Life is Not a Fairy Tale
(Simon & Schuster)
Fantasia performs with Kanye West Fri Dec 9 at Memorial Coliseum
Following every one of her songs, recent American Idol champ Fantasia had her own version of a post-touchdown end-zone dance—the BoBo. She explains, "That's me gettin' my praise on. It's a dance out of my worshippin' God." These phrases alone—give a good idea of what reading Life is Not a Fairy Tale is like.
Despite the anti-fairy rhetoric of the title, Fantasia's memoir is not anti-gay. It is often anti-materialism (Chapter Eight: "It Ain't About the Bling") and anti-ho (Chapter Nine: "Don't Be a Hoochie Mama"). Her story features relatively no dirt on her fellow Idol contestants, nor does she remark upon any scuttlebutt surrounding the show's judges. Though she does discuss her own experiences with the program and its ensuing nationwide tour, her tale primarily concerns her struggles growing up in High Point, North Carolina.
Frankly, the book is pretty tedious. It may reflect poorly on me when sex and scandal are necessary to hold my interest, but it's a fucking memoir! Fantasia's book does include sex and scandal, however—she got knocked up young and unwed, scandalizing the nation midway through her Idol season—but it's still nothing I haven't heard before. The memoir of Frenchie Davis (the erstwhile Idol contestant expelled from competition for her topless internet pictures) would undoubtedly be more readable—if only because Frenchie couldn't possibly quote "da Bible" as often.
Fantasia is unquestionably likeable and, for her intended audience, Life is Not a Fairy Tale should succeed as an inspirational parable. Bits of the book are memorable, if not sociologically telling—particularly when she points out, "65 million people heard me and voted for me to be the 2004 American Idol. That was more votes than George W. Bush got." It's a waste of time for anyone else, including former colleague Julianne Shepherd (one of the staunchest 'Tasia apologists), whom I can picture gagging on her wheatgrass juice as she comes upon the admonition on page 27, "Find your BoBo!"