Thursday, June 12, 2014

Book Review: Melissa Explains It All by Melissa Joan Hart with Kristina Grish

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Look at an actress who is mostly grounded.
Cons: A couple of chapters I really didn't appreciate.
The Bottom Line:
Actress and her life
Her fans will love the story
The rest need not read

Explaining About Life On and Off the Set

Even though I didn't watch much TV growing up, I still caught a few episodes of Clarissa Explains It All.  From there, I tuned in to Sabrina the Teenage Witch and now Melissa and Joey.  Is it any wonder, then, that I decided I needed to read Melissa Joan Hart's autobiography, Melissa Explains It All?

The book follows Melissa's life mostly chronologically from her early days doing commercials in New York City to her big break as Clarissa and the career she's built from there.  There is a certain amount of gossip to the book, and she does tell about some negative encounters with a couple of celebrities.  However, most of the friends she has made in the business come across looking just fine.

For my part, I would have loved more behind the scenes stories from her various shows.  In stead, she talks mostly about how doing those shows affected her life.  It's not a big surprise, but still, I was hoping for a bit more about some of the decisions that happened behind the scenes, like actors changing/leaving the shows.

I also didn't care for a couple of chapters that got into her partying in her 20's and so on.  I like to think of her as the model of virtue the characters she's played in the past were.  Toward the end, a chapter on things she's never learned to do for herself also bored me.  After all, I'm a guy, I have no interest in make up or doing my hair.

However, for the most part I enjoyed the book.  Melissa is honest about the struggles she has faced, like living away from her family to shoot a show and how her parent's divorce affected her.  While she doesn't come across quite as normal as she wants to be, she does seem to appreciate how blessed she is and grateful to have the job she does.  That really made me appreciate her more.  I also loved her story about meeting and marrying her husband.

And how can you not help but laugh at the chapter on being a football widow.  As a non-football guy who is slowly being converted by roommates over many, many years (but don't tell any of them I said that), I could definitely relate.

Overall, I think this book is mostly for Melissa's fans.  They will certainly eat it up.  Anyone else, won't really care.  And that's the way it is for most celebrity bios.

So if you like Melissa Joan Hart, consider picking up Melissa Explains It All.  You'll enjoy this look at the actress through her eyes.  The rest of the world can walk on by for the biography of someone they do like.

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