Review: Facing the Music and Living to Talk About It

Facing the Music and Living to Talk About ItFacing the Music and Living to Talk About It by Nick Carter
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

[DISCLAIMER: I won a copy of this book on the Goodreads Giveaways]

I turned 30 this year. It was hard to admit, harder to deal with, and I still don't feel like I'm in my 30's. But one thing I promised myself was, I am not going to spend any more time reading books I don't like, just because I have this masochistic tendency to finish every freaking book I start.

Unfortunately, Facing the Music and Living to Talk About It is one of those books that's going to have to be put down and never picked up again. I wanted to get at least 25% of the way through before I let go, just to give it a fair shot. But that 25% was brutal. This is a disorganized, rambling piece of self-help, and it did not do a darn thing for me. What bothered me even more than the "If I can do it, so can you!" reiteration was that he kept saying things like, "I wish I'd written this book sooner so I could have given it to my sister and maybe she wouldn't have died." I know that he didn't mean it to come across as arrogant, but my goodness did this scream "Her death was all my fault even though it wasn't!" I feel for you Nick, I really do, and I wish your sister had gotten better too, but this book was not going to save her life.

I have always had a huge soft spot for Nick Carter. BSB were my boys. Okay not really. But I always loved them, especially Nick. Nick, you are not a writer. You should keep singing, because as you said in your "strengths" chapter, that's what you do best. I love you! Really! I promise!

As a sidenote: When I entered to win this book in the giveaway, there was next to nothing about it being a self-help book. This book, as I remember it, was marketed as an autobiography with bits of advice for people on how to get through the tough times. As you can clearly see, I'm not the only one who had this impression from the description provided back in September. Now, I don't know if the publisher or Goodreads have changed the description several times since then, but I can tell you that what's up there now ("This book is Nick Carter’s autobiography and self-help hybrid in which he chronicles his struggles with a dysfunctional family and the unimaginable rigors of becoming an internationally successful pop-star at the age of 12.") was not up there when I entered the giveaway. If it had actually been autobiography instead of self-help with a few anecdotes about his childhood and time with BSB, I might have liked this. A suggestion to Goodreads, then: Add a time/date-stamp for edits because it's misleading to put up one description and then change it later with no proof of the old description.

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  1. Every TV I watched with Nick promoting his book, and every interview I read about it clearly stated it was a self help book and writing it was cathartic for Nick. Granted many of the gossip sites only picked up on the minuscule amount of discussion about his time with Paris and many fans and non fans were disappointed that it wasn't a tell all with loads of scandalous salacious gossip.
    We don't know what effect the actual book may have had or not had on Leslie's death. We do know that Nick's family very unfairly blamed him for her death. He also admitted on Dr. Phil that he did personally feel guilt for not being a better role model. Sometimes a book written is more help for the person doing the writing, than for those doing the reading. And that is okay. There is no doubt that there have been some remarkable changes in Nick's life over the last 5 years. He simply shared his journey in the way he was able. Frankly for someone with a 7th grade formal education, and all else was self education, he did a damn fine job.

    1. With regard to TV spots, I did not see a single one of those. My desire to read the book was based solely on the description on Goodreads, and because I grew up with the BSB. I didn't read it for gossip; I wanted to know about his life. I felt that not enough time was spent on his life in what I read, too much was focused on repeating himself over and over again with basic self-help jargon.

      I agree that it may have been cathartic for him to write the book, and that's fine. But it just wasn't good reading. Maybe his editor should have given him more guidance, because it was so unfocused and repetitive. Maybe Leslie would have seen how much he cared about her if she read the book, but from what he said in the first quarter of it, it doesn't sound like she would have even bothered. And I feel bad that his family blamed him for it, because it certainly wasn't his fault by any means (her death was her own fault, period), but I really don't think this book would have helped her. I think instead of writing it and stating over and over that he wished she had had this book, he could have focused on the good it can do now (and might do, if he had a better editor who could have brought focus to it).

      Fact is, as a book, it didn't work for me. Many fans have said they liked it, but just as many have said they felt mislead by the original description.


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