busy phillips book review

A Book Review: 'This Will Only Hurt A Little' By Busy Phillips

Through the tales of her new-found fame and life under the lights, Busy Phillips takes her audience a trip down memory lane accompanied by a flood nostalgia.

Larissa Hamblin

Busy Phillips is best known for her acting in "Freaks and Geeks," "Dawson's Creek" and "Cougar Town," but now the strong, independent and downright hilarious woman takes on the book world with her memoir "This Will Only Hurt A Little."

The 308-page novel is jam-packed with humor, heartbreak, and stark reality. She details her painstakingly real childhood, growing up with a sister she didn't see eye-to-eye with, as well as a mother whose parenting style doesn't quite mirror Busy's hopes as she got older.

As you travel through the pages and stages of her life, we feel her pain as she struggles with being the friend who was never quite pretty or confident enough for the boys, while her friends always seemed to knock them out of the park. We experience her first boyfriend, her first heartbreak and her first rape. Yes, first rape. And then she takes us through her life thereafter, trying to navigate the difference between right and wrong, figuring out that the sexual assault wasn't her fault.

She makes us feel her guilt, her various types of pain as she tries to stop blaming herself for every time she was done wrong by someone else. She shows us that she recognizes faults, including her own. Phillips never puts the blame on others for situations that have mentally affected her throughout her years but understands the two sides and difference of perspectives.

Probably the most prominent part of the book, the audience is taken through her acting career, from all her best moments to the times she felt worthless. She battles with understanding her worth and how to stand up to men while she tries to climb her way up to stardom. After being screwed over in a movie idea and also being fat-shamed for not being a typical, ultra skinny actress, she begins to recognize that the attitudes toward her are not her own fault but the fault of the industry. For having a normal, healthy body, she's made to feel plus-sized and obscured by other female counterparts.

She takes us through love, heartbreak, and devastation, as we travel through breakup and marriage. We become friends with the casts from "Freaks and Geeks" and "Dawson's Creek," and we even get a glimpse inside intimate relationships, romantic and platonic. We begin to see Michelle Williams in a new, intense light compared to the sometimes shady light drafted upon her. To say it plainly, the book is star-studded, so if you're in for a good name drop, it's a good pick for you.

Blunt, brutal and beautiful, her words are captivating, regardless of the severity of the topic the chapter provides. She calls out former co-star James Franco for being not only an emotional bully but for being physically aggressive toward her. Although headlines everywhere focus on her casting his name in an ill manner, what she writes is not about him, it's about her and the abusive nature of Hollywood toward women and how men are often excused for their actions, big and small.

This is a very no-holds-barred kind of book, with her constantly pushing barriers and changing mindsets. After reading the book, I feel like I could topple the patriarchy, so if you need a mood lifter, be sure to check out Busy's book.

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