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My Thoughts Exactly

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The No.1 Sunday Times Bestseller So, this is me. Lily Allen. I am a woman. I am a mother. I was a wife. I drink. I have taken drugs. I have loved and been let down. I am a success and a failure. I am a songwriter. I am a singer. I am all these things and more. When women share their stories, loudly and clearly and honestly, things begin to change - for the better. This is my story.


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The No.1 Sunday Times Bestseller So, this is me. Lily Allen. I am a woman. I am a mother. I was a wife. I drink. I have taken drugs. I have loved and been let down. I am a success and a failure. I am a songwriter. I am a singer. I am all these things and more. When women share their stories, loudly and clearly and honestly, things begin to change - for the better. This is my story.

30 review for My Thoughts Exactly

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    As far as celebrity memoirs go you really get your moneys worth here. I believe if your going to write a tell all memoir you might as well tell the truth and nothing but the truth and this is what Lily Allen does. Her life is a series of big fuck ups and she owns them all, she is a straight shooter and doesn’t mess about with anything that tries to sell a pretty picture. You get real. There is much to feel sad for Lily and she wears all her vulnerabilities on her sleeve it’s hard to feel any cri As far as celebrity memoirs go you really get your moneys worth here. I believe if your going to write a tell all memoir you might as well tell the truth and nothing but the truth and this is what Lily Allen does. Her life is a series of big fuck ups and she owns them all, she is a straight shooter and doesn’t mess about with anything that tries to sell a pretty picture. You get real. There is much to feel sad for Lily and she wears all her vulnerabilities on her sleeve it’s hard to feel any criticism. She’s brave and her story adds to the narrative of empowering women to speak up and not feel ashamed. Taking back the power from men, the fakes, the users and the media who have taken so much from her already. Standing up to the haters and owning her story. Gotta love a woman strong enough to do that.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Not my usual read. Thought this was going to be more of a gossipy celebrity memoir but Lily Allen tells a very personal story. Especially enjoyed hearing about how she wrote her first song and she has some worthwhile things to say about the way women are treated in our society, not just the music industry. I didn't exactly warm to Lily but I've enjoyed her music over the years and I applaud her refusal to shut the fuck up and be the good little woman.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carly Findlay

    I read Lily Allen’s book My Thoughts Exactly after work today. A quick read but not an easy one. It’s about fame, excess, breakups and breakdowns. Love and mothering. Making mistakes and owning mistakes. Addiction and sobriety. Bad sex and good sex. Anger and mental illness. Body image. Abuse. Her truth. I really liked (and empathized with) Lily’s insight into trolling and stalking, and the expectation to be a good girl yet online abusers can say what they want. There was a passage about the dou I read Lily Allen’s book My Thoughts Exactly after work today. A quick read but not an easy one. It’s about fame, excess, breakups and breakdowns. Love and mothering. Making mistakes and owning mistakes. Addiction and sobriety. Bad sex and good sex. Anger and mental illness. Body image. Abuse. Her truth. I really liked (and empathized with) Lily’s insight into trolling and stalking, and the expectation to be a good girl yet online abusers can say what they want. There was a passage about the double standards of responding to online abuse, and it just floored me. I related so much. Lily is so clever and quick witted and vulnerable. This book captures it all. Thank you Lily, I hope you’re doing ok. And I’m so glad you finally had an orgasm.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Deriemaeker

    Ergens tussen een vier en een vijf, omdat ik zo onder de indruk ben van de verfrissende eerlijkheid en kwetsbaarheid waarmee Lily Allen dit boek schreef. Zo graag gelezen, erg door geraakt en geïnspireerd.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    Deeply Honest, and fascinating. Always liked her, but like her more now.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Interning book Liked that she was so frank about everything. Nosey part of me would have liked names and more details of the benders as a lot of it is about her feelings. However I have a new found respect for her. Sounds like she did not have it easy as her parents were not your average parents. Worth reading

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    10 out of 10 for honesty.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Donncha Lane

    Super Loved it. Lots of insight & fun. Lots of storytelling. Felt like I understood more about life after reading. Thank you

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I would have finished this book last night if I didn't need to go sleep as I couldn't put it down. I haven't listened to her music in a long time but I liked it when I was a teenager so I picked this up to read more about her. I was surprised by her life and how much she's gone through. I found it honest, raw and thought provoking. A very good read and as I don't tend to read any news anyway it was all new to me as I haven't read anything written about her. Glad i read it, I don't read autobiogr I would have finished this book last night if I didn't need to go sleep as I couldn't put it down. I haven't listened to her music in a long time but I liked it when I was a teenager so I picked this up to read more about her. I was surprised by her life and how much she's gone through. I found it honest, raw and thought provoking. A very good read and as I don't tend to read any news anyway it was all new to me as I haven't read anything written about her. Glad i read it, I don't read autobiographies or biographys very often but I always manage to pick a good one when I do.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    It takes guts to say what you think, to tell the story unashamedly from your own perspective and to be as willing to share the incredibly painful stuff as to settle scores and defend yourself. I've always liked Lily Allen and this book has just increased my admiration for her. She's not perfect, she's trying to figure out what what life is meant to be and how you balance roles and expectations of others but also your own. Sometimes she's a dick because who isn't? I strongly suspect no one beats h It takes guts to say what you think, to tell the story unashamedly from your own perspective and to be as willing to share the incredibly painful stuff as to settle scores and defend yourself. I've always liked Lily Allen and this book has just increased my admiration for her. She's not perfect, she's trying to figure out what what life is meant to be and how you balance roles and expectations of others but also your own. Sometimes she's a dick because who isn't? I strongly suspect no one beats her up more for the bad days than she does.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    This book was so much better than I thought it was going to be. Basically, the book is in sections instead of the usual "I was born on this date at this time and I went to school here". So there is a section on fathers, one on mothers, several on career and so on. I couldn't put this book down. Lilly writes with a raw honesty and doesn't hold back. It is clear that a lot of what has happened to Lilly has stemmed from two things, one, her childhood and two, the death of her first child. Yes, some This book was so much better than I thought it was going to be. Basically, the book is in sections instead of the usual "I was born on this date at this time and I went to school here". So there is a section on fathers, one on mothers, several on career and so on. I couldn't put this book down. Lilly writes with a raw honesty and doesn't hold back. It is clear that a lot of what has happened to Lilly has stemmed from two things, one, her childhood and two, the death of her first child. Yes, sometimes Lilly makes mistakes and she puts her foot in it at times but I wonder how any other 21 year old would manage with fame? An excellent read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marie-Louise

    I loved Lily Allen since ‘Smile’ was released when I was in high school and I love her now all these years later. This book is a brutally honest account of how Lily has struggled to deal with the realities of fame and stardom. She is funny, truthful and brilliant. I loved this book and couldn’t put it down.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Giorgi Shakarashvili

    მეორე ალბომს,sheezus-ს 2014 წლიდან ვუსმენ,დანარჩენი მუსიკის აღმოჩენა წელს გადავწყვიტე,როცა ახალი,ჩემთვის წლის ერთ-ერთი საყვარელი ალბომი გამოუშვა. წლევანდელ ალბომში,no shame-ში ძალიან მტკივნეული სიმღერები აქვს და სადღაც წავიკითხე,რომ გულწრფელი იყო ყველაფერი და მის თავს გადამხდარი. უძნელესი მგონია დღევანდელ დღეს რომელიმე მასშტაბური პოპ ვარკვლავი გამოვიდეს და თქვას,რომ ნარკოტიკზე დამოკიდებული იყო,ორ მეუღლესთან გაშორებაზე ისაუბროს და ყველაზე გასაკვირ და გამბედავ თემაზე პოპ ვარსკვლავის მხრიდან - ქალ ეს მეორე ალბომს,sheezus-ს 2014 წლიდან ვუსმენ,დანარჩენი მუსიკის აღმოჩენა წელს გადავწყვიტე,როცა ახალი,ჩემთვის წლის ერთ-ერთი საყვარელი ალბომი გამოუშვა. წლევანდელ ალბომში,no shame-ში ძალიან მტკივნეული სიმღერები აქვს და სადღაც წავიკითხე,რომ გულწრფელი იყო ყველაფერი და მის თავს გადამხდარი. უძნელესი მგონია დღევანდელ დღეს რომელიმე მასშტაბური პოპ ვარკვლავი გამოვიდეს და თქვას,რომ ნარკოტიკზე დამოკიდებული იყო,ორ მეუღლესთან გაშორებაზე ისაუბროს და ყველაზე გასაკვირ და გამბედავ თემაზე პოპ ვარსკვლავის მხრიდან - ქალ ესკორტებთან ურთიერთობაზე. იგრძნობა,რომ ისტორიას მთელი გულით,მარტივი და გულწრფელი გულით ყვება,ამიტომ ჩამითრია და 3 დღეში შემომეკითხა,როცა წიგნებს ორიგინალში ბევრად მეტს ვუნდები ხოლმე.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Honest, unflappable and brilliant. One of the most incredible audiobooks I’ve ever listened to, Lily’s story has helped me through a very hard time. This is something I’ll definitely come back to time and time again, I can’t recommend this enough.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah-Jane Patterson

    One of the most relatable autobiographies i have ever listened to. I related to a lot of what Lily said as a woman and on a personal level. She is brutally honest and accepts she is not perfect. I have always liked her music so its nice to know about the person and the inspiration.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sia

    An honest, frank and well-written quasi-memoir that is sticking in my mind and has become tonight’s dinner conversation. Stories are skimmed over, people are mentioned but not elaborated upon and in some ways it reads like a stream-of-consciousness. I especially liked that chapters were in themes. The whole book was very clever. It’s very much Lily Allen’s own truth - and I wanted to hear more.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bronwyn Tasker

    Lily’s honesty and relatable prose made this such an enjoyable, heartwarming and also heartbreaking read, but left me with such optimism when it comes to challenges in life that we all go through. Thanks Lily!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emma McCormack

    Beautiful and raw in equal measure. Couldn’t put this down and I’d encourage anyone to pick it up and devour it in a few days.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kat Goodger

    So honest and very interesting. Definitely worth a read/listen.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mrs N J Farley

    Honest! Love this book. We are all in the same boat called life, but some of us have the extra misfortune of having to make our mistakes in the public eye. Looking forward to reading the next instalment xx

  21. 4 out of 5

    Niklas Pivic

    In spite of the weird words where Allen states that she did not enjoy a privileged upbringing—she did—the rest of this book is thoroughly enjoyable. It’s the degree I’m interested in: the things in my life that changed events, upended things, upset the cart. Sometimes, these were external events I had no control over: my son, George, was born three months prematurely, but had already died inside me; I was stalked for seven years and felt my life threatened by someone with a severe mental illness, In spite of the weird words where Allen states that she did not enjoy a privileged upbringing—she did—the rest of this book is thoroughly enjoyable. It’s the degree I’m interested in: the things in my life that changed events, upended things, upset the cart. Sometimes, these were external events I had no control over: my son, George, was born three months prematurely, but had already died inside me; I was stalked for seven years and felt my life threatened by someone with a severe mental illness, then witnessed his trial – I’ve been through episodes of mental ill-health myself, so I felt for him despite what he did to me, as it’s no fucking picnic; I’ve been sexually harassed as an adult by someone in a position of power and whom I trusted; and I was taken advantage of sexually as a young teenager by men who should have known better. Turns out, it’s an all-too-common experience. (Me too.) Sometimes it was me, myself, who wreaked havoc on my own life, as you’ll see. (Self-destructive.) She seems to be entirely honest about what she writes; as with any autobiography, it’s always important to see what’s behind the obvious. You won’t get that here. This is more a recant to a friend than it is deep introspection, more Courtney Love than Simone de Beauvoir, but if we were to criticise Allen for that, we’d miss the point: she’s a modern-day storyteller, and a very good one at that, so just shut up and get on the ride, yes? I started singing as a child at school, but discovered music as a young teenager and kept it close to me from then on. I read. I keep notebooks. I’ve got a good eye. I collect textiles, love colour, and decorating or doing up a house doesn’t faze me at all. I exercise but I’m not a natural athlete. I’m a swimmer. I’m strong. I can be tough. I’ve been broken. I’m opinionated. I’m a people-pleaser. I’m a narcissist. I’m co-dependent. I don’t always like being alone, though equally there are times when I can’t bear company. I’m spoilt. I’m needy. I can be a hypocrite. I contradict myself. I can be cold. I feel it’s refreshing to read self-deprecation unless it’s written in vain. The above is a good glug of honesty, albeit not nuanced; but that’s the start of the book, and reading it for the second time is actually a taster into what Allen has explained previously. Allen writes a lot about her family, and focuses on her dad, or really, about his absence from everybody’s lives. She brands him a liar, a narcissist, and truthfully, she’s not the only one to have done that; Alex James’s first autobiographical book contains quite a lot of tomes from the days of Keith Allen’s partying with him. Groucho’s was part of my life from a young age. I knew the phone number off by heart by the time I was six. How depressing is that? The name rings true for me too, because it really is a club I do not want to be part of, and yet they will have me as a member. God knows, I’ve spent enough time there over the years, enough even to be barred entry for a month at a time once or twice over the years, after being caught doing drugs in the loo. But when we were young, a room there was Dad’s idea of childcare. Dad didn’t do much of that – childcare, that is. Mostly, when it came to Dad looking after us, it was cancellations, crap excuses and disappointments. Dad didn’t like it when Mum got together with Harry. He was horrible about him. He called Harry a dick. I know, Dad. You left Mum in a ditch with three kids to look after, and Harry, who everyone adores and who doesn’t take cocaine, took on the family you abandoned without complaint. What a dick. Allen is good at writing straight-up stuff without obvious intent to shock the reader; it’s frankly refreshing to read her calling her dad a dick—because he obviously has been one. Her terse words on how she started out with songwriting, becoming immersed with what she does very well on the lyrical front, is indicative of her entire outgoing career, really: Similarly, for our English lessons, when he taught us The Day of the Triffids, written by John Wyndham, who had lived close to the school, Mr Langlands took us outside and into the landscape to read passages from the book, so we listened to the words while sitting in the very vegetation that had inspired Wyndham. That helped teach me that storytelling could be painterly and visual, and it’s a lesson I use in my songwriting still. I don’t want to write about a particular single feeling, or settle on one refrain in songs – ‘Oh, my heart is broken; gee, how I love you…’, etc. Instead, I try and build up layers of details – it’s Tesco carrier bags that the little old lady in ‘LDN’ is struggling to carry; it’s his parents’ basement where my URL Badman sits at his computer, in the song of the same name – to deliver a whole picture and tell a contained story. The second song I wrote was ‘LDN’. That came easily, too. I’d spent all this time in London sitting in Falafel King or in cafés on the Portobello Road or on the bus or tube, watching people and how they interacted with each other. I’d fill in the gaps and create stories around the people I saw, making up conversations I imagined they’d be having, as if I was watching a movie that I was making up as I went along. I’d think about what their houses looked like, or whether they had kids, and what they’d have for dinner. I had this fantasy thing going on all the time in my head, and once I started writing, it all came out. On how she got her first record deal, which rings sweetly: The deal that Dad got was with a record company owned by Warner called London Records, but I don’t think he did it just as a way to make money. I think the idea to make a record together was a way for Dad to show that he loved and believed in me. I think it was his way of trying to give me something. I think it came from a nice place. I think. Other times I think maybe he got a big finder’s fee and signing up his seventeen-year-old daughter to be a singer was about cash, but mostly I dismiss that thought and go with the nicer, better, sweeter version. That’s how I got my first record deal – it was an act of nepotism, pure and simple. That build-up and last sentence says quite something about her writing overall, I feel. Good. It’s sorely needed. The following paragraphs says a lot to me of how many women see many men, and sadly, for good reasons: George was fit and quite a bit older than me. He was exactly my type. I assumed he was making a pass at me. I thought I was in. But George didn’t come on to me. He took me back to his house and made up a bed for me on his sofa. When I woke up the next morning, he poured me a cup of coffee. ‘I hope you don’t mind,’ he said, ‘but I went through your phone while you were asleep and called your mum. I told her that I don’t think you should be here any more. I’m going to take you to the airport and put you on a plane back to London.’ And that’s what he did. It was an amazing thing. It was one of the first times a man had done something nice for me without any sexual agenda. George was a life-changer. I didn’t know that then, and I didn’t think about him much after that, but he held on to my number and nearly two years later he rang me at exactly the moment I needed to hear from him, then helped reset me on my track forwards. Sometimes, you meet the good guys. Gordon Ramsay has always been a dick. And a bitch. Gordon Ramsay: ‘What do you think of Lily Allen? Chick with a dick?’ Cheryl Cole: Nods. Laughs. Nods again. Oh my fucking God! Cheryl Cole basically called me a chick with a dick on national fucking television. When ‘Smile’ was released as a single, one of the B-sides was a song called ‘Cheryl Tweedy’. It’s a jaunty little number about my own self-loathing. The first verse goes: ‘I wish I had qualities like Sympathy Fidelity Sobriety Sincerity Humility. Instead I got lunacy.’ The chorus goes like this: ‘I wish my life was a little less seedy Why am I always so greedy? / Wish I looked just like Cheryl Tweedy.’ And yah, she’s entirely right about the nepotism and dominance of the major record labels (may they die, including streaming platforms like Spotify): The point is, those awards are hollow. They’re about what deals and negotiations are going on between the labels. It’s their show. That’s why you saw Skepta and Stormzy being nominated in 2017, but neither one winning a single prize. What do you mean they didn’t win? Which other artist has had a bigger impact on the music industry over the last few years? No one! But that would be a waste of a prize or two as far as the big companies are concerned, because both those guys are independent rather than signed to any major record label. Also, brilliant point made: Still, at least they don’t have to take half their clothes off to perform on those kinds of shows. I don’t think Stormzy has ever had to deal with a comment about his arse. It’s brilliant to read her words on sex and self-worth, something that all can connect to (or, nearly all): That’s what I did with all the guys I dated. I attached myself to them as firmly as I could, and as stickily as they’d allow. I’d convince myself that they were right for me and we were meant to be together, even if really we would have been better off as friends. Indeed, I’ve stayed friends with all my ex-boyfriends, which might prove my point. I was confused at the beginning of my sexual life about my own desire for other people. Often, if a guy fancied me, that was enough for both of us. My self-worth was low and so being fancied, which I translated as being wanted (and thus loved), felt intoxicating enough to agree to sex. Allen writes sensitively, and straightforwardly striking about her stillborn first child: In the morning the midwife said, ‘You’re crowning. We can see the baby’s head. Not long now.’ Then some time later – I don’t know how long, maybe it was five minutes, but it could have been five hours, she said – ‘The cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck. There was a pulse. Now there isn’t. There is no pulse now.’ That meant the baby was dead. He wasn’t out of my body yet, but they knew. They called it. He was dead. I could feel his little head between my legs. But my contractions weren’t strong enough to push him all the way out. The doctors told me they couldn’t pull him out with forceps or use a ventouse because doing that would rip him apart. He was too small, too underdeveloped for those things. The only thing to do was pump me full of drugs to help increase my contractions. I was warned that these drugs would make me very sick and that it would still take time for them to work. My baby was dead. I couldn’t escape the enormity of that. He was physically stuck, not quite outside me, not safe inside, either. I was physically stuck, too. I hadn’t been able to keep him inside me and now I couldn’t deliver him. For ten hours between my baby dying and me getting him out, I entered a realm I’d never been to before. It is a realm I cannot describe or revisit, even if I wanted to. The sickness I was experiencing was consuming. I felt knocked out. I felt not human. George was born that evening. He was cleaned up and wrapped in a blanket and a little hat, and Sam and I held him for a long time. We took photographs. We’d had our little babe and he was in our arms; it’s just that he wasn’t alive. Then the doctors put me to sleep. In the morning, we were discharged. The hospital needed the bed. The reactions to the video for Allen’s single “Hard Out Here“, a comeback single of sorts, and mainly, Allen’s reaction to them, is astoundingly good (I feel): I was upset by the negative reactions to ‘Hard Out Here’. One woman, a poet called Deanna Rodger, performed a spoken word response to the video and uploaded it online. She cried while she performed her piece because I’d upset and offended her so much. I was livid when I first saw Rodger’s video, because I felt like she was using me to make a bigger point (a point I agreed with, that I was trying to make and get across in the video). But once I’d got over feeling defensive, I listened to what she had to say. What she said made me adjust and shift my thinking. It made me realise that my naïvety over the video and the reaction to it was the privilege of being a white woman. As a result, I began to read about intersectional feminism. I began to learn more and I began to look at my output in a more responsible and considered way. That’s what happened in the long term: I learned and grew from negative experiences, my fuck-ups, and the shit I had to deal with. Then, honestly as usual, Allen writes about blowing up on tour: I have a history with drugs and alcohol, but in terms of sex, up until my Sheezus tour, I was pretty straight. I didn’t masturbate and barely watched porn. Sure, I’d shagged around a bit, but I didn’t consider myself promiscuous. But I left our family Arizona therapy session angry, sad and confused. So here’s what I did: I started exploring sex, and not with my husband. I started sleeping with people on my tour. And this is why she writes lyrics like drinking water is to a lot of people: Who knows why a marriage falls apart? There are the reasons that you know, that you can talk about, and then there is the more mysterious part of it: the part that means you don’t, or can’t, try hard enough to fix things. The part that goes: All I wanted was to be with you forever but now I can’t be with you at all. She writes a lot about the debilitating trauma brought on by being stalked by Alex Gray, a mentally disturbed person, for seven years; he broke into her home, confronting her as she woke up. I can’t even imagine that trauma. Thoughts on people attacking on Twitter: I don’t react well to being bullied or backed into a corner. I don’t want to be silent. That’s why I keep tweeting – even though my Twitter feed is hijacked by people tweeting hateful comments. Often this takes the form of men consistently tweeting the same three charges against me to prove their point and win their argument. The charges are 1) I’m a bad mother; 2) I’m famous because of my dad; and 3) I’m stupid. In other words, what they do is belittle me. Because if you shout at someone enough and tell her she’s a dumb woman who wouldn’t be anywhere without her dad, then she’ll shut up, right? Example: I was tweeting about a Theresa May speech recently and someone tweeted: ‘Oi, Lily, can I smell your privates?’ I replied: ‘Yeah, sure, but you might want to wait because I’m on the blob.’ My Twitter feed went mad. People were outraged. ‘How can you say that?’ the tweets went. ‘No wonder everyone hates you,’ they went on, ‘when you talk like that.’ I was, like, What planet are we on? This guy just asked to sniff my privates but I mention my period and I’m the one who is disgusting? Overall, the book is a very easy read with moments that made me go yikes, regardless the fact that most of us go through them at times; I’m not talking about appearing at the brit awards, but rather everything that isn’t swill and fill; this is a deeply human book, and it’s like…more like reading lyrics by Lykke Li than Lily Allen, I feel, but I doubt that many people can produce a book like this, so swathed in self-awareness, in a very, very good way. Montaigne would have turned glad, I think.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Javier Fernández

    Great and seemingly honest insight into Lily Allen's life from a 1st person perspective. She definitely has a way with words. Love her even more after this.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Annmarie Millar

    I've always like Lily Allen's music and liked her style. I saw her on Jonathan Ross and liked her interview that much it spurred me on to pick up her book. I'm glad I did. Open and honest and it just made me want to give her a BIG hug!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Seymour Glass

    I was a fan of Lily when her first album came out, but I stopped following her (and pop) shortly after that because I'm a Pretentious Knobhead. This was compounded by the fact that I used to know the guy who played keys in some of her early recording sessions and he said it took ages because she couldn't figure out what the notes were. A singer who couldn't sing? Please. I was firmly dedicated to Amy Winehouse and the papers like to pit them against each other sometimes as young London female si I was a fan of Lily when her first album came out, but I stopped following her (and pop) shortly after that because I'm a Pretentious Knobhead. This was compounded by the fact that I used to know the guy who played keys in some of her early recording sessions and he said it took ages because she couldn't figure out what the notes were. A singer who couldn't sing? Please. I was firmly dedicated to Amy Winehouse and the papers like to pit them against each other sometimes as young London female singers who sang about sex and shit men. I still liked her though, I liked how she sang with a strong London accent and didn't care what anyone thought of her. She released a couple of demos around that time which I really loved; 'Cheryl Tweedy' is a really dark drum and bass song about her self-hatred with a little refrain at the end saying 'I felt that I was in this long, dark tunnel' - it's interesting to listen to having read this book as most of the issues that plague Lily later in her career are referenced in this song. The chorus is as follows: "I wish I had one good reason why / I should stay / How'd I get myself / Into this place? / I wish had qualities like Sympathy Fidelity Sobriety Sincerity Humility / Instead I got lunacy / I wish I could fit myself in my pocket / And tie myself to a rocket / And send myself to outer space / I wish I had a different face" This is the book in a nutshell. And if she's already feeling this way before the insane maelstrom of pop stardom has entered her life, what chance of coping in the media spotlight did she have? A lot of crap stuff befalls Lily in her early life, including her father, Keith Allen, not doing a very good job as a father in general, and her Mum's consistent absences and substance abuse making young Lily feel as if she didn't exist. So the stage was set for her to fall into her own bad behaviour patterns and substance abuse later on in her life. She's very frustrating at times in this book, saying she got where she did off her own bat and despite her parents' success rather than because of it but then openly admits that she got her first record deal directly from her Dad. She doesn't seem to understand how privilege works. But most of the book is shockingly sad in the admissions she makes: the part about what happened when the press reported her pregnancy with Ed Simons of The Chemical Brothers in 2007 is absolutely jaw-dropping - it's the sort of experience that can only come with tabloid fame in the modern age and it makes me wonder if there isn't some sort of mental illness that we haven't named yet that is suffered by famous people. Their experience of the world is so specific and bizarre that it's quite possible that there is some sort of psychological reaction that comes from those circumstances and causes them to have their public meltdowns - Fame Madness? Celebrity Disorder? Interestingly, someone else who's been thought of as possibly having this same 'illness', Britney Spears, did the same thing Lily did to try and cope - got married to an 'ordinary bloke' and had two babies in quick succession. Only for the marriage to then fall apart. When Lily Allen first started saying in the press that all she really wanted was to get married and live in country and have babies, I thought 'she doesn't really want that. What she wants is to get out of the media machine that's taken her sense of self away.' We've seen it happen before. And sure, enough, she admits finding motherhood boring quite quickly and wants to get back to work. I didn't find it surprising when the media started reporting that she was getting off her face in clubs and cheating on her husband. Of course she was; she's stuck in the mad world of celebrity where anything goes. I wish Lily had been parented properly. A lot of her issues come down to the neglect and abandonment she suffered from her parents as a child. I wonder how they felt reading this book. Anyway, the other demo of hers that I liked was 'Nan, You're A Window Shopper'. It's so funny. "You only buy the paper just to cut out the coupons / You're saving 50p but what do you want with tampons? / You're always at the doctor picking up your prescription / And they throw in some K-Y just to ease up the friction / You got a leak in your colostomy bag / Yeah it's got a hole in hole in hole in / At the weekend you're shopping with your trolley / It's sad how you're rollin' rollin' rollin'" She herself makes no bones about the fact that she's not a world-class singer but her song writing is brilliant. She creates hilarious, relatable, honest pop tunes with catchy hooks and sunny, harmonious melodies. This is where her talent lies. Her father is, after all, a comedian and Lily has definitely inherited his sense of humour. She used to have a chat show on BBC Three and it was funny and silly. There was one memorable episode where James Corden flirted outrageously with her and she looked so shy and blushed. It was pretty adorable. I liked how she drew attention to the issues that women in the music industry face: sexual abuse and exploitation, not being listened to, being body-shamed constantly, harangued by the paparazzi and slated by the glossies. She makes a lot of strong feminist statements in this book and so I'd recommend it to women, especially. This is a sad book; she seems to have skimmed over a lot of the fun times that come with success and wealth and focussed mostly on the darkness and pain. But it's still a very worthwhile read and kept me nicely distracted while laid up sick in bed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Roisin Cure

    I am a very bad customer for Audible. I send lots of stuff back. But Lily Allen's book will stay in my library. It's one of those books I'll reach for at midnight some night when I can't sleep. I'll start with the bad points: I found it hard to get into Lily's narration - it's a bit monotone. That's it - there are no more bad points. Good points: Lily is very funny (whilst never trying to be), and very dry, and very, very clever. Lily has led a rather tumultuous life, which wasn't entirely down t I am a very bad customer for Audible. I send lots of stuff back. But Lily Allen's book will stay in my library. It's one of those books I'll reach for at midnight some night when I can't sleep. I'll start with the bad points: I found it hard to get into Lily's narration - it's a bit monotone. That's it - there are no more bad points. Good points: Lily is very funny (whilst never trying to be), and very dry, and very, very clever. Lily has led a rather tumultuous life, which wasn't entirely down to finding fame at a very young age, but it did play a large part of it. Mostly, she's just an example of how very clever women behave before they settle down: always looking for kicks, whether it's danger through bad guys, drink or drugs, or stimulation, however that is come by. Lily puts it down to being co-dependent and having been left on her own a lot as a kid, which may be true, but some of us have no such excuse. The book is incredibly honest. Lily doesn't know any other way to be. She is very clear about the issue of girls and women not having the confidence to stand up for fairness. She even has some original insights as to why women get paid less than men for the same work. (By the way Lily, I agree with your theory as to why the stalker story wasn't reported in the press. "Victim" just didn't fit their narrative. What a pack of morons.) Lily's book is a really valuable contribution to feminist literature, and I hope it will be respected as such. All she does is put her side of the story forward, and I am glad that she has a platform to do this: the rest of us don't, sure, but neither do we have a pack of baying hounds waiting to tear us limb from limb, as Lily did for years. All that sounds a bit serious, and the book is, but it's also light-hearted in some ways and, as I said, very funny. I laughed out loud at the threadworm story - I love that kind of hedonistic-meets-absurd story. Oh, and thanks to the memoir, I have rediscovered Lily's music and it's super. Wonderful, ordinary girl - you're great, Lily.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin Kavanagh

    My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen was quite a confronting book in ways that I wasn't expecting - mostly because I didn't really know what I was expecting going into it. It listened to this book on Audible because it was narrated by Lily Allen herself and I always enjoy books read by the authors - especially those whose voices I already know (see: Stephen Fry, Neil Gaiman). In her first chapter, Allen summarises herself quite eloquently and sets the standard of her writing for the rest of the nove My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen was quite a confronting book in ways that I wasn't expecting - mostly because I didn't really know what I was expecting going into it. It listened to this book on Audible because it was narrated by Lily Allen herself and I always enjoy books read by the authors - especially those whose voices I already know (see: Stephen Fry, Neil Gaiman). In her first chapter, Allen summarises herself quite eloquently and sets the standard of her writing for the rest of the novel. She is quite a good writer and comes across as quite honest and down to Earth. She is frank and blunt, which is an observation I think many people would make about Lily Allen. There's no bullshit with her, she will tell it like it is - sometimes to a fault. I quite enjoyed her story-telling but the subject matter was a lot to get through in big chunks, so I found myself listening to it in maximum 1-hour intervals. Her life, up to this point, has been full of a lot of darkness and it's very confronting to delve into her world and her past. The life of a celebrity seems like such a whirlwind, a very stressful life and one which I do not envy. Allen is so honest that I found myself horrified at some of her actions as well, but I was still endeared by her thoughts and her own opinions on her past actions. I don't quite know what else to say about this novel besides that it is well written and quite a good read, especially if you are a young woman. Aside from the celebrity life, there is a lot of points on which I think a lot of women will connect with Allen, and find comfort in her thoughts on those points.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andy Walker

    An outstanding book. Searingly honest and to the point, Lily Allen has written a brilliant account of what it’s like to be in the public eye, to be trashed by the press, to be betrayed by friends and colleagues, to be judged based on your media image and to be exploited and abused by those with more power than you. However, My Thoughts Exactly is not a wallowing in self-pity book. On the contrary, it’s a defiant and revelatory account by a woman who refuses to be ground down by her experiences. An outstanding book. Searingly honest and to the point, Lily Allen has written a brilliant account of what it’s like to be in the public eye, to be trashed by the press, to be betrayed by friends and colleagues, to be judged based on your media image and to be exploited and abused by those with more power than you. However, My Thoughts Exactly is not a wallowing in self-pity book. On the contrary, it’s a defiant and revelatory account by a woman who refuses to be ground down by her experiences. It’s also an uplifting and self-aware account of what it’s like to live with addiction and poor mental health. In her own words, Allen describes her experiences with stark honesty and an understanding borne of going through those experiences. The book is a very readable account of Allen’s life experiences so far but it is not an autobiography in the classic sense. Rather it highlights those aspects of her life that Allen thinks have shaped her into the woman she is today. Frank about drug use, sex, alcohol and mental health, the book will upset some people. Others will find it an essential read and a deeply human account of a life lived in the spotlight. I’m firmly in the ‘others’ camp and can’t recommend the book to highly. My thoughts exactly on My Thoughts Exactly? Essential, urgent, moving, human, honest and brilliant. So go and buy it!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lsra

    I hesitated whether to buy this as although I’m a massive fan of Lily’s old albums, I haven’t been as much of a fan in recent years. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. She is brutally honest throughout about what she’s been through, the mistakes she’s made and her personal struggles. This book certainly made me feel a lot more empathy for Lily, her life hasn’t always been easy and people haven given her a hard time. I found this book relatable in a lot of ways, and I think many yo I hesitated whether to buy this as although I’m a massive fan of Lily’s old albums, I haven’t been as much of a fan in recent years. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. She is brutally honest throughout about what she’s been through, the mistakes she’s made and her personal struggles. This book certainly made me feel a lot more empathy for Lily, her life hasn’t always been easy and people haven given her a hard time. I found this book relatable in a lot of ways, and I think many young girls will do as well. The book is so unapologetic, and also has a real feminist core to it. It left me feeling more “normal” in my experience as a young woman. In many ways lily is a voice of our generation and I think she should be admired for her out- spoken nature as she normalises things that people are often ashamed to talk about. I finished the book feeling empowered as a woman and like I can speak up more. I also felt more ok with myself for having experienced certain things in my life, as well as feeling like I understood lily so much better than before. A really interesting read, I would recommend.!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emma Ward

    I'd seen a bit of buzz about this book before it hit the shelves, & as a fan of Lily Allen's music, I was intrigued. It's not a typical biography, but more a collection of important events, which Lily states very clearly at the beginning. No subject is out of bounds, & whilst I feel this is deeply personal, raw & honest, there are some instances where I cannot connect with her (on account of her privileged lifestyle). These instance are few & far between, however. A quick read, w I'd seen a bit of buzz about this book before it hit the shelves, & as a fan of Lily Allen's music, I was intrigued. It's not a typical biography, but more a collection of important events, which Lily states very clearly at the beginning. No subject is out of bounds, & whilst I feel this is deeply personal, raw & honest, there are some instances where I cannot connect with her (on account of her privileged lifestyle). These instance are few & far between, however. A quick read, with each chapter detailing significant moments, it's obvious there was no ghostwriter involved. Sometimes the story doesn't flow well, and flip flops back and forth between events, but I think this is more a case of the writing process than anything else. The intrusive behaviour of the media is awful on so many levels, & at times I truly feel for Lily, who has suffered some traumatic moments, which are relatable to women everywhere. Overall I'm glad I read it, Lily's truth is out, and it was certainly an illuminating, & at times difficult read. But mostly, I'm glad that she's finally having orgasms. You go Lily!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Raw, honest and saddening. This book will allow me to connect with Lily Allen's songs on a whole other level in both understanding what they represent to her and where they came from in her life struggles and pleasures. Not only does it shed light on what Lily Allen has gone through but also how absolutely fame can negatively affect an individual. The book is like an open letter to the people who have let her down, professionally and personally. Highlighting the people who are partly to blame for Raw, honest and saddening. This book will allow me to connect with Lily Allen's songs on a whole other level in both understanding what they represent to her and where they came from in her life struggles and pleasures. Not only does it shed light on what Lily Allen has gone through but also how absolutely fame can negatively affect an individual. The book is like an open letter to the people who have let her down, professionally and personally. Highlighting the people who are partly to blame for what she has had to endure over the years, which must've been difficult to write and release into a world that has judged her so harshly during her time in the spotlight. Lily Allen is extremely brave for doing this. I experienced so many emotions throughout this book, there were definitely parts I connected with on a personal level. I feel like by the end I had a new found respect for the lady herself and a better understanding of her world.

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