Sunday, December 28, 2014

Deep Thoughts from a Hollywood Blonde

Book 62 of my 2014 Reading Challenge

Deep Thoughts from a Hollywood Blonde by Jennie Garth

Summary (via the book jacket)
From her sudden rise to fame as a golden-haired teen beauty to recently redefining herself as a single working mother to three growing girls, Jennie Garth has defied the odds and thrived in a town that can be more than a little tough on its blondes.
Since Jennie landed in Hollywood at just sixteen, she has built an enduring career as a television and film actress, producer, and director, beginning with her iconic turn as Kelly Taylor on Aaron Spelling's Beverly Hills 90210, a show that ran for a decade and cemented Jennie's place in American pop culture.
Recently, Jennie found herself facing her forties from a place she never expected to be: newly single, in demand again as an actress after years spent focusing on her family, and all over the tabloids. So she decided to do something that surprised many, including herself: to write about it - to tell her own story, in her own words.
And now, in this intimate memoir, she explores the highs and the lows of her life, both in front of the camera and behind closed doors, revealing the real Jennie Garth - smart, funny, and stronger than she ever realized.

My Opinion

The book had a good balance of stories between her personal and professional life. Being familiar with all of her TV shows helped me picture the people and places as she described them. 

Relationship dynamics fascinate me and although she never explicitly states a preference, there was a big difference in how she talked about her dad versus how she talked about her mom and I found it very interesting.

Regarding her time on Beverly Hills 90210, she was dishy but with the reflection of adult analysis. She talked about the "rule of three" - when three young women are together, one will always feel left out by the other two. To quote her describing her infamous rivalry with Shannen Doherty, "We were, back then, just two immature girls who were ruled by hormones, and forced to be way too close to each other for way too many hours a day. In short, we were like oil and water - or gasoline and a match, depending on what day it was." She also includes her own hand in the competition (such as who got to wear a red dress in a promo). But she wraps it up by saying everyone gets along now - Tiffani and Tori were in her wedding and she "now counts [Shannen] as one of my dearest, closest friends."

Overall, the book was quick and readable but not polished, which could be a good thing because it makes it more real or could be a bad thing because she did have a co-writer. I'm not talking about glaring typos or anything, just more like a few repetitive stories (such as her chopped hair) that could've been eliminated with a few more readthroughs prior to publishing.

A Few Quotes from the Book
"You would think that having such a dim memory would make writing a memoir very, very difficult, but actually, once I got started, writing seemed to activate the dormant recollection part of my brain, and my life as I had forgotten it began to come back to me. The more I wrote, the more I remembered. And the more I remembered, the more I began to realize how good this process was for me. About halfway through, something even clicked, and I realized that by writing about my life, warts and all, I was really getting to know myself in a way that was at times humbling, at times horrifying, and definitely always eye-opening and entertaining."

"You know how one day you can just wake up and before you know it your whole life has taken a crazy, fantastic, unexpected turn? How all of a sudden, you find yourself going down a road you never even imagined, a road that leads you to the most beautiful, soulful, meaningful stuff possible?"

"Life was quiet in a way that I found so fantastic, because it was actually anything but quiet: It was filled with squealing and laughing and lots of running of little feet (our girls were active!)."

"At first, when I did hit that bottom [as her marriage ended], it sucked more than anything I've ever experienced before, and it was only when I began to pull myself together, broken bit by broken bit, that I realized this was actually the best thing that had ever happened to me. You need to get shattered in order to put yourself back together properly. The trick, though, is not to try to glue the pieces back into the same old places and in the same old pattern. The better way is to learn and grow and be brave enough to take on a new shape, a new outlook, a new wisdom."

"So many of us moms, without even knowing it, just kind of let ourselves go. I don't just mean that we stop putting on makeup, or mindlessly eat what's left on our kids' plates, or start to wear the same yoga pants four days running, and rubber bands become our favorite hair accessories. There is all that, of course. But what I mean is that we let our innermost self - our warrior woman, hot-mama, sexy-goddess self - check out on us. When this happens, we get heavy: heavy of heart, heavy of thought, heavy of butt."

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