Sunday, March 12, 2017

*Review* #BeatTheBacklist - Sorry Not Sorry by Naya Rivera

Genre: Memoir
Published: September 13, 2016
Pages: 253


Funny and deeply personal, Sorry Not Sorry recounts Glee star Naya Rivera's successes and missteps, urging young women to pursue their dreams and to refuse to let past mistakes define them.

Navigating through youth and young adulthood isn't easy, and in Sorry Not Sorry, Naya Rivera shows us that we're not alone in the highs, lows, and in-betweens. Whether it's with love and dating, career and ambition, friends, or gossip, Naya inspires us to follow our own destiny and step over--or plod through--all the crap along the way. After her rise and fall from early childhood stardom, barely eking her way through high school, a brief stint as a Hooters waitress, going through thick and thin with her mom/manager, and resurrecting her acting career as Santana Lopez on Glee, Naya emerged from these experiences with some key life lessons:

-  All those times I scrawled "I HATE MY MOM" in my journal. So many moms and teenage daughters don't get along--we just have to realize it's nothing personal on either side.
-  At-home highlights and DIY hair extensions. Some things are best left to the experts, and hair dye is one of them.
-  Falling in love with the idea of a person, instead of the actual person.

Not Sorry:
-  That I don't always get along with everyone. Having people not like you is a risk you have to take to be real, and I'll take that over being fake any day.
-  Laughing at the gossip instead of getting upset by it.
-  Getting my financial disasters out of the way early--before I was married or had a family--so that the only credit score that I wrecked was my own.

Even with a successful career and a family that she loves more than anything else, Naya says, "There's still a thirteen-year-old girl inside of me making detailed lists of how I can improve, who's never sure of my own self-worth." Sorry Not Sorry is for that thirteen-year-old in all of us.


I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program in the hopes that I would leave an honest review. 

This book was one of my most desired wins on Goodreads. I literally squealed when I got the email informing me that I'd won, because I'm a big fan of Santana on Glee. Actually, my feelings for Santana are kind of love/hate types of feelings because she's really not a nice person for quite a while, but she grows on you in the end. Reading about Naya's feelings playing her actually validated those feelings really. At least she was supposed to come across that way, it seems. I'd say the part of the book where Naya talks about her time on Glee was probably my favorite, because that is the part of her career that I'm familiar with. 

At the same time, it was really interesting to me to learn about her life growing up as a child actor of color. At times, it almost seemed like because of her mother's drive, her ability to memorize lines, and her skin tone, she almost had it easy when it came to finding work, as long as the people casting were looking for someone "exotic" aka, not white. And I doubt she actually had it easy, but the way she talks about it in the book, it seems that way at times. 

When Naya was talking about her now ex-husband, it made me feel a little sad, because while she was writing that part of the book at least, she seemed to be so in love with him, and now just a few months after the book released, they're divorced. And that's sad. 

Now I'm not really the target audience for this book. It's really aimed for the high school crowd. It's got some pretty decent advice to hopefully keep them from making some of the same mistakes that Naya made in her youth, although sometimes you really have to make the mistakes yourself to really learn from them (Naya would agree with me, because I'm pretty sure I took that from her book.) But even though I'm not the target audience, I really enjoyed being invited down memory lane with Naya, and I may have learned a thing or two as well, maybe. 

Overall I give Sorry Not Sorry 5 out of 5 stars because I absolutely flew through it and loved pretty much every minute of it. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Naya Rivera is an actress and singer from Valencia, California. For six seasons, she played Santana Lopez on the hit show Glee. As a child, she appeared on Family MattersThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Royal Family. She now lives with her husband, son, and two dogs in Los Angeles.

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