"Life is a big, long free fall, and the sooner you can embrace what is beautiful about that, the sooner you will start to enjoy the ride.”
Some important information before I dive into this review. I'm a singer, I have a degree in Music with a concentration in musical theatre, and I love Sara Bareilles' music with my whole heart. This memoir, as Lani Diane Rich from StoryWonk would say, was made to delight me. I went into this book (which was a gift from our Cannonball Read Book Exchange in December - thanks Nate!) prepared and expecting to love it.
I was not disappointed.
Sara has a beautiful voice, and in this case, I'm not referring to her music (though that's certainly true, too). She's honest, unflinching, funny, self-deprecating, and soulful. I love the formatting for this as well. Sara frames the stories of her life using her music, with song lyrics opening each chapter. They also provide a unifying theme - either the chapter is about the creation of that song, or focuses on the things reflected in the song. Often it's both.
Sara tells a lot of great stories, from childhood straight up to working on Waitress, which I cannot wait to see in March when it opens in New York. It's always fascinating to me to see how much I have in common with the artists I love, and I feel like we're very much kindred in spirit, if not in specifics. She was a happy, imaginative child who loves her family and musical theatre. She had a lot of problems with her self image in her youth, which was true for most of us, myself included. She's lived abroad and struggled with identity while doing so, which I've also done. She's been challenged by what it means to stay true to herself in an industry that wants nothing more than to shape you into whatever product they think they can sell, which is my daily life.
And through it all is the music. I love her connection to her music, and it makes perfect sense with the way her heart seems to pour out of every song. Everything feels better and more centered when she can process it through music, and it's beautiful and lovely. I feel like she worked really hard to put all of this to paper. She does it brilliantly. It felt very much like sitting down and sharing a bottle of wine together, personal and real.
Basically, what I'm saying is this - Sounds Like Me: My Life (so far) in Song is a fabulous read and I highly recommend it.