Once You’re A Princess You Never Stop (Princess Diarist – A Book Review)

The Princess Diarist
Author: Carrie Fisher
Published: 2016
On Goodreads

Princess Diarist - goodreads

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I liked being Princess Leia. Or Princess Leia being me. Over time I thought we’d melded into one…So Princess Leia are us.

It’s the story all Star Wars fans have been craving since the beginning. Carrie Fisher, with her wit and sharp sense of self, telling the story that’s been kept safely hidden in her diaries that she’d long forgotten about from her days as Princess Leia of Alderaan and rebel leader oof the rebellion. Rediscovering the words of her youth and naivety, she navigates through the life she had as a princess and how she looks back on it. Intimate and revealing from one of the most popular sets of all time, as well as behind the scenes of it. Outright hilarious and entertaining, Carrie Fisher tells all and she’s not censoring any of it. Not the cringeworthy audition or the truth of the ship: Carrison.

 

To this day, I still miss Carrie Fisher. The woman had a powerful voice whether she realized it or not. A part of me just thinks that she thought she was just being frank, loud, and giving no fucks, which is also possible. I wonder if she knew that she was more than a sex icon, a space princess, and a woman with astounding comedy. But, that she was also the rebel for people who wished they could be heard. She was that for me, and I don’t just say that because I can relate to her and we shared the same birthday. She carried a power to be inspiring and bold, and to never let anyone bring down, especially if you bring yourself down already. If someone was being an asshole she told them. That’s important. It’s important to speak up for yourself. I wish she were still here.

On to the book!

I adored this book as I adore one of my favorite outspoken and bold rebels and heroes, Carrie Fisher. I also loved LOVED Star Wars. One hell of an epic space adventure. Her style of writing matched that over her voice and the way she approaches everything she is and does to a perfect tee. I could hear her so clearly in my head as if she were directly telling me her story and I was just sitting there like a little kid with their legs crossed and their chin propped in their hands, enthralled by this story.

Scarlet Reader - Princess Diarist

The story is one only she can tell and I loved that she told it. I’ve only ever heard a few bitts here and there about her time on Star Wars; the most popular one is her time not wearing a bra because there were no bras in space. I loved it even more that she was bluntly honest, even when she couldn’t entirely recall specific details. That’s how it is when you tell a story. You don’t always remember everything and sometimes you have to go back when you do. It’s okay. She knew the story and knew it was hers. The fact that not all of the pieces were there doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. She knew it did. THAT’S what mattered. These moments also provided humor.

And there was so much humor. I was giggling up a storm. And while there were these moments that I felt like I could laugh with her, there were moments that were very serious in her life. Moments that she worried and wondered what the hell she was doing and that’s the way it is for all of us. The moments regarding her mother, Debbie, and her…fling-a-ring-ting?…with Harrison weren’t just spotlights, but human moments that she was just trying to navigate. The drama was there, but so was reality, mingling with it, even though sometimes they got a little lost.

In the midst, the epicenter, of this bewildering story were some of the actual pages of her diary from her time on Star Wars. From prose to poetry to exploration blerbs, her thoughts are laid bare in some of the most incredible writing I’ve ever come across. Vivid with emotions, I was blown away.

Don’t offer me love

I seek disinterest and denial

Tenderness makes my skin crawl

Understanding is vile

When you offer me happiness

You offer too much

My ideal is a long-lasting longing

For someone whom I cannot quite touch

(p.125)

Within these pages, Carrie Fisher has answered a question that feels like it’s more to herself than it is the to the world. How does she separate from Princess Leia? Does it bother her that that’s how people will see her forever? Speaking for myself, I know she’s much more than a princess, though that’s how I came to know her at first. Hell, one time she was a nun (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), but that’s besides the point. She answered the grand questions with humorous humility, in knowing that she is this princess and that without her, her life would never be what it was. And she’d never change a thing. No regrets. For that, I’m glad.

 

Overall

This is a book that really captured me. Definitely one I had to keep both hands on (metaphorically) in order to keep up with it. It was special to get such a close glimpse at something so special for Carrie Fisher. From how the story of Star Wars unfolded to her time spent alone in the dark with Harrison to the conventions that she attended, she divulged more than I expected and her take on this entire adventure with met with nothing but love and light. I loved it. It’s made the loss of such a strong and beautiful and interesting figure that much heavier.

 

Quotables:

“Kidding yourself doesn’t require that you have a sense of humor. But a sense of humor comes in handy for almost everything else.” (p. 12)

“I’m no liar. I need you to trust that or stop reading. Recollections might differ with regard to the smaller details, but I don’t think my perceptions are distorted.” (p. 51)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper.

 

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Lights. Camera. Flickers. (The Girls in the Picture – A Book Review)

The Girls in the Picture
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Published: Jan. 16th, 2018 (ARC)

Girls in the Picture - Scarlet Reader

 

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

1 of 25

A memory of a different time, a different color, a different door…

Before there were movies and television shows there were the silent films and the talkies. It was the beginning of film. At the forefront of this revolution from theatre to black and white there was Mary Pickford and Frances Marion, friends and feminist duo. These two ladies were much more than that; they were innovators and artists in a time when the world was considered no place for a woman to work, a man’s world.

With all of this fame came the struggles that tested their relationship, their sisterhood. Through the abuse of men, heartbreak, loss, there were times that they nearly lost each other as well as themselves. During a time of war both across the world and in the industry, these strong women held on to their dreams, gaining fame and respect, earning their places in Hollywood history among the first women to earn Academy Awards for their extraordinary talent: Frances for her screenwriting and Mary for her acting.

This book is a part of my New Year’s Resolution to read from 25 authors I haven’t read from before. This marks 1 of 25. I’m very excited about this being numero uno, too. I received ARC from Random House Publishing. It was delivered to our store and I was grateful to receive a copy. Truly.

I remember when The Swans of Fifth Avenue came out and I really wanted to read it. I haven’t had a chance to yet, but I am ecstatic to have read The Girls in the Picture. I love movies. I love my television shows. I love film. Casablanca is one of my favorite romances, but so is A Walk to Remember. To get a wonderful vision of the birth of film was breathtaking for me. There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t ooohhhing and aaaahhhing at the glamorous parts or gasping at some of the horrifying moments that took place behind the camera as well as in front of it. Melanie wrote about a subject that I’m in love and utterly passionate with. It made me very happy to read this historical novel. It wasn’t typical whatsoever.

It wasn’t just with the time period that I followed the lovely Mary Pickford and Frances Marion through, but the language that guided their story and swept me away, like Dorothy to Oz. Oh, I was in such a wispy dream. In the midst of reading this book I was looking up the adventures of Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks on YouTube and there they were in black and white. It was very interesting. Each character was so wonderfully written. I had a clear vision of all of them.

girls in the picture

There wasn’t a detail amiss as I went through the years with these women. I do have to say, my favorite part was when Frances had no idea where to put her first Academy Award so she used it as a doorstop. It was so normal and simple. I imagine there are special shelves for such awards and for Frances it was on the floor, keeping her doors from closing. At least it had a use. LOL.

Even more, I learned an incredible amount about what it meant to work in the entertainment industry at this time in history. You acted, edited and cut your own work. It was never just one job. You did everything to help make a flicker or silent movie. And all of the make-up one had to wear? One might as well have been wearing a mask. Dialogue didn’t hit the screen until moviegoers started to read lips and that’s when Frances got her true beginning, her niche and  it was like watching a real star being born and seeing it’s twinkle turn into a bright shine. As the girl with curls, Mary Pickford gained notoriety by using her shine in front of the camera. The love of the people gave her life and all of this? The entire journey? It left my heart tingling. I have been inspired.

The feminism of this book was powerful. Frances and Mary strived and worked hard to achieve their success at a time when they were expected to be baby-makers and home caretakers and not much more. The business of Hollywood is no joke. There’s so much chaos and dirt underneath the glitz and glam of shiny stars. If you’ve been reading the headlines lately, you know what I mean. #MeToo and the amazing solidarity shown at the Golden Globes is a powerful movement. I hope it moves forward to help women and many others who have been treated unfairly to gain equality. Both of the women in the book struggled against men in power to be treated with respect and to prove that they could handle whatever stood in their way.

girls in the Picture

This is such a beautiful book. I loved it very much as you can tell. I don’t have any bones to pick. It’s certainly a must-read. The book comes out on Jan. 16th, 2018. That’s less than a week, folks. Go get a copy ASAP.

Quotables:

“Then I looked up at the stars. They were so close they looked as if, with one poke of my finger, they might scatter, like brilliant billiard balls.” (Francis, p. 81)

“I was one of them. The only woman swimming upstream up a river of men.” (Frances, p. 207)

“When you’re older, looking at your younger self is like at a promise you couldn’t keep. But still, you look, you marvel. You remember.” (Mary, p. 228)

“The sins you do two by two, you pay for one by one.” (doctor, p. 316)

“Before the nightmare, there was paradise.” (Frances, p. 339)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? This Is What Makes Us Girls by Lana Del Rey

 

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