Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Guest Review: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Posted February 7, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy SchumerReviewer: Jen
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Published by Gallery Books
Publication Date: August 16th 2016
Genres: Biography & Autobiography
Pages: 323
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays.

In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is - a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh.

Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friends - an unforgettable and fun adventure that you wish could last forever. Whether she's experiencing lust-at-first-sight while in the airport security line, sharing her own views on love and marriage, admitting to being an introvert, or discovering her cross-fit instructor's secret bad habit, Amy Schumer proves to be a bighearted, brave, and thoughtful storyteller that will leave you nodding your head in recognition, laughing out loud, and sobbing uncontrollably - but only because it's over.

While I wouldn’t call myself a super fan, I have enjoyed some of Amy Schumer’s work. I don’t think you have to be a fan to appreciate The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, though. If you’re a hater I don’t know if this would convert you exactly, but I think it can be enjoyed as an interesting take on life, especially life as a woman.

This isn’t quite an autobiography, though the majority of the chapters do tell autobiographical stories about Schumer’s life. I was expecting more fluff, or at least more “here’s how I became famous” tales. While she certainly does address her career and some of the challenges she’s had there, the really moving stuff in the book is more personal in nature. Schumer hasn’t exactly had an easy life, and the most interesting and heartbreaking chapters are the ones where she talks about her parents, her childhood, and her romantic life.

I think the strength of the book, and the reason I’m reviewing it here, is that so much of it might feel relatable to 20- and 30-something women. Schumer talks about navigating complicated relationships with her parents, about a sexual assault, about poor choices in her love life, about struggles with body image, about finding her voice, etc. She talks about lessons those experiences taught her in a way that’s not preachy or self-aggrandizing, and she doesn’t shy away from admitting she’s screwed up many times. She doesn’t come off as a saint, and I appreciated that openness. But despite the sometimes heavy subjects, Schumer is still a comedian, and she is able to joke about even some dark topics. That kept the book from getting too ponderous, and it kept me laughing in between a few tears. (And if you’re offended by Schumer’s comedy, you probably aren’t going to find this book very funny so, you know, be aware.)

I listened to this as an audiobook, which is my favorite way to read memoirs and autobiographies because hearing the author read their words adds depth. I thought Schumer did a great job with the audio (something you certainly can’t say about all authors!), and I thought it gave me a better understanding of her purpose in writing this. In particular, her emotions really broke through in the chapters about her mom and gun violence, and one could sense that these might have been the harder stories for her to tell as they are clearly still raw subjects. If you have a chance to listen to the audio version, I’d definitely recommend it.

I was unexpectedly moved by this book, and I appreciated it’s honesty and approachability. Depending on how you feel about Schumer you may be more or less moved by her stories, but I think it’s worth a read.

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Review: sTORI Telling by Tori Spelling

Posted April 1, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: sTORI Telling by Tori SpellingReviewer: Casee
STORI Telling by Tori Spelling, Hilary Liftin

Publication Date: February 24th 2009
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, General, Entertainment & Performing Arts, Rich & Famous, Personal Memoirs
Pages: 288
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The star of Beverly Hills 90210 offers a hilarious, insightful memoir about growing up on America’s favorite teen drama and her life after the show.

She was television's most famous virgin -- and, as Aaron Spelling's daughter, arguably its most famous case of nepotism. Portraying Donna Martin on Beverly Hills, 90210, Tori Spelling became one of the most recognizable young actresses of her generation, with a not-so-private personal life every bit as fascinating as her character's exploits. Yet years later the name Tori Spelling too often closed -- and sometimes slammed -- the same doors it had opened.

sTORI telling is Tori's chance to finally tell her side of the tabloid-worthy life she's led, and she talks about it all: her decadent childhood birthday parties, her nose job, her fairy-tale wedding to the wrong man, her so-called feud with her mother. Tori has already revealed her flair for brilliant, self-effacing satire on her VH1 show So NoTORIous and Oxygen's Tori & Dean: Inn Love, but her memoir goes deeper, into the real life behind the rumors: her complicated relationship with her parents; her struggles as an actress after 90210; her accident-prone love life; and, ultimately, her quest to define herself on her own terms.

From her over-the-top first wedding to finding new love to her much-publicized -- and misunderstood -- "disinheritance," sTORI telling is a juicy, eye-opening, enthralling look at what it really means to be Tori Spelling.

I was (and still am) a huuuuuge 90210 fangirl. I’ve seen every single episode at least twice. I used to dvr reruns on SoapNet. Then I started watching Tori & Dean: Inn Love. As a celebrity gossip junky, I was fascinated by the Tori Spelling that appeared in the reality show vs. the Tori Spelling that was in celebrity magazines. So when she came out with this book, I just had to read it. Right?

This is not a romance novel. So why am I reviewing it here? Well, because it’s a book, of course.

I really liked this book. Even though my husband and my MIL’s bf made fun of me the whole time I was reading it. They really were amused when I would say “You’re wrong about her. She’s just misunderstood.” g

Tori basically writes about her life from childhood. She takes the reader through what it was like growing up with a dad that created more than his fair share of hugely successful and wildly popular t.v. shows. Any child or teenager that might have wished they grew up like Tori Spelling will change their mind by the end of this book. She makes it perfectly clear that while money definitely paves the way, it does not bring happiness. She’s also the epitome of “You want what you can’t have.”. All she wanted to do was be normal. Well Tori, I wanted a BMW for my 16th birthday. After reading this book, I’m glad I didn’t get one. LOL. I think what I enjoyed most while reading this book was her ability to laugh at herself.

She also addressed the extremely hot topic of meeting her current husband while they were both married. While she expresses remorse for how their relationship came about and the people it hurt, she never apologizes for what she’s found with her husband. It’s funny, while reading this part, I was asking myself what would have happened if this was in a romance novel. Two people that are unhappy in their marriages meet and fall in love. They end up being together. A reader would think that’s romantic, right? I guess the fact that these are real people that got hurt really make the difference. Not a lot of people find what her and her husband have. It’s just sad the way it came about.

Now her relationship with her mother is really fucked up. All I can say is that I love you, mom. Yes, you’re a control freak. But Candy Spelling is 100x worse than you. So whenever I tell you butt out, just say “Candy Spelling”.

So if you’re interesting on reading more about the “real” Donna Martin, pick this book up. It’s extremely entertaining!

5 out of 5.


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