I’ve been a super fan of The Receipts podcast since its launch in 2016. During this time I was writing my dissertation and the podcast became my go-to for girly advice and laughs. Since then, the podcast has gone from strength to strength. What started out as a podcast has become a worldwide community as the girls consistently provide their audience with authentic and honest discussions. Though you can laugh with them you can also emphasise and relate to their experiences, the podcast truly feels like a safe space.
When I first discovered that The Receipts girls were writing a book I was excited but also intrigued as I didn’t know what the book would entail. At first I thought the book would be from the self-help genre, about relationships or their career or a book about how The Receipts Podcast came to be. After having a small skim read through, I was pleasantly surprised. The book is split into different sections from love, friendship, sex, career, etc. Then under each section, the girls have their own chapter to speak about how the section relates or has affected their lives.
The introduction started with ‘It’s your girl Tolly T, Audrey formally known as Ghana’s finest and your Mamacita, Milena Sanchez - AAAOOOWWWW.’ Any Receipts fan knows that this is how they start every episode which gives me a familiar feeling when I listen to the podcast. Though that’s such a subtle thing to add in, it shows how much the girls know their audience. I immediately felt comfortable and it eased some of my reservations.
Later on, in the introduction, they dispelled any idea of their release being a self-help book but rather like an additional episode of the podcast, stating that the book serves as a place to share the highs and lows of their lives so far. ‘The book, Keep The Receipts, is honest, it's brave and it’s unfiltered. We hope our podcast listeners read the chapters in our individual voices and that it gives you a better idea of who we are, what we think and feel, and what we have learned so far in this mad life.’ Adding this into the introduction was necessary as I’m sure similarly to me, other fans were curious as to what the book would depict.
The first chapter focuses on The podcast’s most popular topic: Love. Though the girls have been candid about their love lives on the podcast this chapter took a deep dive into their previous relationships.
Tolly started by speaking about how her idea of love led to her experiencing ‘unhealthy’ love as she described it. She explained the lessons this love taught her and declared the love that she wants in the future. As someone who is a sucker for love but has often made bad dating decisions, it was refreshing to see Tolly being so honest about her own experiences. In contrast, Audrey began her chapter off by speaking about love through the lens of her parents. Interestingly, she also highlighted why she’s trying to distance her identity from being just a ‘married woman.’ Starting the book off with this chapter was a smart move as it was so relatable. From the beginning, the girls weren’t holding anything back which created a safe and open space as a reader. I spent most of this chapter nodding my head whilst also thinking about my own definitions of love.
A topic that caught my interest, by no surprise given the girls’ bond, is the section on friendship. In books, tv, music, and popular culture, there’s such a fixation on love but we rarely speak about the beauty of friendships. As women, we’ve been taught to centre ourselves around romantic relationships but I know for myself, my friendships with women have been life-saving. This is also what The Receipts Podcast is all about.
Tolly highlighted something that resonated with me and that was the beauty of Black friendships. She emphasised how her Black friendships have made her feel seen. ‘Being around Black women and being loved by them is a form of freedom for me.’ She also spoke about friendship breakups which are also something that isn’t spoken about enough in society. Friendship breakups can often feel just as heartbreaking as romantic ones. Audrey mentioned how she learned to navigate through friendships when your lives aren’t on the same trajectory. She then gave a special shout-out to her friends and what they mean to her. Milena spoke about friendships being like relationships and how similar to her relationships, her friendships highlighted her attachment issues. Overall, the chapter focused on the importance of friendship which I think is necessary for women. It showed that although they deem romance as important, they also hold their friends in high regards too.
Another stand-out chapter was ‘Sex’, particularly Milena speaking candidly about sexual abuse and how that affected her sex life. Reading about Milena’s experiences validated a lot of mine. When we think of sexual abuse we usually associate that with white women as these conversations rarely happen in our communities. It’s important that more women of colour speak about these issues as it shows young girls of colour that they aren’t alone. This segment confirmed my love for the girls as they’re continuously open and honest.
The book also includes chapters similar to the podcast such as ‘Audrey's Jokes’, ‘A woman Who Inspires Me’ and lastly ‘Your Dilemma’s Resolved.’
Undoubtedly it was hard for me to put the book down. When they said they wanted the book to feel like an additional episode of the podcast, it felt just like that. The only thing that I wish the book featured and discussed is the making of The Receipts Podcast. They touched on it briefly during the introduction but it would have been nice to hear more about their beginnings and their thoughts on the current success of the podcast. Nevertheless, with every chapter came an honest conversation of who they are away from the podcast. Their personality came through with every topic they spoke about. When it came to sex, Milena didn’t pull her punches - similar to how her character comes across on the podcast. In the same way that when Tolly spoke about race, she was candid with her experiences whilst The ‘Audrey's Jokes’ section highlighted her goofy side. It was an enjoyable read and one I would certainly recommend to all women.