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on Dec. 16, 2012 :
Andrea Lewis has crafted a fast-paced, engaging and believable story of her journey from a dysfunctional family where she was ignored by her preoccupied, unstable and feuding parents, raped by her older step-brother multiple times and forced to move frequently due to her parents’ volatile and unpredictable relationship to a place of self-love. These childhood experiences set the stage for a tumultuous coming of age where she alienates herself from her family, engages in risky and self-sabotaging behaviors to find the love she never felt at home. She endures the sudden death of her closest brother and moves on to marry, divorce and get involved in a series of relationships with all the wrong men and circumstances involving drugs and alcohol. Throughout all these changes and poor choices, she displays resilience and a drive to better herself which keeps the tension building and foreshadows the possibility of changes. As a reader, I was left wondering, will she overcome all these poor choices? That kept me turning the pages.
This is a very well-written story of how a young woman transforms her dysfunctional ways into areas of growth and transformation. Her writing is concise yet very descriptive and her characters come alive on the page. Lewis uniquely witty voice comes through as she weaves in her adult reflections and moves back and forth seamlessly between the voice of innocence and the voice of experience, often injecting humor as well as details from the place and time. I appreciated her creativity in using a sitcom called Dramaville as a metaphor for her life and making it clear throughout that it was in her state of mind. She is brutally honest about her responsibility in creating her own drama, too, which makes her story feel real. Therefore, she delivers on the title of the book.
Because she took me through her hard times so effectively and brought me to a satisfying conclusion where she worked hard to find self-love, I couldn’t help but celebrate her remarkable achievement. It is a testimony to the human spirit for she has endured many obstacles and overcome so much.
I highly recommend this uplifting, inspiring and compelling memoir with a powerful message of hope, healing and empowerment in the face of overwhelming odds. I have no doubt that this memoir will serve a higher purpose of inspiring others to find their own self-love.
(reviewed the day of purchase)