It's Messy: Essays on Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women

In It's Messy: Essays on Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women, media personality Amanda de Cadenet turns her acclaimed interviewing style inward and offers her own story in 13 empowering essays. "This is not a self-help book," she quickly clarifies, and "it is not a diary." Instead, it's a memoir of a creative life lived under a near-constant spotlight.

Born to a racecar driver and model, De Cadenet is no stranger to celebrity; its culture is firmly her milieu. At 15, she began hosting the London television show The Word and became a tabloid fixture. By 19, she'd married a rock star, had a baby and begun a new career as a photographer--becoming the youngest woman to shoot a Vogue magazine cover.

Naturally, bumps riddled the road: drugs and squatting, a night in a police station and a stint in juvenile detention. As for sex, she begins one chapter with a disclaimer to her daughter: "Do not read this chapter, as it will creep you out. TMI about my sex life."

It's Messy isn't literature--it's not trying to be--and is heavy on name-dropping. But de Cadenet writes with deliberate self-awareness, deftly reflecting on serious topics like addiction, domestic abuse and sexism, treading uncomfortable but important territory. And all the while, she maintains a casual, unpretentious tone that fans will recognize from her talk show The Conversation. It's messy, but in a good way, with frankness alongside moments of fragility, defiance and grace. --Katie Weed, freelance writer and reviewer

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