Being unfiltered — while brazenly insisting that nothing is sacred — clearly enticed the publishers of Philipps’s memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little. For their sake, and that of her 1.3 million Instagram followers, she gamely opens up about her sometimes-fraught family life in suburban Arizona, her devastating early sexual experiences, including a teenage abortion, and all the withering ways the industry has continued to break her heart. After two decades in Hollywood, she writes, 'the rejection has never gotten easier for me.' ... for fans who hang on to her every diet tip and sweaty workout, Philipps’s unabashed unabashedness is exactly what they came for.
...In prose marked by all-caps, exclamation points, and the names of those who’ve wronged her, Philipps takes readers through her life, starting with a bumpy Arizona adolescence, a tumultuous time distinguished by a lousy relationship with her parents, intoxicants, date rape, and far less grievous betrayals ... Philipps excavates the early days of her career and relationship with Tom Hanks’ son, then moves on to the vagaries of life as a mid-career actress: Hollywood parties, misogyny, snubs, backstabbing, real estate, and frozen yogurt. Last comes marriage and children and, with them, a midlife resolution: 'THIS IS WHO I AM NOW.'
Her Instagram followers will recognize the Philipps who just puts herself out there...Here I am, everybody! Do you love me? LOVE ME! And it’s hard not to. (Unless all-caps bothers you. Then you may have issues with this book.) ... Flaws? Some parts in the middle drag a bit, and although her ex-boyfriends are an important part of her story, some of them are, well, not all that interesting ... Her voice is clear, bright and engaging — 'sparkly,' to borrow her word. It’s earned her a place on the shelf between Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Amy Poehler’s Yes Please.
In a book that often reads like a Real World confessional or an open diary, the Cougar Town star bares all in recounting her rise to fame: from childhood passion to become an actress to fraught teen years getting in with the wrong crowd and terminating a pregnancy to facing sexism in Hollywood to dating Colin Hanks to landing a role on Dawson’s Creek to countless failed auditions to falling in love with and then considering divorcing her husband. While the honesty is refreshing, much like her Instagram persona, the narrative occasionally comes across as narcissistic ... while the author is quick to point the finger, she's also her own harshest critic. In explaining her Instagram use, she writes, 'the reason I started the stories…was because I was lonely.' ... Ultimately, the book is a page-turner, albeit one in which the need for the readers’ approval is felt on nearly every page.