About the Book:
This was supposed to be a very different book. Five years ago, Jessica Simpson was approached to write a motivational guide to living your best life. She walked away from the offer, and nobody understood why. The truth is that she didn’t want to lie.
Jessica couldn’t be authentic with her readers if she wasn’t fully honest with herself first.
Now America’s Sweetheart, preacher’s daughter, pop phenomenon, reality tv pioneer, and the billion-dollar fashion mogul invites readers on a remarkable journey, examining a life that blessed her with the compassion to help others, but also burdened her with an almost crippling need to please. Open Book is Jessica Simpson using her voice, heart, soul, and humor to share things she’s never shared before.
First celebrated for her voice, she became one of the most talked-about women in the world, whether for music and fashion, her relationship struggles, or as a walking blonde joke. But now, instead of being talked about, Jessica is doing the talking. Her book shares the wisdom and inspirations she’s learned and shows the real woman behind all the pop-culture cliché’s — “chicken or fish,” “Daisy Duke,” “football jinx,” “mom jeans,” “sexual napalm…” and more. Open Book is an opportunity to laugh and cry with a close friend, one that will inspire you to live your best, most authentic life, now that she is finally living hers.
Includes the songs “Heartbeat”, “Practice What You Preach”, “Sweet Temptation”, “Your Fool” (featuring Willie Nelson), “Party of One”, and “Free Will” by Jessica Simpson.
‘Open Book’ might be my most surprising book of 2020! I have never had any special interest at all in Jessica Simpson but I found myself googling many of the incidences she describes in her fascinating memoir.
The book is filled with insightful revelations about her past relationships, as well as a frank discussion of her often tumultuous upbringing. I found many of the passages to be incredibly poignant, from the time that the music industry powerhouse Tommy Mottola told a then-118 pound Jessica Simpson to lose 15 pounds, to her botched audition for the Disney Channel. The book is funny and folksy and honest. I loved the charming way she often spoke directly to the listener, as well as her narration of the audiobook. She is often very emotional while reading passages of the book, which I liked but some readers found to be off-putting.
Her Texas accent comes though loud and strong in the audiobook so that Yale becomes “Yell” and “huge business deal” becomes “huge business dill”. I found it to be a very endearing and part of the charm of this book!
Because Jessica grew up as the daughter of a Baptist preacher, there is a lot of discussion about her faith. If that bothers you then you probably won’t love this book. Jessica Simpson does not hold anything back here so that is just a very important part of who she is. I found it fascinating. A girl who was not allowed to drink alcohol then grew up with an addiction to alcohol.
As with Demi Moore’s outstanding autobiography, this book begins with Jessica reaching the end of her rope with an addiction. One Halloween she got so drunk from her ever-present vodka-filled glitter cup that she knew she had to change. Part of that was confronting her past trauma which ranged from minor to major. She had been vilified in the press for everything from her weight to her boyfriends to the break-up of her marriage to Nick Lachey. This is all recounted in great detail due in large part to the journals Jessica has kept since she was young.
There is lots of juicy celebrity gossip in this book, from John Mayer to Nick Lachey to the role her father Joe played in her career and life. (She is much kinder to her mother Tina in this book.) Jessica Simpson is certainly a smart businesswoman, having made a creative deal with Vince Camuto (!) to manufacture her Jessica Simpson line, which, by the way, has sold more than $1 billon dollars.
Bonus with the audiobook: there are songs at the end, including a duet with Willie Nelson. (They’re good!) Ever the brilliant marketer, Jessica Simpson now has me listening to her songs on repeat! This is a vulnerable and brutally honest autobiography that sheds light on fame, addiction and recovery. Highly recommend!