Book Review: Open Book by Jessica Simpson

Book Review: Open Book by Jessica Simpson

As this book was about to release, I Googled the year Newlyweds was released and I calculated how old I was at the time; I was 18 years old and I closely followed Jessica Simpson for years before the show aired. So, it's safe to say I've been a longtime fan of hers. I remember reading her blog on her website many moons ago. Throughout her career, Jessica Simpson has been the butt of many jokes, and often you'll see her laughing along but for the first time, her audience can really get a sense of what was going on in her life. On the audiobook, you'll hear Jessica cry and laugh along. Within the first chapter, Jessica mentions she "know[s] there are people who think [she] can't string two thoughts together, let alone sentences" and to me, this sentence really sets the tone for her to open up and tell her side of the story, in her own words. If you've been a fan, you'll want to pick up "Open Book," it far surpassed my expectations.

The memoir begins with Jessica's childhood, her church upbringing and the building of her career. Readers learn about the sexual abuse that she lived through as a child, we see her confusion about how to handle it, and we also see her natural instinct to protect and nurture those around her. Throughout the pages, there's an incredible amount of self-discovery and self-awareness. As we move into her failed marriage, we see how truly sad she was. Her relationships afterward all have their own reasons for why they failed and she details there timelines. She speaks about her emotional affair with Johnny Knoxville, the rollercoaster of her life with John Mayer and her life with Tony Romo and eventually her settling down with husband Eric. The flow and pacing of the memoir were very well structured. You won't want to put it down. You really get the sense that Jessica is looking back on her past and trying to make sense of it all, not regretting her choices but acknowledging them. It's her opportunity to be free and truthful.

Her alcohol and pill addictions seem to sneak up on her. She didn't see it as a problem or wasn't ready and willing to deal with it until one day she had enough. It didn't seem like a secret to anyone, she wasn't hiding it but her friends were at the point where they wanted to intervene. Jessica's surrounds herself with supportive people but not necessarily enablers. Her chapter "Death by Mom Jeans," will make you furious with the tabloids. Here is a woman who released a new album, is being accepted into the country scene and one outfit has her taunted for years. The heartbreaking detail for me, was when she mentioned how much she loved her outfit that day. She felt good, she was happy, she was a size 4 and she was torn to shreds for a long time. Early in her church days, she had to cover up and as soon as she signed her record deal, they wanted her to undress and lose 15 pounds. The focus on her body has been something that she has had to deal with over and over.

I could give away all my favourites parts, and all the surprises that were revealed but I want to encourage others to read it themselves. I read the book and listened to the audiobook through certain sections and both were great formats. I flew through this book in two days, and I enjoyed every page. It also brought me back to when I saw these headlines and I didn't know if they were true or not. If you've watched all the recent interviews, and you're not sure if you should still pick it up, please do.