Thank you to the ever wonderful Kelsey Manning at Touchstone Books for my copy of This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps. All thoughts and images are my own.
Title: This Will Only Hurt a Little
Author: Busy Philipps
Pub date: October 16, 2018
Read if you like: laughing, crying, people who are just freaking real. Celebrity memoirs with heart, like Bossypants and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?.
This is one of my favorite celebrity memoirs I have ever read. Busy’s story is the perfect combination of shit that gets real and the (occasional) glitz and glam of Hollywood. Spoiler alert: things are not nearly as glamorous as they seem. Philipps and her husband struggled for years with affording the life people assumed they would have. Work as an actress is never for sure, and life with two kids is expensive. And she lays it all out there.
But Philipps doesn’t start there. She starts at the very beginning. We grow up with her, from a young girl to the boss creator she is now, and all of the other versions of her along the way. Philipps’s writing about her experience growing up speaks to a true part of me – to the kid with anxiety who knew how crippling it was but didn’t know how to express it (or even that she should express it in the first place). She so aptly captures those feelings I held privately for so long. Partly because I had no words with which to talk about it, partly because I didn’t know that I needed to talk about it.
Other experiences we do not share. The experience of the loss of her virginity was completely heart breaking for me to read. In true Busy fashion, it is impeccably written. It is raw and honesty and puts you painfully there in the moment. There was a moment where I genuinely felt my heart crack. All she writes about her teenage years is truthful and vulnerable and incredibly important.
But this memoir is also so fun. Philipps hit the ground running as an actress when she started college in California and fought for the moments she got in the limelight. It was a roller coaster, and the highs are incredibly high. I laughed out loud at her depiction of the Disney cruise she went on with her entire family. There is light in this book.
Finally, I’ve never been a mother, but I was incredibly moved by Philipps’s frankness about her experience with her mental health while pregnant with each of her two daughters. And with her honesty about her choice to have an abortion as a teenager. Throughout this memoir, she gained me as a true fan, through her humor and candor.
Read this book. It will make you laugh and cry and happy and sad. Philipps deserves your time.
Interested in This Will Only Hurt a Little?
Synopsis: (as told by the back of the book)
A memoir by the beloved comedic actress known for her roles on Freaks and Geeks, Dawson’s Creek, and Cougar Town who has become “the breakout star on Instagram stories…imagine I Love Lucy mixed with a modern lifestyle guru” (The New Yorker).
Busy Philipps’s autobiographical book offers the same unfiltered and candid storytelling that her Instagram followers have come to know and love, from growing up in Scottsdale, Arizona and her painful and painfully funny teen years, to her life as a working actress, mother, and famous best friend.
Busy is the rare entertainer whose impressive arsenal of talents as an actress is equally matched by her storytelling ability, sense of humor, and sharp observations about life, love, and motherhood. Her conversational writing reminds us what we love about her on screens large and small. From film to television to Instagram, Busy delightfully showcases her wry humor and her willingness to bare it all.
I’ve been waiting my whole life to write this book. I’m just so grateful someone asked. Otherwise, what was the point of any of it?