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January 2020

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COMMENTS

My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Three Stars

Best for:
People interested in learning a bit about what the music industry can be like for young women, and a lot about what it was like for Lily Allen.

In a nutshell:
Musician Lily Allen shares her life story, including all the messy bits.

Worth quoting:
“When women share their stories, loudly and clearly and honestly, things begin to change – for the better.”

Why I chose it:
I was looking for another audio book and this one was on sale. Plus, read by the author, so right up my alley.

Review:
I knew very little about Lily Allen when I purchased this audio book. I think the only songs of hers I know are Smile and Fuck You, both of which I enjoy. And when she talks about the well-placed anger over her ‘Hard Out Here’ video, I recalled having read something about it. Beyond that? Nothing.

Allen opens herself up to the reader, sharing stories from her childhood through until right now, with an updated chapter added to the audio book in 2019. She shares her challenges with drugs and drinking, with her family, with sex and relationships. She is also brutal in her honestly and clarity around the feelings that accompanied two very hard times in her life: the death of her son George just before his birth, and her experience with a stalker. She is honest about how she perceives her faults, but also doesn’t hide behind false humility when it comes to her talents in her music career.

Really I have just one area of disappointment with this book. Allen was raised by people in the entertainment industry, but spends some time in this book stating that she was able to get her successful music career on her own. After reading this memoir, I can see why it annoys her that people think that her connections are why she’s successful, because she did work quite hard (and she is talented). But there is a bit of self-awareness around there that is lacking. She didn’t pull herself up all on her own – she definitely had a hand, and even while she’s being rightfully pissed at the tabloids assigning 100% of her success to her privilege, she seems to not fully acknowledge the benefits she had. Now obviously I don’t know everything (a couple hundred pages, no matter how honest, don’t tell anyone’s full story), but in what appears to be an otherwise open and raw book, it was the one thing that seemed off to me.

That aside, as someone who knew very little about and wouldn’t consider herself a fan of the author, I still enjoyed hearing about her life and getting her perspective on things. I think others will enjoy it as well.

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