Busy has developed quite a cult following on Instagram, rivaling the fandoms of Mindy Kaling and Chrissy Teigen. Though I don't follow Busy, I have always respected how honest and outspoken she is during press interviews.
Each chapter in the book is named for a song she loves. She takes the reader through her childhood in Arizona, her move to Los Angeles, her quest to get into the business (which happened at a trade show for toys), her first big break (Freaks & Geeks), her experience on Dawson's Creek, her saga to get credit for her ideas for the movie Blades of Glory, her casting on Cougar Town and so much more.
The chapter about Dawson's Creek is rightfully named, "I Don't Want to Wait" by Paula Cole, which is the theme song for the TV show. When I was in high school, Dawson's was a very big deal. It was on Wednesday nights, and this was before DVR, so everyone rushed home in time to watch it live, so we could discuss it the next day at school.
Busy shares all kinds of fun, behind-the-scenes nuggets like, James Van Der Beek was engaged, so didn't really hang out with the rest of the cast. Katie Holmes was mega famous and dating Chris Klein, so she kept to herself too. Joshua Jackson was a terrible mansplainer (that part made me laugh out loud), and of course, the show is how she came to meet Michelle Williams, who to this day, is one of her best friends.
If you follow awards season, then you already know Busy is almost always Michelle's date to red carpet events. On page 225 she explains, "Brokeback Mountain had come out in the fall, shortly after the birth of Matilda, my beautiful and perfect goddaughter. Michelle and Heath were invited to every party and both were nominated for every award (well deserved, by the way). Since they were both nominated, they each were able to bring a guest and Michelle asked me to join at every event, which was obviously incredibly thrilling for both of us. That's basically the origin of me joining Michelle at all the ceremonies for all the awards she's been nominated for."
Another part of the book I really enjoyed was learning about Busy's long-term relationship with Colin Hanks (yes, son of Tom Hanks). After years of dating, she breaks up with him. She writes, "It would be years before Colin and I would be able to be friends, but eventually he forgave me and we moved on. Now, Colin and his wife are two of Marc's and my closest friends and our kids all go to school together . . . He's really just one of the best people I've ever known."
In the back third of the book, Busy shares how she met her husband Marc. She talks openly about him having a female writing partner, Abby, and the two of them being formerly engaged, which was a big struggle for her in the beginning. She shares how much her marriage suffered when they had their first daughter, how they decided to have a second baby anyway, and how they're doing now.
The best thing about this book is the honesty. Every single word, paragraph, page and chapter sounds exactly like Busy. You can really hear her voice in your head as you read. It also gave me an appreciation for how rocky the road has been for her. Her public persona is very bubbly (or sparkly, as she says in the book), but she's really been through some incredibly dark and painful stuff.
If you're a Busy Philipps fan, or even if you're not, this is a memoir about perseverance, and it's definitely worth adding to your list.