When I was searching for books to order in advance of my trip to Maine, I kept coming across reviews of actress Gabourey Sidibe's memoir, This Is Just My Face. I've always found her to be hilarious on Twitter, @GabbySidibe, so I figured if that humor could translate into something that's more than 140 characters, the book could be pretty entertaining.
While Sidibe is hysterical, she's not the best writer (at least in this longer format). Often times her stories would ramble and go on tangents, leaving me a bit underwhelmed. That being said, I learned a ton about her that you would never know simply from watching red carpet interviews. For example:
- Her father was born and raised in Senegal, a devout Muslim
- Her mother agreed to marry her father so that he could obtain a green card
- Her mother was a famous subway singer in New York City and still gets recognized
- Gabby and her brother are less that 12 months apart
- For years Gabby suffered from bulimia
- During a break from college, she worked for several years as a phone sex operator
- Her mother was offered a role in Precious five years before she was
- She originally joined Twitter to shut down rumors that she and Emma Roberts were fighting on the set of American Horror Story
- She's close friends with Amber Riley from Glee
The one fact I learned about Gabourey that I loved most was her high school obsession with NSYNC. She writes, "This is embarrassing, but when I was a teenager, I used to write fan fiction about the pop group NSYNC. It's what I did instead of homework or class work. It's the reason, other than skipping gym, I had to work so hard to graduate. I would spend most days incessantly writing down my creeptastic fantasies about Justin, JC, Chris, Joey and Lance in composition notebooks. I'd write about Crystal and me being adopted by NSYNC after sneaking onto their tour bus, getting caught, and going on the rest of their world tour with them. (What? Like that can't happen?) A lot of times I wrote about being friends or even enemies (for drama!) with them in a reality (Ha! Reality? What's that?!) where they weren't famous at all and we were all in high school together." As someone who just traveled to Las Vegas to see the Backstreet Boys in concert at age 32, I can relate.
I had high hopes for This Is Just My Face, but I didn't love it. It was definitely entertaining and I learned a lot about her road to fame, but it couldn't compete against some of the other books I've read this summer.
Have you read anything great lately? I am always looking for new books.