It literally doesn’t matter that I’ve already written a blog every day. I still have to come in hot with a book review for this book (Paris: A Memoir), because it has left me SHOOK since I finished it over the weekend.
Okay, I have to preface by saying there WILL BE MINOR SPOILERS in this post. Read at your own liking knowing this information.
Next thing I need to say is this:
I have never….I repeat, NEVER….read a celebrity memoir before.
I HAVE started several, but honestly, they’ve all been pretty dang boring. And I just thought, “the only reason people care about this is because they’re super famous, and filthy rich now.” Otherwise, not really that great of a story, ya know?
I think this is important to state at the beginning, because I know there’s a ton of readers out there who LIVE FOR celebrity memoirs- and hey- to each their own. But if they give a gushing review about it, then it might be taken with a grain a salt for those of us who aren’t on the celebrity memoir train.
Why the hell did I choose Paris Hilton’s memoir as my first celebrity memoir then? A valid question, but also the book kind of answers for itself. Honestly, I had so many friends eye roll just at the NAME Paris Hilton. But that’s kind of the whole thing.
This is a person who has been misunderstood for DECADES.
Her story isn’t iconic because of money, or her fashion, or her billion dollar brands. Her story is iconic because of her perseverance, her honesty, and her vulnerability.
Ugh, I’m obsessed. Can you tell?
Review of Paris Hilton’s Book, Paris: The Memoir
Why Read Paris: A Memoir
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Paris Hilton fan, or not. This book is going to tug at your heart strings, I swear. And I think it’s an important read for ANYONE, if not to raise awareness around the abuse in the troubled teen industry.
Yes, there are definitely the standard Paris-isms throughout (like “sliving,” obviously). You can hear her valley girl accent sometimes, and the baby voice can jump off the page from time to time. She names drops just about every celebrity under the sun, and there’s definitely the glitz and glamor sprinkled throughout.
But when you get past that, this is what you’ll find.
Her stream of consciousness writing captures her ADHD brain perfectly. Which is no easy feat, and also brings a TON of awareness and compassion for those living with ADHD, as well as other learning disabilities or disorders.
The story itself is heart wrenching. Some of it, yes, is unique to being a celebrity- or just a rich kid with parents who have a shit load of power. And a lot of it is across the board what it means to be a young girl. Particularly a young girl growing up in the 90s and early 2000s.
There’s a humanness that comes through stronger than the sequined outfits, and toy-size dogs. And that’s the piece that makes the book not just worth picking up, but also worth binge reading in a few days (that’s what I did at least).
Biggest Takeaways from Paris: A Memoir
Sometimes while I was reading, I literally felt like someone was telling my own story. And that was really comforting. To feel less alone and all. If I felt that way, then I don’t doubt that hundreds of thousands of other women and girls will, too.
This chick makes you want to be a more compassionate person. When I was telling Alix about the psychotic, abusive behavior she endured at “schools” where her PARENTS sent her- Alix said, “I would never talk to my parents again.” And, I bet a lot of people feel that way.
Paris didn’t hold back in the book (the way I felt like she did in the documentary). She told some (sickening) details of what went on in those “schools” over the course of her two years there. But she still managed to be straight up with us, without bashing her parents. Maybe it’s because she’s, what, 41 now? So age and experience gives you the perspective of parents doing the best they can with the information they had at the time. Maybe.
But it seems like it’s more than that. It seems like she’s someone who has actually done a shit ton of work on herself (especially in the last 2 or 3 years), and she just wants to be free. It seems like she understands the concept of forgiving for HER, not for someone else. Like she understands the power of compassion for others in aiding her own healing journey.
The biggest takeaway from this book, as well as other horrific stories such as these, is the reminder of the resilience of the human spirit. Knowing that she went through what she did, and still went on to not only achieve her career success- but also become an advocate against the troubled teen industry is SO inspiring. Makes you want to get off your ass and DO something in your own community, right?
I can’t get through this review without mentioning that this book can be super triggering if you’re someone who’s experience abuse, sexual assault, or violence in any way. Sometimes I’m totally fine to read this kind of stuff, and sometimes I can only read in the day, because otherwise I’ll have nightmares (which literally happened when I read this book, so I had to stop my nighttime reading).
She does issue a trigger warning before getting into the horrors of being in these “schools” for two years. But I still think it’s worth mentioning here, so you can choose to pick up the book whenever you’re ready (if at all).
Would I Recommend it?
I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s a resounding YES from me. Like I said, I think women and girls across the board will relate with a lot of what she shares. And I think people of any/all genders can benefit from learning about the troubled teen industry, because it’s STILL ALIVE AND WELL.
I legitimately think this book could save lives, if not only for spreading awareness about the abuse that lives within this institution. I’m not exaggerating when I say save lives, because kids have died in these schools, or they have a high rate of suicide and addiction afterwards.
Read it. Read it. Read it. Read it. READ IT. If not only to educate yourself on a really important subject.
(Part 2 is the main section about the school, so you can literally just read that part if you want.)
I can’t wait to hear what you all think!