Thank you to the wonderful Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of this book.
TITLE: Never Say Never
AUTHOR: Ricki Lake
RATING: 3 stars
I was lucky to receive an ARC of this memoir and I immediately jumped into reading it. PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE SPOILERS in this review.
Reviewing a memoir is a tricky thing - in reality, the challenge is to review the book and the writing without forgetting the content. So, with this in mind, I am starting this review by saying that I really, really wanted to love this book - I did not. I ended up only liking in. Why?
The good stuff:
I admire Ricki Lake for being to honest with her readers. I can just imagine how difficult it must be to write down your intimate life feelings and experiences. She does a great job of making me feel as though I got some of the bad and some of the good - all part of her life.
I also love the focus she brings to the birthing movie she created. It was very inspirational to see just how dedicated she was to the whole process.
I also admire her greatly for being so open about her weight issues. As someone who deals with eating issues and body image, I could identify with so many of her comments. I thought she was incredibly courageous to open up about such a sensitive and painful issue. It was also illuminating to me to see just how much focus Ricki and people with weight issues put on the topic. This book is simply loaded with weight related comments - scary, but all too true, I could totally relate.
It was also inspring to read just how persistent Ricki is. It was fun to read about her DWTS state of mind and I loved how she never gave up in Hollywood, a town that usually kills and eats their prey!!!
The not so good stuff:
Unfortunately, towards the end of this memoir, Ricki started sounding like a spoiled brat. Although i could honestly say that I did not feel as though I was reading a 'Hollywood' type memoir for the first part of the book, I can't say the same about the second half. Basically, as Ricki describes her birthday, meeting Christian and going to Spain, all I could hear was how spoiled she was being and I felt absolutely no connection with her and her whining.
I also thought the memoir lacked a 'little something'. It seems as though Ricki could only define herself by a) the men in her life and the sex they shared and b) the money she had (or did not have). I was hoping for more beautiful family moments with her sons, with her friends, etc. and that never really came.
I have to say that if you are going to write a memoir and include other people in your story then you need to give FULL disclosure. I hate reading memoirs where most of the people involved are identified as 'we will refer to him as'.... Yes, I know that this is her story and not theirs and that she was probably trying to protect their privacy, but it just DOES NOT WORK in a memoir. It leaves me hanging.
Finally, I also have to be honest and say that this memoir was a bit cheesy at times - especially when she talked about the men in her life. It seems that she was always falling for 'the one' and it sounded a little corny at times. For example, Ricki comments about spending time naked, in the bath with her new man Christian (who, she assures us is THE one, again). I am sorry, but that somehow just sounds like something that should be written for Harlequin.
Overall, this memoir was okay - not great and not horrible - basically 3 stars.