For the first time ever, Jennie Garth is putting it all out there, sharing her joys and her sorrows, her successes and her failures, with candor and a surprising, even bawdy, sense of humor.
From her sudden rise to fame as a golden-haired teen beauty, to recently redefining herself as a single working mother to three growing girls, Jennie Garth has defied the odds and thrived in a town that can be more than a little tough on its blondes.
Since Jennie landed in Hollywood at just 16, she has built an enduring career as a television and film actress, producer, and director, beginning with her iconic turn as Kelly Taylor on Aaron Spelling’s smash hit Beverly Hills 90210, a show that ran for a decade and which cemented Jennie’s place in American pop culture.
Recently, Jennie found herself facing her 40s from a place she never expected to be in: newly single, in demand again as an actress after years spent focusing on her family, and all over the tabloids. So she decided to do what surprised many - including herself: She decided to write about it, to tell her own story, in her own words.
And now, in this intimate memoir, she explores the highs and lows of her life, both in front of the camera and behind closed doors, revealing the real Jennie Garth - smart, funny, and stronger than she ever realized.
This is one unforgettable, utterly loveable Hollywood Blonde, and these are her deep thoughts.
©2014 Jennie Garth and Emily Heckman (P)2014 Penguin Audio
avoiding road rage one book at a time...
Being a few years older than the cast, I was never a fan of 90210, which appealed to a younger sect. Nor do I consider myself a fan of Jennie Garth, having never followed her career. I am however, a voracious reader (listener) of autobiographies and found myself without something to listen to when this book popped into my 'we thought you'd like’ list. Really? Aren’t I out of her demographic? Even the title of the book made me wince a little. I grappled with myself, considering the purchase and listened to the free preview provided. She sounded really interesting and she did have a story to tell… desperation for material won and with a guilty conscious I clicked ‘purchase’.
Guess what? I AM a fan of Jennie Garth; the person. This book is great and skillfully read by the author. She is candid, funny, a great story teller (or received excellent advice/assistance on how to tell her story) and extremely likable.
This book tells of Jennie’s life, from start to present: her idyllic childhood as the youngest member of an alternate version of the Brady Bunch, her painful adolescent years, her accidental career path, her relationships and how she dealt with all that she encountered, with grace and humility. What is revealed is a fiercely-loyal, hard-working, genuine, real person. I’m here to tell you not to consider this book a guilty pleasure, it is worth every penny.
No, I would not...the simple fact is that there is nothing interesting here. It could have been about my neighbor down the street, or the guy who runs the hardware store. "I went to school, got a job, had some drama, and everybody ends up to be my lifelong friend". I love auto biography's and have listed to or read many. What makes them interesting is the unusual and fascinating lives some people live. Unfortunately, Jenny's book is a swing and a miss. I'm about halfway through the book and haven't gotten to her divorces yet, but I'm sure it'll be no different than the 50 people I know who got divorce...no more drama than anyone else. I'll finish the book, if I can get through it, and update my comments if needed. As other comments have indicated, it's obvious she doesn't want to offend anyone or step on anyone's toes, and the result, a boring book.
I would have hoped she would be a little more honest. Give us the real dirt while growing up as a Hollywood star. If Jenny was as honest as she could be (which I'll never know for sure), then maybe nothing that exciting happened to her.
Jennie has such a down-to-earth style, and her narration was superb - so often with celebrity memoirs they tend to treat it as a "reading" and act/emphasize slightly (or incredibly) artificially. With Jennie, it was really hard to imagine she was reading a manuscript because her voice just flowed so well. It really felt like a personal conversation with her where she was just telling stories about her life. It had the vibe of the first couple of Tori Spelling's books (before they became so artificial) but Jennie comes across as even more genuine than Tori ever did. You really get the feeling that the emotions you can hear when she talks about things like her father's health, her relationships with her two former husbands, etc. are really heart-felt and not "actressy" or rehearsed. This made the whole book very easy to listen to, and compelling.
I like that Jennie gave the proper amount of time to 90210, and felt like the pacing of the book was very even. It flowed very well from growing up (which was rather interesting, and is a subject I rarely have much care about when listening to these types of celebrity memoirs) to her first jobs, to 90210, and after. I really liked the balance - she doesn't get into what can be really boring specifics about every member of her family or bogged down in details that would really only matter to her personally, but still gives enough information that you feel that you have an understanding and an accurate portrait.
While I've seen some criticism of the 90210 section, I think that the portions about the show are about things like dressing rooms, etc. more than anything else because that's what the experience was like for her. And I actually found it quite interesting. People looking for dirt or exposed scandals who are already super-90210 "researchers" may not get much new, but I think that's because - the overall story has already been told, this was just her version of it. While it doesn't sound like she was exactly a "loner", it was more of an internal experience for her there and this book reflects that. Her talking a lot about her personal spaces was actually rather revealing, if you take the time to listen.
The only criticism I do see is the fact-checking about seasons of 90210 - while she fully admits up front she has a terrible memory to begin with, anyone who watched the show at all, even casually, would detect the errors - Shannen was gone technically at the end of Season 4, but Jennie says Season 6. That said - *IF* you count the two Summer seasons on their own, in a way she is correct. That one I was able to get past, but it was odd that she later in the book talks about Season 6 again (the actual Season 6 as we refer to it as) when she was pregnant a few years later (just not consistent within the book), and she also repeatedly talks about being pregnant and playing a high-schooler, when in fact they were well past High School graduation during that time. While to be honest, after 10 years on a show and the fact that she probably never actually watched it, I can see where it would mush together for her - but someone along the line should have pointed this out and corrected it.
All that said - it's a minor thing, really - and it doesn't take away from the emotions and feelings and overall story itself.
Already covered this pretty much, but listening to her tell the story was a very intimate experience, and the conversational flow made the book seem like it was only a couple of hours versus the actual length. She has such a soothing, distinctive voice that it really was a pleasure.
Yes - I listen to Audible almost exclusively in my car, and a few times I turned off the engine and kept the book going as I sat in the driveway for a few minutes just to listen for a bit longer.
Sure, the 90210 season-confusion kept it from being absolutely perfect - but, it really only amounts to a few lines out of what otherwise is a really great listen. I really feel like I know a lot more about someone who is generally a rather private person, and I thank her for being so honest and letting her fans in on what makes her "tick" and sharing her story in such an honest, genuine way.
YES! It's read by Jennie Garth which makes it much more real and you get a chance to hear her inflection and passion. She is a great narrator actually and I'd love to hear her read more.
The honesty. When she talks about her dad, her kids, her cast mates, you hear her pride, genuine respect and love that she feels for each person.
I wish - But - it was two sittings and less than 24 hours.
There was a little repetition which was a little annoying for me but I enjoyed the overall book immensely. It was a journey!
Father of three with no time to actually read, but also a former history teacher and current attorney with a long commute-I love audiobooks.
Better accuracy....fans of her show 90210 will immediately recognize that she's either lying or moron because she doesn't have her facts straight....shouldnt an editor have notices all the mistakes she made about the show's timeline and her character??
No, I love biographies but this one is largely full of BS and its pretty clear now she just threw it together to try and relaunch her career
It's her book so she can write what she wants, but she said VERY little about 90210 and her castmates, and she had to know that that's what readers would want more of...
just really disappointed....
Yes. It's a pleasant memoir to listen to, but she clearly didn't want to step on anyones toes. She didn't say much bad about ANYONE. There is no dirt in this book, no uncovered info about Hollywood, really, hardly "little known" info about Jennie herself.
I always like listening to the actual author perform the reading. Her voice was pleasant.
No, sorry, it would be a movie consisting of her being nice to everyone and details being left out of stories.
She seems like a very nice person who was very aware that her children may want to read the book at some point, or that her former or current colleagues may read it. She clearly did not want to step on one single toe. So, unfortunately, it wasn't very spicy or energetic.
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