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This isn’t the best book I’ve read all year, but it’s certainly the most surprising. I was expecting Mariah Carey(the glamorous award-winning diva) to fill a few frivolous pages with brand names, romantic liaisons and shady entertainment gossip with a few childhood anecdotes sprinkled in. What I was not expecting was Mariah Carey(the wife, mother, neglected child and ferociously smart and talented musical prodigy) to delve deep into her painful childhood, abusive first marriage, complex feelings about being biracial, life parallels to Marilyn Monroe, and so many other things. Mariah is stunningly vulnerable and thoughtful about her messy, unloving family and her poor relationship choices, but also isn’t shy about her drive, talent, business savvy and massive dreams. I’ve always loved her music but found her public persona a bit flighty and shallow. This book makes a fool of me for judging — this woman is amazing, relatable and remarkably intelligent in her introspections. I’m sure she owes some of this to co-writer Michaela Angela Davis, but the partnership is perfect–the text comes across very authentically Mariah, and you can hear her voice in the pages.⠀
There is some celebrity dish here, of course–dalliances with Luis Miguel and Derek Jeter, a surprising friendship with Da Brat, tales of carousing in Harlem with Dipset, and a lot of behind-the-music moments–but the bulk of the book is musings on the diva’s lonely, dangerous childhood, early career and strained marriage to mogul Tommy Mottola. Mariah is much more connected to hip-hop and the Black American glitterati than I thought, and a lot of the people she’s close to and behind the scenes partnerships kind of surprised me. Until Carey gets closure on her first divorce, the book is really compelling– but after that it loses steam and becomes a bit less personal, reading more like the silly celeb memoir that it looks like. It’s still fun, but you get the sense that there are parts of her life Mariah hasn’t emotionally metabolized yet, and as expected, they’re not as openly discussed or as deep. The parts that are more than make up for it, IMO. ⠀
Oh, and she only mentions Nick Cannon in one chapter, near the end. 😜⠀
5 stars and a whistle tone trill to The Meaning Of Mariah Carey.
(Thanks for reading, beautiful people! Whether you’re a Lamb or not(I’m not) you’ll probably get something out of this book. Just know that if you purchase the book through any links on this page, a commission will be earned because we have affiliate partnerships with sites like Bookshop. Peace!)
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