May 12, 2012

Review: Ricki Lake - Never Say Never

Ricki Lake - Never Say Never

• Pub Date: April 17, 2012
• Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
• Format: CD 5hr 42min
• Age Range: Adult

The world first met Ricki Lake in 1988 as Tracy Turnblad in the film Hairspray. Weighing in at just over 200 pounds, the 5'3" teenager challenged what it meant to be an overweight woman in America: this fat girl got the guy, was part of the in crowd, and could sing and dance like nobody was watching. When she got her own talk show at twenty-four, Ricki had been transformed. She was a slender, mature woman whose long-running show changed daytime television forever. And when Ricki left it all behind to follow her heart and produce The Business of Being Born, we once again saw her in a new light, as a passionate advocate who wasn’t afraid to stand up for her beliefs and work for change.

Ricki Lake’s life has been a series of rebirths—from fat to skinny, married to divorced, rich to poor, and more. In her intimate, bold, and relatable book, Ricki shows us how her unique life in the spotlight offers wisdom to anyone who has ever struggled in her own skin. She takes us behind the scenes of her troubled childhood—filled with food issues, abuse, and an unabashed yearning for a better life outside of her suburban home. She pulls back the curtain on her talk show and her early days as a “fat actress,” and she shows how she reinvented herself as an author, filmmaker, and much beloved finalist on Dancing with the Stars.

Ricki weathered near-bankruptcy and an extremely difficult divorce, but, as she writes, life always hands you the unexpected—so you should never say never. Much to her surprise, Ricki has dated some of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelors, appeared on the cover of Us Weekly magazine in a swimsuit, and fell in love when she least expected it. And now she’s ready to talk about it all. Never Say Never is an inspiring, entertaining, and down-to-earth account of one woman who defied the odds and refused to give up. By trusting her gut and following her heart, Ricki Lake turned an unconventional life into an unparalleled triumph, and this memoir stands as a hopeful, hilarious, and honest exploration of how any woman can do the same.

I received this audio book for review from the publisher. Here is my honest review:

Wow. I had no idea about Ricki Lake's life at ALL. I can't say I was dying to know, but I'm really glad that I listened to her story. Reviewing this audio book is like reviewing her life, but I'll make this work as best I can. I wish I would have taken some notes because I had a lot to say, but it's not all coming back to me right now. Here's what I do remember.

Ricki Lake has been through a lot. Child sexual abuse, long term weight issues, divorce, etc. She's a trooper, though. She's strong and independent. She's in your face and sometimes lucky. Lake has always wanted to be famous, and famous she is. But it's only what co-defines her. She's ALL about her weight. I understand this, but she also LOVES being rich and famous. I definitely got those two things from her life.

Even though she tries to come off as NOT a snob, she surely sounds like that sometimes. Most of the time she's pretty down to earth when she's talking about giving birth and her weight. But the story about the Holiday Inn-type hotel room was just downright bratty. I was almost offended, since I cannot afford much more than a Holiday Inn. I'm not used to luxury though, so I suppose it would be a bit disappointing. Oh well.

She's a bit of a judge, too. She has opinions on everything and everyone. She lives honestly, so she tells it how she feels and how she sees it. But sometimes she's just Judgy McJudgerton. I was never upset by anything she said, but I can see others being mad or offended. She seems to conveniently not remember some things, and then she makes it easy to find out what she really means when she tries to change names. Again, oh well.

This audio book is read by the author, so you hear everything as she meant it to come across. As an actress, she should have been better at speaking slower, but that's alright. I was never lost by her narrative, but she could have slowed down. She's hilarious, though. I laughed quite a bit, especially when she talked about the internet dating. Plus, she seems to like the f-word just as much as I do.

As for the book itself, I felt like the chapters were disorganized and a bit all over the place. The chapter would be called, "I will never be on Dancing with the Stars" and she's off talking about her relationship with her now-husband, Christian. And she talks a LOT about being naked and getting it on. Thanks for being so honest, Ricki. We love you :o)

What I liked:
  • Read by the author. This audio book is read by Ricki Lake herself. It's always better when nonfiction is read by the person it's referring to. She does a pretty good job!
  • Her story. She's honest and unashamed. She tells it like it is, and I love her attitude. Watch out, world!
  • Theme. The whole book was about not saying 'never' so each chapter had a theme about a 'never' Ricki thought about her life. Then she showed us how she was proved wrong. And there were 43 chapters, one for each year of her life. I caught that ;o)

What I didn't like:

  • Bragging. Sometimes it felt like she was bragging. Maybe it's just me, and maybe it's because I have my own issues, but I'm not rich, I'm not thin, and I'm not married to a god. I kind of got tired of hearing about those things.
  • Wasn't organized. As I said above, I didn't feel like the chapters stuck to the point. By the end of a chapter, I'd forget what the beginning was because the end didn't even relate.

Bottom line: If you've ever heard her name, which I'm sure you have, check out her biography. It's enlightening to say the least. We can all learn something here!


4/5 book sharks!


  1. Geez. I would be embarassed for my kids and family to know my explicit sexual experiences and one night stands. Did we really need to know? I hear a lot of bragging spoiled, don't you know who I am behavior., Not flattering. Also sound sliek one more man in her life who does not work and she supports. How many times did she say his name in this book??? Insecure and a Jewish Princess all at the same time.

  2. B list celeb would be accurate as she was called in book. I'm liberal in my thinking but really didn't need to know her sexual trysts. Can you imagine her sons' reading this? Her attitude about the hotel was really poor taste. Also I laughed at her only wanting hot guys once she got skinny. I guess she forgot how she was treated when at her fattest??? Though I still do not think of her as slim by any stretch. She still affirmed at end of book she is still attracted to nonworking men. I agree with other commenter. How many times did she say the name of Christian? I doubt this one will last either. She'll get tired of supporting this one too. Honestly, first time I read an autobigorpahy and I read many, where I did not like the person at end of book. Sorry she was abused,get the connection to weight but not someone I would care to be friends with.

  3. Not worth buying. Glad i got it from library. Another spoiled person in public eye. Addicted to love.


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