celebrity memoir, Memoirs, Non-Fiction

Book Review: You Should Sit Down For This by Tamera Mowry-Housley

Tamera Mowry-Housley is best known as half of the identical twin duo that starred in “Sister, Sister” and as one of the talk show hosts on “The Real”. Because everyone gets to write a memoir these days, Mowry-Housley has written one at age 44. The book title says it’s about life, wine and cookies which I assume is supposed to be about her personal life, her career and I guess life advice as she sprinkles across the book, something she calls “Tamera-isms”.

I won’t mince any words and just flat out say that I thought this was a terrible book. In fact, it was an insult to the word memoir. I picked up this book because Mowry-Housley has the reputation of being the “boring” twin and is often misunderstood, I figured I’d pick this one up to hear from her point of view and see if I could gain a different perspective of her and unfortunately, this did not help her case at all. It was awful.

As always for a celebrity memoir, I did this on audio and I wanted to end my suffering as soon as I started. I am not sure who signed off on this because the tempo was not it at all. It was almost like she was putting on a forced positivity and the cheeriness came off as fake. It was just over the top. But it was just 5 hours long so I figured I could bear it. The book had soooo many metaphors and euphemisms that were over the top and was distracting from whatever surface story she was telling us.

When you read a memoir, you should feel like you learned things about them that you didn’t know before reading and this was not the case here. In fact, you would know more about Tamera looking up her old interviews and watching The Real than reading this book. For example, in a story talking about her breakup with her now-husband, Adam she says “I don’t want to talk about it, even just thinking about it now brings a tear to my eye”. No memoir should have the phrase “I don’t want to talk about it” that is a signal that you do not need to be writing a memoir.

As mentioned above, she is best known for “Sister, Sister”. I had settled in to listen to the behind the scenes of the show and couldn’t believe that it was a blink and you miss it situation. One minute she mentioned they booked the show and the next she is saying when the show ended. For someone who is partly famous because she is an identical twin, she barely if at all talks about their relationship. We don’t learn more about her family and that’s because most of the stories were surface. I didn’t understand the choice to not talk about being biracial instead she refers to herself as a black girls with curls. She never referenced the reality show she had with her twin sister, never referenced the depression she went through in college.

I can give a little credit to her getting a little more authentic when talking about being on The Real and how much anxiety it gave her but she over compensated by telling us every 5 seconds how much she loved her coworkers and she spent most of it defending her husband. The chapter where she talks about the death of her niece due to gun violence was the other story she was authentic about. She tries to be down with people by talking about sex and how people consider her a prude to which she boldly tells us that they are wrong and she is infact “a freak in the sheets” (cringe). She proceeds to share her sex goals which are places she wants to have sex that include a lavender field and on top of a car in the rain (gosh) and then follows it up with it’s none of our business which ones she has checked off. Sigh.

Overall, I just got the impression that Tamera is the kind of person who likes for everything to look nice. She mentions how she is proud of her positivity but it almost sounded like a detriment in this book. I think the idea of the book was a cross between Yvonne Orji’s “Bamboozled by Jesus” and Gabrielle Union’s “We’re going to need more wine” except she failed on both ends. Orji found a fun way to give fun, personalized advice while Tamera told us things that everyone already knows and wasn’t able to capture Union’s realness. In case you couldn’t tell, I do not recommend this book. I gave it 1 star and immediately told Leggy that it is in the running for my worst read of the year.

If you have read this and think otherwise, I’d really like to hear your thoughts. Let me know in the comments!

Taynement

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