A little while ago Vicky Nolan, the author of Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress, reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in giving her book a read. She explained to me that the book is based on her real life experiences of trying to break into the music industry and how it all ended up going a little bit sour because of things completely out of her knowledge and control.
It sounded really interesting as I love memoir books and especially the ones that openly tell of the good, bad and explain the drama along the way but the writing style of them has to be very specific for me to properly get into it. Whilst memoirs are personal if it contains too many “I” sentences it becomes a little dreary and they tend to stifle the flow of the words and make it really difficult to just dive into the contents. And the first few pages contained a lot of seemingly short feeling and disjointed sentences that were very much “I” based with little real build up or description so it took me a little bit of determination to persevere with the book to see where it would lead me.
When I get sent a product to review or to try out in some way, like this book, I’m always desperate to love it and to be able to sing its praises but I’m also the sort of person that will share my honest thoughts on something because the blogging and reviewing world can’t just be all happy perfection. And despite my desires to adore this book I just can’t pretend that I did and it felt like somebody writing an angry diary of their life trying to make sense of everything; the book seemed to be more written for the personal satisfaction of the author to get something out of all the struggles in this chapter of her life rather than to provide a solid read with enjoyable structure for the reader. It’s harsh but true and this book reminds me of that sort of forced personal story we were all asked to write as part of creative writing during English GCSE lessons.
In fact I never finished the book as it really just wasn’t my style at all. I’m sure that the style is something that will work for some people and that perhaps if they grew up dreaming of being a Spice Girl this will help provide them of some comfort as to why the music industry can be bad and not at all as glamorous as people would like to belief. For me it is a story that would be better told in visual format, such as a short series or a film, rather than in the written form as the way it is written, based on such personal experiences and visuals, would come across much better on a screen than with all the “I” sentences throughout the entire book.
There is certainly an audience out there for this book but I don’t think that intended audience is really me as I’m into quite an intense style of writing with a much deeper and cemented view. I’m used to memoirs by older people and find their writing style to be a bit more in tune with the way that I think (I’m very much a granny at heart) and this is just something so very different. In fact there are a couple of people in my life that might be interested in reading this sort of book because it’s similar to their interests and the sort of books that they often read.
It just didn’t grip me, captivate me or grip me in the way that I wanted it to and it didn’t have the substance in style that I was expecting from it. The cover is super pretty though and is a great representation of all of the content and topics covered within the book but this is one of those sad moments of not judging a book by its cover because it only led to disappointment.
To be clear, I have nothing wrong with the author or her sharing of her experiences. In fact I think it’s an incredibly brave thing to do to open up about such a difficult part of her life. But for me it just isn’t written in a style that I can get behind and that really put me off from reading it. This isn’t a bad book in general it’s just a bad book for me and that says much more about me than it does about the book or Vicky in herself.
*This book was sent to me to review. All thoughts are my own and freely published here without consultation or editing from the author.