Review: Open Book by Jessica Simpson

Posted December 15, 2022 by Angie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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Review: Open Book by Jessica SimpsonOpen Book by Jessica Simpson
Published by Dey Street Books on February 4, 2020
Genres: Adult Nonfiction
Format: eBook (416 pages)
Source: Library
Purchase: AmazonIndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads

Jessica tells of growing up in 1980s Texas where she was sexually abused by the daughter of a family friend, and of unsuccessfully auditioning for the Mickey Mouse Club at age 13 with Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling before going on to sign a record deal with Columbia and marrying 98 Degrees member Nick Lachey.

Along the way, she details the struggles in her life, such as the pressure to support her family as a teenager, divorcing Lachey, enduring what she describes as an emotionally abusive relationship with musician John Mayer, being body-shamed in an overly appearance-centered industry, and going through bouts of heavy drinking. But Simpson ends on a positive note, discussing her billion-dollar apparel line and marriage with professional football star Eric Johnson, with whom she has three children.

four-stars

I was never a huge Jessica Simpson fan. Sure, I owned two of her albums and probably had a poster on my walls. But she wasn’t a favorite. Except for her clothing line. I owned multiple pairs of shoes and wore the heck out of them! What I mostly remember her for was being pretty and kind of dumb. I know that sounds horrible, but I grew up watching her on MTV and buffalo wing commercials. It’s also easy to forget that celebrities are real people, and after reading Open Book, I’ll never forget that about Jess.

Open Book goes deep into Jessica’s struggles from an up-and-coming pop star, to a reality TV star, through her divorce, and more. I had no idea how rough things were for her. Even at the very start of her career, people were already putting her down in the name of pushing her to the top. I was shocked to learn the truth of her marriage to Nick Lachey, who I admit I had a huge crush on as a tween. I don’t know how much of this was already public and what was newly revealed, but I was hooked.

It sounds kind of weird to say that I was hooked on this dark story. It’s not that I enjoyed Jessica’s trauma, but I just was….fascinated? I guess. Her life was just sooo different than I imagined, and is still so different than anything I could think up. She wrote this with such honesty and owned up to her own mistakes, while also pointing out the wrongs done to her without villainizing anyone. None of us are perfect. We can only do our best.

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