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“10 New Books We’re Dying to Read in September” --The Zoe Report In this deeply personal collection of essays, creator of the The Conversation Amanda de Cadenet shares the hard-won advice and practical insights she’s gained through her experiences as businesswoman, friend, wife, and mother. Amanda is on a mission to facilitate conversations that allow all women to be seen, h “10 New Books We’re Dying to Read in September” --The Zoe Report In this deeply personal collection of essays, creator of the The Conversation Amanda de Cadenet shares the hard-won advice and practical insights she’s gained through her experiences as businesswoman, friend, wife, and mother. Amanda is on a mission to facilitate conversations that allow all women to be seen, heard, and understood. Through her multimedia platform The Conversation, she interviews some of today’s most bad ass women—from Hillary Clinton to Lady Gaga—in no-holds-barred conversations that get to the heart of what means to be female. Now, in It’s Messy, Amanda offers readers an extension of that conversation, inviting them into her life and sharing her own story. From childhood fame to a high-profile marriage (and divorce) to teen motherhood to the sexism that threatened to end her career before it started, Amanda shares the good, the bad, and the messy of her life, synthesizing lessons she’s learned along the way. Through it all, she offers an original perspective as a feminist on the front lines of celebrity culture. Edgy, irreverent, poignant and provocative, It’s Messy addresses the issues, concerns, and experiences relevant to women today.


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“10 New Books We’re Dying to Read in September” --The Zoe Report In this deeply personal collection of essays, creator of the The Conversation Amanda de Cadenet shares the hard-won advice and practical insights she’s gained through her experiences as businesswoman, friend, wife, and mother. Amanda is on a mission to facilitate conversations that allow all women to be seen, h “10 New Books We’re Dying to Read in September” --The Zoe Report In this deeply personal collection of essays, creator of the The Conversation Amanda de Cadenet shares the hard-won advice and practical insights she’s gained through her experiences as businesswoman, friend, wife, and mother. Amanda is on a mission to facilitate conversations that allow all women to be seen, heard, and understood. Through her multimedia platform The Conversation, she interviews some of today’s most bad ass women—from Hillary Clinton to Lady Gaga—in no-holds-barred conversations that get to the heart of what means to be female. Now, in It’s Messy, Amanda offers readers an extension of that conversation, inviting them into her life and sharing her own story. From childhood fame to a high-profile marriage (and divorce) to teen motherhood to the sexism that threatened to end her career before it started, Amanda shares the good, the bad, and the messy of her life, synthesizing lessons she’s learned along the way. Through it all, she offers an original perspective as a feminist on the front lines of celebrity culture. Edgy, irreverent, poignant and provocative, It’s Messy addresses the issues, concerns, and experiences relevant to women today.

30 review for It's Messy: Essays on Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    As an American my first glimpse of Amanda DeCadent was a picture I clipped for my scrapbook of her with Courtney Love in cream colored gowns and a tiara. I'm not afraid to admit my shallow thought was "Oh my god she's gorgeous". This was pre internet so I had to grill everyone and their older siblings on who she was. Most people just said she was a socialite married to the guy from Duran Duran. I didn't really know what the term socialite meant and I don't think that's fitting of who she was, bu As an American my first glimpse of Amanda DeCadent was a picture I clipped for my scrapbook of her with Courtney Love in cream colored gowns and a tiara. I'm not afraid to admit my shallow thought was "Oh my god she's gorgeous". This was pre internet so I had to grill everyone and their older siblings on who she was. Most people just said she was a socialite married to the guy from Duran Duran. I didn't really know what the term socialite meant and I don't think that's fitting of who she was, but you know teenage America in the 90s. So I had this massive crush on her and just sort of admired from a distance. Then as the years went on I would find her name attached to my favorite photographs of Drew Barrymore, Heather Graham...and of course Keanu Reeves. She was an artist! In 2005 I bought her book "Rare Birds" and lost myself in the images. My first glimpse of her in person was when I was living in LA and a friend took me to a Strokes concert. I'm not going to lie and pretend I wasn't a big fan of theirs but holy shit was I late to the game on that band. 3rd album tour and I had no idea she was dating Nick. But there on the side of the stage stood this tiny beautiful blonde with her camera. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Not because I thought she was beautiful but because she was in a short dress and tights and she would lay down on the ground to get the perfect shot. I was transfixed watching her work. Our children are born a few months apart and I remember seeing her with her kiddos once at Whole Foods (ironically) and I really really wanted to run up to her and hug her and just say thank you. But I didn't want to bother her. Plus as a new mom I was so self conscious of how I looked. In hindsight ten years later I can see how I missed a moment there. I wish I would have known that we were both suffering and probably could have used that hug and conversation. Fuck. I want to point out specifically how important the chapters on motherhood and postpartum depression are. I didn't even realize until about a year ago that I spent two years after I stopped nursing my son with some of the most crippling depression of my life. The shame of those years being a blur to me are sharp and painful. I loved my son, we were bonded but I was miserable all of the time. I was numb. I didn't recognize it. I didn't have a support system around me. It's made me think a lot on how much we need to talk about that, how much I need to reflect on that and reach out to others. I loved The Conversation when it started on her website, I was thrilled when it got a short run on cable tv. I'm thrilled this book has finally come to fruition. I read it in one sitting not because it was easy to read but because I couldn't put it down. Because I found myself in the pages. I read aloud parts of one chapter to my son and he said "That sounds JUST like you." And that's the thing about Ms Amanda, she IS just like me. And she's probably just like YOU too. Amanda, you are a true inspiration. One day I hope to be able to ask you a question that makes you say "That's a very smart question". Thank you for this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elise Lawrence

    Amanda de Cadanet has compiled a series of mostly mundane personal anecdotes with a heavy-handed self-help tone (despite her insistence in the introduction that "this is not a self-help book") and purposeless celebrity name-dropping. It was easy to read, with her frank and conversational tone, but her hypocrises undermined her credibility throughout. For a book that only came out last year, it doesn't seem attuned to the social climate or to be contributing to the conversation. Amanda seems to hav Amanda de Cadanet has compiled a series of mostly mundane personal anecdotes with a heavy-handed self-help tone (despite her insistence in the introduction that "this is not a self-help book") and purposeless celebrity name-dropping. It was easy to read, with her frank and conversational tone, but her hypocrises undermined her credibility throughout. For a book that only came out last year, it doesn't seem attuned to the social climate or to be contributing to the conversation. Amanda seems to have an inflated sense of her own importance and wisdom, presenting her ideas as "radical" when they are years behind any kind of modern conversation regarding feminism or body acceptance. She also makes sweeping generalisations like "having an active and fulfilling sex life is more complicated than ever before". How so? And as compared to when/what? Her hypocrises and insecurities are most evident in her discussion of bodily autonomy. She says that women should do whatever they want! (but not that). E.g. page 78: Don't let anyone tell you that you should be having sex after giving birth (until your child is at least one). Also you need to accept the fact your partner won't be very pleased about the post-natal lack of sex, and that "sometimes it makes everyone's life easier to just do it" (p.79). She also tells the reader that she gave her husband the option between a "floppy stomach or floppy vagina" (C-section or vaginal birth, p.80), with no further discussion about making the right decision for your birth and body, or about respectful discussions that do not give your partner the power to make decisions about your body... Her discussions of childbirth, motherhood and postpartum depression felt the most authentic and I liked what she had to say about searching for your truth, especially as it related to finding meaningful work. I resonated with what she had to say in Chapter Three about "love addiction" and the deadly combination of abusive partners and low self esteem. But ultimately I was left feeling like...so what?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    Apparently, I've been living under a rock, because I'd never heard of Amanda de Cadenet until I read this book. (Or perhaps it's more accurate to say I've been living with my nose permanently stuck in one book after another.) I made a decision earlier this year to broaden my reading horizons and read books I wouldn't ordinarily have read in the past. This is the sort of book that, in past years, I would have been curious about and maybe even skimmed over a few pages before putting it back on the Apparently, I've been living under a rock, because I'd never heard of Amanda de Cadenet until I read this book. (Or perhaps it's more accurate to say I've been living with my nose permanently stuck in one book after another.) I made a decision earlier this year to broaden my reading horizons and read books I wouldn't ordinarily have read in the past. This is the sort of book that, in past years, I would have been curious about and maybe even skimmed over a few pages before putting it back on the shelf. As a general rule, I'm not one to read essay collections and I don't think I've ever read a book where one of the main topics is feminism, either. This book hit the spot twice over on broadening my reading horizons, so obviously I had to read it. And I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed the conversational feel of the book. It flowed as if I were reading a series of letters, rather than a collection of essays. (If I hadn't been reading two other books at the same time, I have no doubt that I could have read the entire book cover to cover in less than two days.) In the book, de Cadenet shares stories of her life—childhood, marriages, motherhood, and career—and as the title suggests, some of it is, indeed, messy. She also discusses lessons she's learned along the way, about the importance of friendship, standing up for what you believe in, and being true to yourself. One of the things that resonated most with me is when she talks about not listening to the negative voice inside your head when it tells you you're not "enough" in some way. (Ladies, you know the voice I'm talking about: The one that says you're not thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough... whatever.) That voice is a vicious bitch and hits on every insecurity a women has about herself. In speaking about body acceptance, Amanda says: It's better to accept yourself and your body than to beat yourself up. Those thirteen little words have a huge amount of truth in them, and it made me pause for a moment of reflection. How much time have I spent, every single day, feeling unhappy about the way I look? How many times have I let depression to wash over me in waves as I made endless lists of everything that wasn't "good enough" about me? Wasted time, all of it. Even more so when I think about how little time, in comparison, I've spent feeling content about any of those things. Some essays are more difficult to read than others, due to the subject matter, but they all have important messages to get across. This is definitely a book that makes you think. Now that I've broadened my reading horizons... won't you broaden yours, as well? :) I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Harper Wave.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Guy

    Let me begin by saying, Amanda de Cadenet I want you for my bff. Going into this book I only knew her as Mrs. John Taylor, and I wasn't sure how I felt about that because I was a huge Duranie (though I prefer Nick Rhodes). Oh and I recall a joke or two about her and Simon Le Bon on an episode of Absolutely Fabulous. Once I got into the book, I found that Amanda is truly the kind of person every woman needs in her life. She is strong, sassy and just pretty kick butt. If you were expecting a tell al Let me begin by saying, Amanda de Cadenet I want you for my bff. Going into this book I only knew her as Mrs. John Taylor, and I wasn't sure how I felt about that because I was a huge Duranie (though I prefer Nick Rhodes). Oh and I recall a joke or two about her and Simon Le Bon on an episode of Absolutely Fabulous. Once I got into the book, I found that Amanda is truly the kind of person every woman needs in her life. She is strong, sassy and just pretty kick butt. If you were expecting a tell all sort of book, you aren't going to find that, and that's part of the reason why it left me giving her more respect. I didn't want to end up hating John, though when I realized that when she was pregnant with their daughter she was 19 and he was in his 30s. WTF John, seriously, WTF! Though now Amanda's second husband is 9 years younger than her. Oddly though, that didn't feel as creepy to me as her relationship with JT, who I will forever think of as a creeper. Her book does focus on her life, which is full of missteps and mistakes and loads of successes too. She offers up advice that every woman and mother should take heed to. This book reads like a conversation with a close friend at a coffee shop. Its a snapshot of her life, which like the title states is messy, but that makes her full of insight. Its those insights that should make every woman feel better about herself. She's gone through a lot and knows some fabulous people, who are mentioned here, but not in a way that it feels like she's name dropping. Again, this book feels like you're sitting across from a friend. I would gladly sit across a table from Amanda de Cadenet. (And she could tell me all about interviewing HRC)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I was introduced to The Conversation by a work friend. I found it really inspirational. I had seen glimpses of Amanda here and there over the years. Magazines, etc. I knew her as having once being married to John Taylor from Duran Duran. But, she is obviously more than someones wife. She is an interesting multi dimensional person. With a career, family, thoughts, feelings, insecurities... You get it. This book wasn't really told in any sort of order. I don't think it wasn't meant to be. It's mor I was introduced to The Conversation by a work friend. I found it really inspirational. I had seen glimpses of Amanda here and there over the years. Magazines, etc. I knew her as having once being married to John Taylor from Duran Duran. But, she is obviously more than someones wife. She is an interesting multi dimensional person. With a career, family, thoughts, feelings, insecurities... You get it. This book wasn't really told in any sort of order. I don't think it wasn't meant to be. It's more like having a conversation with a friend. 3.5 stars.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marissa Crisafulli

    I've been following Amanda for along time and was really excited to finally get to read her book! The content of this book is very relatable and you really do feel like you're having conversation with her the entire time. The book is a feel-good read, and any story about a woman who champions should get seen and heard and that's just what this is. Amanda has a very strong voice and opinion and is very inspirational. I've been following Amanda for along time and was really excited to finally get to read her book! The content of this book is very relatable and you really do feel like you're having conversation with her the entire time. The book is a feel-good read, and any story about a woman who champions should get seen and heard and that's just what this is. Amanda has a very strong voice and opinion and is very inspirational.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Esther

    Of course this was a library check-out. I remember her being (to a early teenage me) the epitome of London cool chick back in the late 80s. So I was only curious for her anecdotes from that time. What was it really like etc. Pretty shitty really. Most of this book is an inane beyond belief pile of self-help drivel. There are insights here which your average 10 year old girl would have sussed.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    "Take the risk, no matter what anyone else tells you. The worst thing that can happen is that your fail, again, and so what? Failing is part of succeeding. If someone has never failed at anything, that tells me they've never really risked anything." -208 "Take the risk, no matter what anyone else tells you. The worst thing that can happen is that your fail, again, and so what? Failing is part of succeeding. If someone has never failed at anything, that tells me they've never really risked anything." -208

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Schemehorn

    It's no more or less than I expect going into a book of essays. Some I related to, others I didn't. Full disclosure: I flick past any and all essays I read about being a new mother; I have no interest in it. It was pretty quick to get through, one-skipped-essay aside, and there are just a couple things that didn't hit right. She acknowledges her privilege, but not fully in my opinion - it's as if she only associates it with her childhood and not her general existence and how the opportunities wit It's no more or less than I expect going into a book of essays. Some I related to, others I didn't. Full disclosure: I flick past any and all essays I read about being a new mother; I have no interest in it. It was pretty quick to get through, one-skipped-essay aside, and there are just a couple things that didn't hit right. She acknowledges her privilege, but not fully in my opinion - it's as if she only associates it with her childhood and not her general existence and how the opportunities with which she was presented would not have been available to her (i.e. career, relationships) if she had not been white and famous. Speaking of, the feminism, which is the reason I was interested in reading this collection, lacks intersectionalism. More than a few parts smack of white feminism, though I think that can be attributed to her own personal experience. It doesn't seem, however that she's expanded her perspective on that score. That being said, it was an enjoyable read, and I'm here for any and all tea on Keanu Reeves. Would I read it again, though? Probably not.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebeca

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Being a “Badass” Woman Fabulously British, relatively fearless, and insanely charming, there is no doubt in my mind why the storied Amanda De Cadenet has been as widely successful and influential as she is. Her creative force, hard work, and dedication have helped her forge a lifelong career in the spotlight. She’s been a talk-show host, a photographer, an author, a celebrity, a mother, a feminist, a lover, a friend, and just about anything else you can think of. To say the absolute least, Amand Being a “Badass” Woman Fabulously British, relatively fearless, and insanely charming, there is no doubt in my mind why the storied Amanda De Cadenet has been as widely successful and influential as she is. Her creative force, hard work, and dedication have helped her forge a lifelong career in the spotlight. She’s been a talk-show host, a photographer, an author, a celebrity, a mother, a feminist, a lover, a friend, and just about anything else you can think of. To say the absolute least, Amanda De Cadenet is a woman of the times. Whether her name is familiar to you or not, it cannot be denied that De Cadenet is a fascinating, worldly person. Not a lot of people can boast the same achievements as De Cadenet, nor can quite as many be boasted, but somehow she remains tastefully modest. From fronting her first talk-show at 15 to interviewing some of today’s most influential women and other world leaders, it’s clear that Amanda has put her soul into the growth that has taken place over the course of her life. Being a woman is hard, but no one should have to face those tough trials and tribulations alone, and no one is a greater supporter of this notion than Amanda De Cadenet, herself. Having grown up under unusual circumstances, aka having not just one, but instead two, ultra famous parents, De Cadenet is able to offer a refreshingly comical, yet serious take on the experiences she’s faced throughout her life. It’s Messy: On Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women by Amanda De Cadenet is a very real, very honest account of what it can be like to be a woman. The title in itself is a reflection of the overall memoir; playful and witty, yet incredibly telling. From the very first page, it is astoundingly evident that this book was written with one purpose; to help women. What else would one expect from a self proclaimed girl’s girl? By allowing her vulnerability to show through her writing, De Cadenet constructs a feeling of familiarity and comfort that women may not always get when addressing such topics in their own lives. In getting personal with her own experiences, Amanda has created not only a support system for women, but a community as well, both of which she feels are essential for women in dealing with everyday problems, as well as tougher situations. Always ready to remind women that they’re not alone, Amanda begins the book with a short introduction ending in“... as a reminder that you are not flawed without hope. Shit happens to everyone. And you and I, and every other woman out there should not have to do it alone.” The most striking thing about the memoir isn’t the stories themselves, not to be confused with the stories being unimportant, but the attention and respect which De Cadenet commands through her writing. Full of grace, fearlessness, and her perpetual passion for the advancement of women, Amanda addresses some of the most controversial topics amongst, and about, women today. Whether discussing rape, postpartum depression, or perhaps even addiction, De Cadenet is able to effortlessly create a sense of a safe, welcoming atmosphere without detracting from, or minimizing, the issue at hand. Coming off as a close girlfriend or sister, Amanda puts her humor and wit to work, along with her no-nonsense attitude and sage advice to give the ultimate insight into the joys and inconveniences of being a woman. Sexism, in at least some degree, is an undeniable part of every woman’s day-to-day life. In such extreme cases as some of the ones recounted by De Cadenet, they can be career threatening, especially in male dominated work spheres. A rising star in the photography world, it is not lost on Amanda that the alarming lack of respected female photographers must have something to do with age-old, outdated gender norms. On the other hand, sexism can be easily observed in cases of rape, in the clear sense of disrespect for women. Seemingly every problem presented in the set of essays can be traced back to have some degree of sexism involved. However, instead of letting such injustices make her bitter, De Cadenet finds a way to look at even the ugliest situations through a lens of positivity and resilience. Stating time and time again that a bad situation does not necessarily only mean poor outcomes, Amanda is adamant that “things will be okay in the end.” Emphasizing that the lessons learned from such experiences should be used to figure out one’s passions in life, she speaks on the importance and power of forgiveness. Instead of presenting her life in an idealized, perfect manner, De Cadenet relishes in the irony of some of her situations to encourage women to find themselves in the madness. Personally, I adored the book from the moment I cracked open the cover. I am not usually a fan of memoirs, essays, or any biographical literature, however Amanda De Cadenet writes with such genuine passion that one cannot help but feel it as they read. Her infectious humor and positivity make it easy to finish this memoir, cover to cover, within hours. Instead of feeling like a stranger learning about some other wordly celebrity, De Cadenet’s book offers a more intimate, conversational feeling; almost like catching up with an old friend. I would have never expected for a book about such a controversial woman to resonate with me, a boring 18 year old, so deeply on so many intimate levels; the relatable feeling of it all is insanely comforting when dealing with something like rape or abuse, and remembering that you are not alone in such a situation. Whether you are a woman looking for strength and support, or a man trying to gain insight into the lives of the women in yours, this book is a must. I can confidently say that It’s Messy by Amanda De Cadenet is one of the most well written, eloquent, and insightful books I have ever read. I would recommend this book to everyone, 11/10.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    It took a little project of mine I dubbed "Summer of Keanu" for me to discover the badass feminist journalist-turned-photographer Amanda de Cadenet. To summarize, I spent my summer watching all of Keanu's movies. As the linked post details, part of that cinematic adventure entailed a lot of YouTube rabbit holing. One of those YouTube binges brought me to Amanda's interview of Keanu in the early '90s for the UK program, "The Word." As it turns out, Amanda (the UK '80s-It-Girl who married John Tay It took a little project of mine I dubbed "Summer of Keanu" for me to discover the badass feminist journalist-turned-photographer Amanda de Cadenet. To summarize, I spent my summer watching all of Keanu's movies. As the linked post details, part of that cinematic adventure entailed a lot of YouTube rabbit holing. One of those YouTube binges brought me to Amanda's interview of Keanu in the early '90s for the UK program, "The Word." As it turns out, Amanda (the UK '80s-It-Girl who married John Taylor from Duran Duran) has enjoyed a years-long friendship with Keanu (that, at one time, turned romantic). She speaks lovingly about that friendship in "It's Messy," a book that was such an enjoyable experience to listen to, I was sad to finish it (especially since Amanda's voice in my ear felt like it belonged to a wise older sister that commands your respect with her wit, humor, and no-nonsense advice giving). The more I've read about Amanda, both in her book and online, the more I've come to admire her. Namely because her interests are my interests: I'm a journalist turned photographer who LOVES interviewing people, so it makes sense that Amanda's professional arc from "The Word" to fashion photographer to originator of the awesome series "Conversations" would be catnip for me. What I loved most about "It's Messy" is that it's a collection of essays that found me at the right age, at the right time. Amanda's musings about men, sex, friendships, and, most especially, motherhood, all resonated deeply with me. The fact she dished about the ups and downs of her life while keeping the narrative focused on the feminist lessons she's learned along the way has made her a woman in pop culture I intend to keep my eye on.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meg - A Bookish Affair

    "It's Messy" is a series of essays by Amanda de Cadenet who is now probably most well known for her show "The Conversation" even though she has been on television since she was in her teens! I have seen a few episodes of "The Conversation" and one thing I have been impressed with is how de Cadenet is able to get very powerful women from politics and Hollywood and a myriad of other places to let down their armor and get real. She is a great interviewer that gets right at the meat of what's going "It's Messy" is a series of essays by Amanda de Cadenet who is now probably most well known for her show "The Conversation" even though she has been on television since she was in her teens! I have seen a few episodes of "The Conversation" and one thing I have been impressed with is how de Cadenet is able to get very powerful women from politics and Hollywood and a myriad of other places to let down their armor and get real. She is a great interviewer that gets right at the meat of what's going on and that's what she does in this book: she gets real. It's refreshing in a world where so many people feel like they have to put up walls around themselves. This book covers a whole variety of issues from finding yourself, having kids, being married, and being divorced. De Cadenet was born into a very wealthy family but this didn't protect her for having some pretty wild early years and she goes into all of these stories in the book. She was married to a famous musician before she was 20 years old and had a child very early on. Later on, she was divorced and then remarried to another musician before she had twins. Side note: Yup! she's a fellow twin mom so she has me there. Admittedly, her thoughts on how you get fraternal twins doesn't jive with science but she's a fellow twin mom all the same). She's been through a lot and has a lot of wisdom and interesting insights to pass on. You start feeling like de Cadenet could be someone you know well, maybe a friend letting you in on some secrets. It's easy to see how de Cadenet is able to get the interviews that she gets on how once she's able to land an interview how she gets people to open up to her. I thought this was a good and insightful collection and I'm looking forward to sharing it with some women in my life.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I had never heard of Amanda de Cadenet before grabbing this on impulse at the library (it was near the Jenny Lawson I was checking out and who doesn’t need more badass women’s memoirs in their life?). I wasn’t sure I was going to continue after the first chapter set me up for a “poor spoiled rich girl” story, but i persevered. Let’s be clear - this book is not well-written...there are glaring flaws with structure, chronology and style that could have been improved by a strong editor. There are t I had never heard of Amanda de Cadenet before grabbing this on impulse at the library (it was near the Jenny Lawson I was checking out and who doesn’t need more badass women’s memoirs in their life?). I wasn’t sure I was going to continue after the first chapter set me up for a “poor spoiled rich girl” story, but i persevered. Let’s be clear - this book is not well-written...there are glaring flaws with structure, chronology and style that could have been improved by a strong editor. There are too many instances where she glosses over what could be very interesting stories if fully fleshed out, perhaps in the interest of maintaining her privacy and those close to her, and sticking to the primary goal of the book-sharing her own individual wisdom. Still it would be nice to have more details as to HOW she reached these conclusions. In short, she tells instead of shows. This book is NOT a tell-all, as she keeps the lurid and potentially most entertaining tidbits of her life story to herself, which I get, but it makes for a rather thin, watery autobiography. What she lacks in wit and style, she makes up for in earnestness and honesty. I appreciate her rawness, her willingness to tell it like it is. Hey, I even learned a new expression (“paddling the pink canoe” - fun!) and the chapter on down-there waxing was a real treat. She’s a woman I’d want to be friends with, even if I can’t relate to her privileged lifestyle (married to a rockstar, with celebrities for friends and able to afford hired help), if for no other reason than I’m dying to get the real scoop on what Keanu was like in bed. Lucky bitch.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    Anyone who knows me well would probably wonder why I would read a book like this. I definitely don't fall under the current definition of feminist. However, I do believe in having an open mind, free speech and keeping the lines of good debate open at all times. I think that is what drew me to give It's Messy: Essays on Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women a try. The book is a collection of essays written by the author on varying subjects and how they pertain to women. In the foreword, she states that t Anyone who knows me well would probably wonder why I would read a book like this. I definitely don't fall under the current definition of feminist. However, I do believe in having an open mind, free speech and keeping the lines of good debate open at all times. I think that is what drew me to give It's Messy: Essays on Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women a try. The book is a collection of essays written by the author on varying subjects and how they pertain to women. In the foreword, she states that this book really isn't one to be read in sequence. She hopes that it is one the the reader will skip around and read the chapters that may pertain to what is impacting their life right now. I did skip around and read most of the essays. The two that I was most interested in reading were "Porn Culture and it's Effect on my Vagina" and "How to Parent in the Time of Trump" I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with one and not finding a lot to agree with in the other. But, that is what makes this book special. There is something in it for every woman. You may not agree with it all, but keeping an open mind allows you to see another side. It's worth giving it a try, so why not pick it up when it comes out next month.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shelly Rios Petrelli

    I really enjoyed reading this book and wish I had this in my twenties. I guess since the writer is my age that would've been impossible considering most of this book is based on experiences she grew and learned from along her path. Either way I'm glad that de Cadenet has paved the way to offer an insightful glimpse of all things that women encounter childless or with children. The raw, effortless prose resonates with me and I can identify with the writer's memories in this format. You feel like I really enjoyed reading this book and wish I had this in my twenties. I guess since the writer is my age that would've been impossible considering most of this book is based on experiences she grew and learned from along her path. Either way I'm glad that de Cadenet has paved the way to offer an insightful glimpse of all things that women encounter childless or with children. The raw, effortless prose resonates with me and I can identify with the writer's memories in this format. You feel like you're having a conversation with a friend. She has a show appropriately named "The Conversation" that I have yet to check out and will look up after reading this. This is what we need in today's times. Someone who is willing to express through blatant terms how as women we endure in our society with all types of issues, supposed scandals, societies views on how women should behave or be. I appreciate the candid approach to the female psyche, body image issues, social/media perspective, maternal challenges (relief over reading these chapters, in not feeling alone in these emotions) and female bonding. I highly recommend this book to any or all females. I guarantee she'll touch on some aspect of how you've felt either in the past or recent.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jeni

    A must read for every woman striving to be better! I’ll admit, I have been a reluctant observer of Amanda’s, mostly due to the fact the she married my teenage crush and then subsequently divorced him. However, something told me to read this book, and I know that I will forever be grateful that I did. Her insights and revelations about being a woman on every level resonated with me deeply. She touches on everything that affects us, from motherhood, marriage, losing yourself and then finding yourse A must read for every woman striving to be better! I’ll admit, I have been a reluctant observer of Amanda’s, mostly due to the fact the she married my teenage crush and then subsequently divorced him. However, something told me to read this book, and I know that I will forever be grateful that I did. Her insights and revelations about being a woman on every level resonated with me deeply. She touches on everything that affects us, from motherhood, marriage, losing yourself and then finding yourself again, girlfriends, careers, honoring your gifts and finding your voice. I have no doubt that I will pick up this book again and again. It serves as a reminder that I am not alone in the challenge of navigating this life as a woman, and that we need to be kind to each other and more importantly, ourselves. Thank you Amanda!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    The title is what drew me to this book. I had no idea who Amanda was, but quickly discovered she is fairly famous or at least has lived most of her life as part of the celebrity culture. Her childhood is somewhat reminiscent of Drew Barrymore's in that she became famous quite young and then lived a fairly wild existence before settling down. Her years of hard living has given her some insight into life, as hard living can do if it doesn't kill you first. While I don't agree with every conclusion The title is what drew me to this book. I had no idea who Amanda was, but quickly discovered she is fairly famous or at least has lived most of her life as part of the celebrity culture. Her childhood is somewhat reminiscent of Drew Barrymore's in that she became famous quite young and then lived a fairly wild existence before settling down. Her years of hard living has given her some insight into life, as hard living can do if it doesn't kill you first. While I don't agree with every conclusion she makes in regards to her experiences, Amanda is clearly a very intelligent woman, who is fearless and is doing her best to advocate and promote women in our male dominated media world. I especially admire her for her stance on body shaming and pornography and that she believes we need to talk straight to our children about this issues.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tram Nguyen

    Wow, this is such an enjoyable and incredibly quick read! I realized I yearned for every spare moment I got to read the book til the last page. This book really sets a higher standard bar for any feel-good book that I'm gonna read from now on. I love how real and honest and wild the author consistently keeps throughout every chapter. She's not afraid to tell the messiest parts of her life, which are ironically so relatable and works as a charm for not the book but herself too. She's a charming a Wow, this is such an enjoyable and incredibly quick read! I realized I yearned for every spare moment I got to read the book til the last page. This book really sets a higher standard bar for any feel-good book that I'm gonna read from now on. I love how real and honest and wild the author consistently keeps throughout every chapter. She's not afraid to tell the messiest parts of her life, which are ironically so relatable and works as a charm for not the book but herself too. She's a charming and greatly inspirational woman. She's successfully made me feel so much more at ease that I, my girl friends, any women I know around me, are not alone in the battle of finding their own identities and any issue we counter in life are nothing scarily strange or weird or too much to handle. Thank you Amanda! You got my solid 5*/5*

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I picked this book up solely by its cover. I had never heard of Amanda de Cadenet, and I am still sure I have no idea who this woman is. This book was kind of a train wreck. It was fairly awful, but I couldn't put it down. It's not that I judge the author for her life, in fact I applaud her for the bravery to tell her story. Maybe, she just seems kind of proud? Again, I think this might be hard to read, the personal stories at least, when you have no clue who she is. On the flip side, some of he I picked this book up solely by its cover. I had never heard of Amanda de Cadenet, and I am still sure I have no idea who this woman is. This book was kind of a train wreck. It was fairly awful, but I couldn't put it down. It's not that I judge the author for her life, in fact I applaud her for the bravery to tell her story. Maybe, she just seems kind of proud? Again, I think this might be hard to read, the personal stories at least, when you have no clue who she is. On the flip side, some of her anecdotes on pregnancy, parenthood, and the body that comes next were brilliant. FUPA is going to be in my daily vocabulary now. Her vulnerability around PPD was also a welcome change. All in all, this was an enjoyable read. While I didn't agree with her view point on many things, the writing was still respectable to allow agreeing to disagree.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    This book is exactly what I needed at this point in time of my life. Amanda went through it all and covers all the ups and downs of being a woman. She was a teenage runaway and then mom at 18 all the while becoming a famous talk show host in the UK. Amanda speaks candidly and honestly about her personal hardships and battles with self loathing, addiction, and sexual assault and shows you that you need to pick yourself up and use your failures to do something good. She has done that with this book This book is exactly what I needed at this point in time of my life. Amanda went through it all and covers all the ups and downs of being a woman. She was a teenage runaway and then mom at 18 all the while becoming a famous talk show host in the UK. Amanda speaks candidly and honestly about her personal hardships and battles with self loathing, addiction, and sexual assault and shows you that you need to pick yourself up and use your failures to do something good. She has done that with this book helping readers by letting them know they’re not alone and as women we all go through the same struggles of just being a woman. It’s not 5 stars because I wish the book a was a little longer and she didn’t get into real depth with some of her stories.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stella

    It's Messy is a series of essays from Amanda de Cadenet about being a modern woman. Amanda does not shy away from the reality of marriage, childbirth, or the internal struggles that women all face....and it's GOD DAMN refreshing. Reading these essays felt like talking to a girlfriend. Amanda has a way of writing that instantly made me comfortable. She's funny, she's a little brash but most of all, she's just being herself. This isn't a book that's going to give you the salacious details of her m It's Messy is a series of essays from Amanda de Cadenet about being a modern woman. Amanda does not shy away from the reality of marriage, childbirth, or the internal struggles that women all face....and it's GOD DAMN refreshing. Reading these essays felt like talking to a girlfriend. Amanda has a way of writing that instantly made me comfortable. She's funny, she's a little brash but most of all, she's just being herself. This isn't a book that's going to give you the salacious details of her marriage to John Taylor (swoon!) or Nick Valensi. This isn't a book that's going to spill the tea on Courtney Love or Keanu Reeves. This is a book about Amanda.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I first heard about Amanda when she had The Conversation on Lifetime. I watched the show but then stopped because I thought Amanda talked about herself too much and at the time I didn’t realize how cool she was. After listening to this book I want to go watch all the interviews again because I now know about her background which is extremely interesting. Amanda’s story involves fame and privilege but from this book she seems pretty down to earth, one sentence said she loves when women recognize I first heard about Amanda when she had The Conversation on Lifetime. I watched the show but then stopped because I thought Amanda talked about herself too much and at the time I didn’t realize how cool she was. After listening to this book I want to go watch all the interviews again because I now know about her background which is extremely interesting. Amanda’s story involves fame and privilege but from this book she seems pretty down to earth, one sentence said she loves when women recognize her from The conversation and just want to say thanks. I enjoyed Amanda’s perspective on many things and I’ll probably read anything else she writes or does.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    “So, as I continue to do on an almost daily basis. Please try, and if you fail, try again. And again. And again. And maybe even again. Never give up, because if you don’t get up from off the ground after another failure, you’ll surely miss the miracle when it comes.” Raw, honest and relatable. Amanda de Cadenet shows readers that we are all flawed and no ones life, despite fame and privilege, is perfect.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lubna

    To be honest, I had no idea who Amanda de Cadenet was and I only added this in my to-read list because it was recommended by a book-Youtuber but I think that if you do know her, this book would be great. Even though I couldn't relate anything she said to anything I heard about her (because that would be = nothing), her way of writing was direct and casual, something I can appreciate. To be honest, I had no idea who Amanda de Cadenet was and I only added this in my to-read list because it was recommended by a book-Youtuber but I think that if you do know her, this book would be great. Even though I couldn't relate anything she said to anything I heard about her (because that would be = nothing), her way of writing was direct and casual, something I can appreciate.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Callie Hass

    I really loved this one. I listened to the audiobook and Amanda's voice was so sultry with her cool-ass British accent. The book was funny, inspiring, at times frustrating and enlightening. It made me want to circle the wagons with my best girlfriends and encouraged me to be the best friend I can be. Super enjoyable. I really loved this one. I listened to the audiobook and Amanda's voice was so sultry with her cool-ass British accent. The book was funny, inspiring, at times frustrating and enlightening. It made me want to circle the wagons with my best girlfriends and encouraged me to be the best friend I can be. Super enjoyable.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Wish I could give this a 3.5 but there are no half stars. Very pro girl body positive book that discussed issues that modern women deal with. I enjoyed it. Her style was a bit scattered and she seems to contradict herself sometimes. However, Amanda is someone I’ve always admired and thought of as having balls.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Colona Public Library

    I never heard about Amanda de Cadenet before, but since reading her book I want to learn more. Amanda was very honest in this book about taboo topics such as abortion and having sex at a early age. Reading this book, is like having a conversation with your best friend. A very open and honest conversation. I really enjoyed reading this book. ~April

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kjo1984

    I had never heard of Amanda before but read a short article about this book in the NYTimes which persuaded me to read it. It was very honest, funny and felt like reading a book from a good friend. Nothing earth-shattering but still, a nice fast read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I wish the whole book was like the last couple of chapters. More stories that illustrate the life lessons the author has gleaned and is sharing. Instead, it often just seemed to skim the surface. Too bad.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ana Dinkova

    Relatively honest, witty and funny - the kind of book every woman has to read to remind herself that we are only humans and having flaws is part of the charm. Also - s good book to be read by girls, especially the obsesses with stardom ones.

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