Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Author: Tina Fey
Genre: Autobiography/Humour

Pages: 342
Type: Hardcover
First Published: 2011
First Line: "Welcome Friend, Congratulations on your purchase of this American-made genuine book"

Synopsis: Tina Fey is best known for her comedy sketches on the infamous and LONG running Saturday Night Live as well as being the leading lady and head honcho at her own show '30 Rock'.  In this book Tina takes readers on a humourous ride back to her childhood growing up in Philadelphia. From her awkward teen years to her years at Second City and as a major star of SNL Fey shows readers glimpses into her professional and personal lives.

My ThoughtsAt the risk of sounding like a crazy, disturbed celebrity stalker I'd just like to say that after reading this book I totally think Tina Fey and I could hang and be Besties. Oh yes. She's hilarious and I adore her self-deprecating sense of humour.   While her writing style won't win her a Pultitzer, it isn't forced and you can easily picture Tina saying the words as you read them. That's what I look for in a memoire. I need to hear the person's voice to make it more authentic.

As expected Fey's sense of humour shines through. I literally laughed out loud in several parts and I found myself re-reading sections just so I could continue giggling uncontrollably. Note: Giggling by yourself at home is fantastic but doing it in a car by yourself while waiting to pick up your kids may not be viewed as normal behaviour. Word to the wise. Throughout the book Fey's humour seem to come out of nowhere and hit you when you least expect it. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon or two. Awesome!

One of my favourite parts of the book were definitely the letters she wrote to certain fans who were less than favourable in their letters to her. Needless to say I kept re-reading her responses over and over just to get another laugh. There, I just re-read them again. Hil-ar! Another favourite was how she brings her trademark dry humour to deal with other issues like her breastfeeding issues (she shows how she dealt with 'Teat Nazis' -- I could totally relate!) and competitive mothering.

Don't get me wrong, this book isn't all laughs and chuckles. Tina deals with many issues honestly and candidly. For example, the life of a working mother --that no matter how much you love your job juggling home life and a career is extremely hard work. Her feelings of being a woman in a man's working world as well as how she felt about being bashed by some for her impersonation of Sarah Palin.

Even though we're Besties now I do have some things that I wasn't fond of in Tina's book. At times the flow of the book seemed slow and the storyline became random dashing back and forth a bit too much for my liking. The slowest part for me dealt with the rehashing of transcripts from SNL and 30 Rock. I found that I enjoyed the SNL transcripts because I had actually seen and remembered those sketches but didn't really enjoy the 30 Rock references (I haven't seen the show yet). But I'm nothing if not easily distracted so when Tina would throw out a really funny line I forgave her. Because that's what Besties do.

One thing that I was surprised that she didn't tackle was how she got her famous scar on her face. She only hinted at how she got it and never really delved into it. I didn't need a blow by blow but the way she phrased it left me wondering if she was joking about how she got the scar or if the reason she gave was real.

My final beef was that the pictures in the book are extremely dark and hard to see. Get Picassa, Tina! Lighten up those pictures of you looking awkward in your youth!!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this light memoire. While it was definitely enjoyable and laugh-out-loud in many spots I refer to it as a 'light memoire' because it feels like Tina is still very guarded about who she really is. I got the feeling that she was hiding a little behind the jokes. I respect her need to keep some things private, I do. But if you're reading this book to get the nitty gritty on her deep feelings then this might not be the read for you. If you want to get the gist of what life was like for Tina growing up and making it in comedy with loads of funny moments of her dry wit thrown in for good measure? Pick up this book. I read it in a little over 2 days during a very busy weekend to boot.

Tina comes off as a very down-to-earth kinda gal who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. She portrays herself as imperfect and doesn't put on airs or start naming names of all of the famous people she's met. She shows readers that she's a hard working mom who is grateful for the things she's accomplished and for her family. She seems like she's been able to balance celebrity and family very well. I would recommend this book to Tina Fey fans as well as people who want to get a sneak peek into what all this Fey talk is about.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

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