declared one of his realizations, “I felt an actual pain in my heart at the moment, realizing with regret my arrogant assumption that God had created me and those like me to rule because we were worthier than other races of people. Now, finally I was “getting it” as I faced with a new reality of what the world could be like without inherited advantages”. Reading that I know that his readers understand that he was changing a lot and realizing the little things he used to do that wasn’t right. So, if his readers weren’t sympathetic before they realized he was changing ad was sick I’m sure they are sympathetic now.

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Gill used a lot of prestigious quotes at the beginning for each chapter and that was how he used logic to speak to his audience. He names the quote, who the quote is from, and the occupation of the person. The quotes in the beginning of the chapters represents the chapters and usually relate to what the chapter is about. Some of the quotes are, “The human catalyst for dreamers are the teachers and encouragers that dreamers encounter throughout their lives. So, here’s a special thanks to all of the teachers,” (A quote from Kevin Carroll). In that chapter he talked about one of his teachers who helped him believe in himself, you can see how this quote relates to the chapter. Another quote he used was, “I have resigned myself to having less and less resolute opinions”. (A quote from Amel Larrieux). In that chapter he literally talked about some of his struggles, for example how he woke up sweating due to no AC.

In conclusion, I’m glad I read this book because I was able to hear and learn about someone else’s experience. I also always hear that “Money doesn’t make you happy”, this story was a great example. Michael Gates Gill was even more happy when he was getting less money. Money didn’t make him the most joyful person because he was barely even with his family. I’m glad I was able to understand this concept and humble myself even more. The things that shape your happiness are the people who loves you and the people that you love unconditionally.

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How Starbucks Saved My Life Book Review. (2019, Mar 07). Retrieved from