When I stumbled upon Greyson’s book, “Dear Lilly,” I absentmindedly opened it up and it fell to a chapter discussing the author’s past drug use. By the time I finished that page I was hooked. Already I could see that Dear Lilly just may help me be a more effective parent down the road, simply by giving my children first-hand advice and information in a manner that is nonjudgmental or clinical.

Dear Lilly is a book written by a father to his daughter that is a sort of a handbook of life. In this public letter to Lilly, Greyson is completely candid as he lays out his viewpoints on everything from sex and drugs to rock and roll. In a conversational style, Greyson talks about his life, warts and all.

Greyson lays the foundation for meaningful conversations as he openly shares personal struggles that include addiction and depression. He also was a victim of child abuse and at times it is almost painful to read. I wanted to hug the child Peter, and then later deck the womanizing frat boy Peter as he cautions Lilly some of the lengths men go through to take advantage of women. Although he was only in his thirties when he wrote the book, Greyson has led a full life and he holds back nothing.

Don’t let me lead you to believe this book is all full of alarm, although it certainly is there. It is also full of funny stories and anecdotes, and Greyson’s suggestions for getting the most out of life and turning oneself around are inspirational. Health, humor, trust and friendship all have a place here.

I can see this book being an enormously helpful book for any young person. In the same manner I used “Are you there God? It’s me Margaret” as a kid looking to learn more about menstruation, and later “Women; Our Bodies Ourselves” to learn about sex, relationships and more, this book will be used as a go-to guide for information. Dear Lilly makes a meaningful gift for any teenager and I can particularly see this book as a tool to start difficult conversations on issues ranging from STD’s to the importance of honesty. Just because our kids are not asking questions doesn’t mean they are not thinking about the challenges of life. This novel is an effective way to start conversations with your children/nephews and nieces/students/young people you care about, particularly those who may not be very vocal. Learn more or order a copy here.