Book Review: Open Book by Jessica Simpson

Cover art

When I heard Jessica Simpson was coming out with a memoir, I rolled my eyes and was like “yet another celeb with a memoir, what do we possibly want to know about her?” Then snippets started to dribble in the media about her sexual abuse and how it led to sleeping aids, then her alcohol addiction. I read a snippet of her book combined with my love for memoirs and reality shows (I watched Newlyweds when it was on), I promptly put myself on my library wait list.

“Sometimes we are all so afraid to be honest with ourselves because we know that honesty will lead to somewhere.” I wrote this ten years ago. “Can fear walk us to something better?”

Let’s just say that Open Book is the memoir I did not know I needed in my life. It was amazing. The back story is that 5 years ago, Jessica was approached to write some sort of motivational and inspirational book but she backed away from it because she didn’t want to lie and say everything was okay when it wasn’t.

She took a step back and went through her journals that she had been keeping and mined them for content to become the book we have today. Jessica came prepared for a memoir and bared her soul to us. She shared her fears, anxieties and learnings and I really enjoyed how she balanced them all. It was not just a tale of tragedies but she was sure to share what she learned from experiences in her life and drop a kind and encouraging word.

“Did he repeatedly stab me in the heart, or did I just keep running into the knife he aimed at me?”

Jessica is famously known for wanting to wait till marriage back in the day and her love life was something else she was open about. She shares with us how her marriage to Nick Lachey was doomed from start, her emotional cheating with **** (you’ll find out who when you read the book). Her most prominent relationship in the book was with John Mayer and whew, he was terrible, terrible to her (see quote above) I applaud her for being bold and stating all the things he did to mess with her mind and heart. It was heart warming to see how she ended up with her now husband who treated her like a queen in comparison.

I think she was respectful of her family and she didn’t say much to disparage them but my opinion is that her parents were quite toxic and given her need to please personality, it was not a good mix. It was a bit sad to see all the weight of insecurity she carried around from when she was young and I am sure playing third fiddle to Britney and Christina did not help.

Even though she did touch on it, I wish she spoke more about how she got her fashion industry to be a billion dollar company. The way it’s written it seems like it was an easy thing to accomplish but on the flip she does acknowledge that she is one of those blessed people who have things go her way. The other thing I wish she explained was given her stance on no sex before marriage and her still current faith, I wonder why it didn’t apply after her divorce. In her book, she tells us how she went on a dating/sexual spree and I wondered why she didn’t stay celibate per her beliefs or what changed.

As mentioned before, I really liked this book and gave it 5 stars. Normally, I would audio a memoir but if you have ever heard Jessica Simpson talk, I wasn’t going to risk it (especially after suffering through Busy Phillips) BUT I shouldn’t be so harsh as the early pages of the book she mentions a car accident she was in that had her thrown through the windshield and affected her brain somehow and me thinks it is why her speech is slurred sometimes. Also, I heard the audio came with 6 new songs done to accompany the book so you can make your choice.

I can’t tell you how many times I stopped to google something mentioned and look for the picture or what the headlines said. I even went to look for old Newlywed episodes. I was also reminded that we are not kind to celebrities. Do yourself a favor and read this one.


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