This book is, in a word, awesome. I'm a young woman who's been having very difficult issues as a result of insecurities, rock bottom self-esteem, and perfectionism since around age 9 (that I can remember) and this is one of the most helpful things I've found on my journey to healing. Instead of recommending an endless barrage of positive self-talk to candy coat our problems, Kristin Neff really digs down to reveal the definition of self-compassion and it's components: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.
Her writing style is very down to earth and she speaks from experience. With the exercises scattered throughout the book she allows you to take a good, honest look at yourself without judgement so you can understand your issues and their roots in a compassionate and loving way, recognizing that we are all products of millions of factors that are out of our control, that we are all imperfect and thus human. Her own stories show that she herself has experienced lack of self-compassion and that her research is not just some dissertation concerning others, but is a real path to self-discovery for her and in turn, for the reader. Perhaps because she is a woman drawing from her own experiences, this book seems especially tailored to the issues faced by women in our day and age, though the exercises and methods are universally applicable.
If you often think you're not good enough, if you judge others or yourself harshly, if you deal with persistent fear or shame, or if you have some issues that just won't go away, give this book a shot. It just might change your life.