Fans of Constance Wu. People interested in learning about the impact of different aspects of Hollywood on actors.
In a nutshell:
Actress Wu shares stories from her life, mostly focusing on her non-famous time.
Why I chose it:
I only know Wu from her starring role in Crazy Rich Asians, but this sounded interesting.
This is a book I find hard to review. I want to commend Wu for how open and honest she is, and how she confronts challenges she’s faced as well as times when she hasn’t acted in the way one would want. Basically, I don’t think she’s sugar-coated anything here. She’s vulnerable, and doesn’t make herself the ‘good guy’ all the time, but she has enough self-awareness where she doesn’t come across as oblivious to any damage her actions may have caused.
That said, I generally wasn’t that interesting in the stories she was telling. That isn’t to say the pieces of herself she chose to share were uninteresting or bad – they just weren’t quite for me. Hence the middling rating.
I do think this is a well-written book. I think I actually might have enjoyed it better had I read it instead of hearing the author read it, because at times it felt like she was acting the stories (intentionally at times), which was leading me to a specific feeling. With a written book, I think there’s a bit more opportunity for the reader to make their own interpretations and conclusions. Though, thinking more on it – is that appropriate for a memoir? Does my opinion of things really matter? It’s not my life, after all.
The aspect that most reviews have focused on was the harassment she faced from a producer while working on Fresh Off the Boat, and her suicidal period after being harassed off Twitter for expressing disappointment at the series being renewed. And those bits are infuriating for sure. But I think her vulnerability around her relationships is also interesting – her romantic relationships, her relationship with her mother, and her relationship with her younger sister. They are complex and complicated situations, and she navigates them without always making herself sound like a victim – she has agency, and sometimes makes good decisions and sometimes doesn’t.
I’m not sure if I would recommend this book, but if it’s on your TBR list, I’d imagine you’ll probably find it a worthwhile read.
Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it: