Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review: TRUE LOVE by Jennifer Lopez

I was expecting a celebrity tell-all book about fleeing nightclubs with P. Diddy, romantic getaways with Ben Affleck, dancing the night away with Casper Smart, or other inside-Hollywood tidbits, but True Love by Jennifer Lopez was surprisingly very different. It was a simple look at a woman, going through life, figuring out love, and learning how to love herself.

In fact, despite the ongoing concert/performance/American Idol references, and knowing who the book's author was, the story was an un-Hollywood as it could be. And even having mentioned her regular lifestyle, which by nature is glamorous, there was little glamour and glitz in this book.

I've always liked J.Lo. She seems personable, she is definitely multi-talented, and for years she has managed to maintain a clean reputation and keep it classy...all while looking fabulous. Consistently. What's not to love?!

So this book was surprising in that it showed readers a dark side to Jennifer, a side filled with sadness, insecurity, and confusion at times. A side of her filled with self-doubt and longingness...a side that the majority of women could probably relate to on some level. We may not all be familiar with having access to fame, millions of dollars, and prime-time television shows and blockbuster movies...but emotionally, the average reader could definitely relate to her journey as a woman, and her growth in character as a result of her life experiences.

This book was an easy read. So easy, that I was shocked with how quickly it took me to get through the pages. Although I read it on my Kobo, it was very nice to have a variety of pictures accompany the story, and it looks as though there's an audio/video element to it (that clearly my Kobo isn't advanced enough to process) which would make the experience slightly more entertaining.

An easy read, but an interesting one. And it read like a Jennifer Lopez story, and not something penned by a ghost-writer or "as told to" literary genius. It read like a girl friend speaking to another girl friend or family member about her experiences, with warm words of encouragement, and kind recommendations for improved living.

Basically, this book chronicles the period of time when Jennifer was going through her divorce from singer Marc Anthony, but also while she was going through a great period in her career, hit songs and a classic time in American Idol history. It takes you through her emotional journey, through the support she received from family and friends, the advice and guidance she sought, and eventually the strength she gained and how she applied the various insights she encountered.

I really enjoyed it. Partially because of shock value at how open and honest Jennifer was about her feelings...and partially because of the outcome, and reading about how she overcame her challenge and was better as a result. Who doesn't love a story of love and victory?! And this time, the love wasn't tied to another "big name" or celebrity scandal. The love was for herself, and as corny and cliche as that seems, it reads REALLY beautifully, and it feels great to learn the lessons over again with Jennifer.

My favourite line of the book: "Integrity is your own gauge of what is right for you."

I admire J.Lo for opening herself up to her fans and readers this way, and think that alone is a result of the journey she went though. You can feel her renewed sense of spirit, and the energy and excitement is both contagious and motivating as a reader.

Written by Stacey Marie Robinson for Kya Publishing's Urban Toronto Tales blog.