PositiveThe Washington PostThose in search of salacious tidbits will be disappointed. The nearest Ridgeley comes to dropping any bombs is carping about Michael’s obsession with his hair ... What emerges instead is a tender, admiring tribute to Michael, whom Ridgeley repeatedly calls his best friend. The tone is affable and light on analysis ... for fans of ’80s pop, it’s an engaging, breezy read ... Some of Michael’s fans will likely wish that this memoir was more revealing, but others will be grateful that their idol had a steadfast friend like Ridgeley.
Sara Quin and Tegan Quin
PositiveThe Washington Post[Readers] should find plenty of solace in High School ... A sort of anti-yearbook, it’s not likely to make anyone nostalgic for their teen years ... The Quins are skilled writers with an eye for detail ... Both women deftly capture the messy complexities of being twins ... By the book’s end, the reader is nearly as eager to leave high school as they are. This is not a knock. They write so viscerally about the mundaneness and despair and occasional highs, chemical and otherwise, of being a teen that it revived, for me, some long-buried memories I had hoped to leave behind forever ... High School has the immediacy and intimacy of a diary, but it also suffers from the stream-of-consciousness verbosity of the form: a litany of drugs, crushes on girls, raucous parties at the pot-smoke-clouded house of an older dude named Rick. And while the book adeptly captures the searing pain of being a teenager, the sisters don’t offer any insight as adults.
MixedThe Washington PostBushnell’s voice is as knowing and sharp as ever ... As usual, female bonds are a godsend, but also the book’s weakness, as Bushnell toggles fitfully between her own story and those of many friends, and even friends of friends — most of whom are so lightly sketched that it’s hard to care about them. Nor is it easy to relate to some of their problems ... more ruminative than the original; winding through the amusing anecdotes is a vivid current of fear ... This dread of irrelevance is worth exploring in greater depth. Instead, she backs away and pivots to a story — a plodding 17-page story — about being hoodwinked into buying $4,000 face cream. It’s a missed opportunity, one of several in the book.
MixedThe Washington PostUsing advice that is entertainingly bizarre — and frequently galling — [Oneill] explores topics such as conception, pregnancy, education and recreation. Chapter titles are acidly funny ... Oneill’s general cheekiness can occasionally be her undoing. Some of the terminology she uses gets too cute. She often uses a Q&A format in which a \'reader\' asks questions, but the jokey repartee, while funny, can grow wearisom. It’s unnecessary, because Oneill is so adept at extracting intriguing historical tidbits ... Oneill warns early in the book that she wrote it to entertain and inform, and would only address, but not dwell on, how miserable that era was for so many children. When she does veer from the snark, however, it’s welcome ... serves as a reminder that pseudoscience is hardly a relic of the past ... Oneill’s irreverent guide is a reality check for those who might romanticize the era of strict self-discipline and unchallenged parental authority.
PositiveThe Washington PostA sweetly wistful collection ... touching ... Older readers, however, may feel like Gandalf the Grey ... wanders pleasantly along ... Jacobson asks more questions than she answers, which is as it should be.
PositiveThe Washington PostIn 1982, when she was 16, Justine Bateman landed the role of Mallory Keaton in Family Ties. In the era of three networks and \'appointment television,\' tens of millions of viewers saw Bateman every week; she became instantly famous. As she writes in Fame: The Hijacking of Reality, it was heady stuff for a teenager: backstage passes, freebies, a helicopter ride to the Super Bowl to skip traffic ... Bateman addresses the reader directly, pouring out her thoughts in a rapid-fire, conversational style. Cascading along in this stream of consciousness is a torrent of sentence fragments, f-bombs, myriad points made in ALL CAPS...But her jittery delivery suits the material.