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The Woman in Me by Britney Spears Book Review

Reason for Reading This Book:

The Woman in Me by Britney Spears was the book of the month for December 2023 for the The Readheads Podcast Book Club. This is the first time this book club has read a memoir. Outside of the book club I have read many celebrity memoirs this year and in years past. Because of the large amount of publicity that this book had leading up to its release, I had high expectations for it. I am on the younger side of the generation that experienced Britney Spears at the height of her pop-star fame. In recent years I have watched a couple of documentaries on the ‘Free Britney Movement’, so going into the book I was moderately familiar with her life and the conservatorship. I had high expectations for this book in both the information she would provide on her life and in the level of writing as it was written in collaboration with a ghost writer. I listened to this book as an audiobook which was read by Michelle Williams.

 

Content of This Book:

Born and raised in Louisiana, at a young age Britney Spears became a worldwide pop star and icon. Society became obsessed with her music, artistic direction, fashion, and personal life. As with any life in the spotlight there is criticism and control. In Britney's case that control was taken to an extreme level where she was forced into a conservatorship. In June 2021, Britney spoke in court and recounted the oppression and control she had been experiencing in the conservatorship for the past thirteen years. In her memoir, Britney breaks her silence and shares her joinery from a small-town girl in Louisiana to one of the greatest pop stars in the world with the important message of a woman telling her story on her own terms.  

What I Liked About This Book:

The timeline was very clear as it was told mostly in chronological order. For a memoir this is my preference, and the ghost writer successfully organized the book in this way. I am not sure if this choice was a result of the therapy sessions or was a choice made by the ghost writer, but there were constant references and connections to things in her past that resulted in her actions or her choices later in life. Even though I was not the biggest fan of the title of the book and the chosen theme, the theme was consistently referenced and woven into the book from start to finish. With a memoir it is expected that the author/person of focus is open and vulnerable with the reader. I can give credit to Britney for being open with the reader, but I also wanted more in some sections. As I listened to this book as an audiobook, I would also like to give recognition to Michelle Williams who did a fantastic job narrating the book. Another aspect of the book that I liked is that Britney covered her life both personally and professionally from birth until the time she was writing the book. There were some jumps in time of course, but overall the plot encompassed her life up until this point. 

 

What I Disliked About This Book:

The whole time I was reading I was grasping for more. I would hold my breath because I thought Britney was finally going to tell it all, but in reality she did not. I was left with more questions than answers once I finished the book. There were some topics that full details were given but other topics or plot points were skimmed over leaving confusion and questions from the reader. I was reassured by the Readheads that they felt the same way. Since this book was written as a result of a ghost writer sitting in on Britney’s therapy sessions, the publisher and writer had the opportunity to choose a different narration style that would have changed the voice and tone of the book. I would have preferred it to be more interview style with direct quotes from Britney instead of the whole book being in her narration. Because this is a memoir the narration was one-sided, which for some plot points was perfect but for others it made it hard to get the whole picture of the situation. As I mentioned, I have watched documentaries on Britney and her conservatorship. Overall I preferred this form of media to learn about her life and situation because it helped to paint a better picture of all those involved and their reasons for their actions and choices. Since this was a memoir, the reader was only given her side of the story which more times than not was lacking detail or explicit explanations. I understand that this was Britney's time to share her story, but due to the topic of her conservatorship with involved so many people I would have liked the narration to include quotes from others involved similar to what was done in Tommy Hilfiger’s memoir, American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion and Business By Tommy Hilfiger and Peter Knobler.


Would I Recommend This Book?

As a celebrity memoir it is not one of my favorites. I did learn some more about Britney Spears, but overall it let me down more than it satisfied me. I think if you are curious about Britney and have some interest in learning some about her life before, during and a little after the conservatorship than I recommend reading this book, Paris: The Memoir by Paris Hilton a lot more. 


Check out my book reviews for 2023!!

Horse by Geraldine Brooks  
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
Hester by Laurie Pico Albanese
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Environmental and Sustainability Book Reviews 2022
Self-Improvement Book Reviews 2022
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Not All Diamonds and Rosé by Dave Quinn
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham 
Girls With Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman
Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson and Dolly Parton
The Summer Series by Jenny Han
A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives by Brian Moylan
Verity by Colleen Hoover
All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart 
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Majesty: American Royals 2 by Kathrine McGree
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre

Check out my book reviews for 2021!!

2021 Book Rankings

Beach Read By Emily Henry
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Educated by Tara Westover
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 
The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Klara and the Sun 
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
American Duchess by Karen Harper 
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry
Down the Habit Hole by Holly Madison Book Review
My Story by Elizabeth Smart
Layla by Colleen Hoover

Check out my book reviews for 2020!!

Check out my book reviews for 2019!!

Check out my book reviews from 2018!!


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