Choices: To The Hills And Back Again // Book Review

About The Book
From the star of MTV’s The Hills and The Hills: New Beginnings, a candid and insightful reflection on aughts tabloid fame, the powerlessness and loss of self in toxic situations, and the life-changing power of even our smallest choices.
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My Rating

I’m a die hard Laguna Beach and The Hills fan, so when I heard Audrina was releasing a “tell-all” book, I knew I had to read it. She offers an inside look at being a reality TV star, her strained friendship with Lauren Conrad and ex Justin Bobby.

The one thing I try to keep in mind when reading memoir type books is that this one person’s experiences. In the book, she describes what it was like becoming a celebrity at just 19 years old. However, I felt as though she complained about her experience while still talking about how great it was to be a celebrity.

Although, I understand that some things can be bittersweet and that’s what it seems like being in The Hills was for her. She liked all the opportunities she was given, but not being on camera 24/7. And, she even mentioned how the producers would edit a lot of scenes and try to create drama.

She describes how she felt like she was playing a character. There was her true self and then there was Audrina from The Hills. I can understand that sometimes it’s easier to just give in and play the part.

There was a complete chapter on her relationship with Justin. I think she handled that topic very well, and didn’t throw a ton of shade at him. She mentioned how he changed a bit throughout filming the show, and fame can really do that to a person. She even mentioned where their relationship stands today.

One thing that was interesting was how she described Lauren Conrad, in the book. Audrina seemed a bit salty towards her. She stated that Lauren was a controlling friend, almost bordering on “Mean Girls” territory. She talk about how they aren’t friends anymore, but friendly to each other. Yet, she also threw shade at Stephanie Pratt as well, calling her a drama seeker and untrustworthy.

“I believe that if you don’t learn your lesson, you’re going to keep circling back to it until you do, going through versions of the same events with different people until you can finally open your eyes to what to do differently.”

However, she has mostly nice things to say about Heidi Pratt and Kristin Cavallari. So, it begs the question if her opinions are skewed towards who her friends are. Remember, there are two sides to every story.

Audrina did touch on her toxic relationship with ex-husband Corey Bohan. From the moment she detailed their relationship you could tell the red flags. But, even she herself admits that she tried to ignore his jealousy and anger. She also talks about being in therapy to help her understand why she accepted the abuse and stayed in the relationship.

The majority of the book was about her time with Corey and all the trauma she went through. I can see how it must have been a form of closure for her to tell her truth. It isn’t easy to share intimate details of one’s private life, even more so the darker parts.

I throughly enjoyed hearing about her experiences and how she’s still working through things. She didn’t play the victim, but instead shared what was going on in her mind at the time. And, she never made excuses for Corey’s bad behavior towards her, or his lack of parenting of their daughter.

Overall, it’s so hard to rate memoirs since they’re so personal. This was an okay read and it made me remember her short lived reality show ‘Audrina’. I can’t believe I watched that. Although, this book would be great for anyone that has gone through or is in a toxic relationship. It was, at it’s core, a letter from Audrina to her daughter Keira, which I found to be incredibly sweet.

In the comments, let me know if you were a bigger fan of ‘Laguna Beach’ or ‘The Hills’. I’m going to say that Laguna will always have my heart, but ‘The Hills’ was where the drama was at.

Until The Next Chapter,

Friday Reads #11

Hi Friends,
I haven’t done a Friday reads post in a while, so I thought it would be fun to share my weekend reading plans. This weekend the Summer Mixtape Readathon is set to end, which I have been participating in. And, I only have one book left to read for the readathon. Now that’s enough chitchat let’s talk books.

Nightmare Before Christmas fans rejoice! Long Live the Pumpkin Queen picks up where the beloved film left off, with Sally in her new role as the Queen of Halloween Town. This delightful return to The Nightmare Before Christmas universe is sure to appeal to fans old and new.”

“From the star of MTV’s The Hills and The Hills: New Beginnings, a candid and insightful reflection on aughts tabloid fame, the powerlessness and loss of self in toxic situations, and the life-changing power of even our smallest choices.”

“The instant #1 New York Times bestseller! Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling breakout debut Caraval. A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.”

Although, these are the books I’m planning to read this weekend I am not sure if I will read them all. Especially since I’ve become a mood reader. Honestly, I might just end up reading whatever I’m in the mood for at that moment. In the comments, tell me what you will be reading this weekend. Please support my book blog by giving it a quick follow.

Until The Next Chapter,

Sylvia Aguilar-Zéleny And Meghan Rienks // 2-In-1 Book Review

Hi Friends,
There are some books that I read, but don’t have enough thoughts to dedicate a whole review to. I decided that, in those cases, I would do mini review posts. So, I will be doing shorter reviews for multiple books in this post. Here, I will be reviewing a middle-grade and and a sort-of-memoir. I hope you enjoy!

“The Everything I Have Lost” by Sylvia Aguilar-Zéleny
2.5/5.0 Stars
*I received an ARC of the audiobook from Netgalley*
This is a hard-hitting contemporary middle-grade, told through a young girl’s diary entries. I found this to be a very impactful story that deals with some serious topics. The narrator did a wonderful job bringing the main character to life, and I felt all of her emotions. I knew going into the story that it would be sad and touching. It gave a look at the differences between living in Juarez, as compared to El Paso, which was interesting to hear about.

However, there were some plot points that left me feeling uneasy. There was an incest incident that was unsettling and glossed-over. Also, one of the characters was shamed for being plus-sized, called Fat Nelly. However, the book is told from the perspective of a 12-year-old, so I tried to ignore the stereotyping. I wouldn’t exactly call this a middle-grade read, since the subject matter is heavy. But if you are looking for a bridge between tween and young adult, you might want to give this one a try.

“You’re Not Special” by Meghan Rienks
2.5/5.0 Stars
A person has to be pretty awesome for me to want to pick up their memoir. The life of YouTuber Meghan Rienks wouldn’t exactly be one I would usually care to read. However, I heard a rumor that it talked about her falling out with her mother, so it piqued my interest. This is mainly because I used to see her mom in her vlogmas videos, and they seemed to have a good relationship. First, I want to note that I never really watched Meghan’s YouTube channel, but I have seen some of her vlogs. No shade to her, I just always found her personality to be over-the-top and unauthentic. I think she overacts in her videos.

Anyhow, the book is tagged as sort-of-memoir, where she tells stories and gives real advice. I found the deeper parts of the book engaging and interesting. Learning about her struggles with alcohol and strained parental relationship were the best parts of the book. They were the most honest and unfiltered chapters as well. However, most of the book was filled with random, silly anecdotes with pop-culture references. This could be her inner YouTuber coming forth. In my opinion, much of the book could have been a story-time video. I got the impression that she was trying too hard to keep the reader engaged with her tips and witty one-liners. My biggest issues with the book was that it blurred the lines between memoir and self-help book. It was too all-over-the-place for me to truly enjoy.

I can’t wait to do more of these 2-in-1 mini book reviews. Don’t worry, though – I will still be doing solo reviews as well. I would love to know if any of you have read either on these books. If you have, leave your thoughts in the comments. Please like and share this post with all your bookish friends.

Until The Next Chapter,