Well, this was a pleasant surprise. I rarely read celebrity memoirs, but earlier this week, while looking for something to listen to, I decided to give the audiobook for Jessica Simpson’s memoir, Open Book a try. As a teen in the era of pop stars and boybands, and not to mention a bit of a gossip-addict in the early 2000’s, I was curious to hear Jessica’s story. What I found was a well-done book that is truly heartfelt and personal, with the audiobook being narrated by Jessica herself. She shares stories from childhood, her rise to fame, her relationships, her struggle with alcohol, and her life now. She is honest and open about the body image issues that developed as she entered the music industry and the pressures placed on her to lose weight and fit into the pop star mold of the time. Thinking back to that era and remembering all the tweens and teens trying to emulate that image (myself included), and now knowing that in Jessica’s case she was miserable, uncomfortable, and starving in order to fit that image herself. An image dictated by a man in a suit.
I enjoyed listening to Jessica tell her story, from the emotional, difficult topics to the more lighthearted and fun. She has a great sense of humour and doesn’t take herself too seriously. With her memoir, you do get to know her as a person, and I couldn’t help but feel sad for the way she had been treated and mocked by the media and the public. This book definitely leaves you with a sense of the individual who is telling her story, and how genuine and kind she is. She seems to be in a better place now, and I hope she is happy.
If you are looking for an audiobook to listen to and enjoy memoirs, or maybe have a curiosity about the pop star-centric world of the 2000’s, I feel that Open Book is definitely worth a listen.