Thursday, May 3, 2012

You Have No Idea

You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-Nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other, by Vanessa Williams and Helen Williams, with Irene Zutell.

I know who Vanessa Williams is (I should know, as an entertainment blogger), but what I did not know about her is that she is so multifaceted. She started off as a beauty queen, and then, when a "scandal" about her came out, she was forced to resign from her Miss America position. Vanessa then started a career as a recording artist, and from there she moved on to Broadway; after that, she became involved in films and TV.

You Have No Idea is written by her and her mother, Helen Williams, along with Irene Zutell, and I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying it. It mostly focuses on Vanessa, but we get a bit of Helen's background as well, along with her opinions and reactions to some of the events in Vanessa's life. The tone of the book, which was probably purposefully written this way, is more of a conversation between friends; it really draws the reader into the novel and Vanessa's life.

We follow Vanessa from when she was a little girl, always dancing and singing, through her pageant days, through the so-called "scandal," where naked photos of her from when she was a teenager surfaced. She quickly turned to singing, and then from there got a lucky break and became a Broadway star. Readers of this blog might also know her from TV's Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives, where she had supporting roles on both shows. I've never seen either show but I may watch a few episodes of Ugly Betty in the near future just to see her role in it, since it is talked about a lot throughout the novel.

3.5 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I read this book for the BlogHer Book Club and was compensated for doing so. However, the opinions expressed here are my own.

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