Book: Trouble Maker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini [Goodreads | Amazon]
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Publisher: Ballantine Books/Random House
Format: Audiobook by Audible
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars
As with most memoirs, especially celebrity ones, this cover features a picture of Leah Remini’s face. The cover is fine, Remini looks lovely, as always. And because she’s recognizable, it’s a good move to get more interest in the book itself.
I listened to this book over a few days during my commute. I have been wanting to read this since it came out, but decided to try listening to it. I enjoy listening to memoirs because I feel like you get a lot more to the story when the person telling the story is actually able to, you know, tell it.
I really am a fan of Remini. I have always liked her attitude and always enjoy it when she pops up on something I am watching. She was one of my favorite girlfriends to Zack Morris while growing up (a role that she apparently was advised against taking, so I’m glad she went against that and did her own thing). And while I didn’t watch King of Queens often, I always felt she and Kevin James showed great chemistry together.
When Remini decide to leave Scientology, even before this book came out, I read lots of interviews and saw lots of discussion about her and the religion. I know that there are a ton of books and articles that are trying to get out the truth behind the religion, so maybe there isn’t anything special about this book. However, I think that Remini offers a different, good perspective in regards to the religion and what actually went down.
There are parts of the book that are pre-scientology. These parts are limited and are important to explaining how she and her family got on when in the religion. I think Remini did a great job describing the occurrences throughout her part of the religion. She does a good job explaining the intricate parts to the religion. It was interesting to hear about the different levels, what a person has to do, and hearing the differences between being a non-celebrity member vs a celebrity member to the church.
One of the more interesting parts that Remini discusses (and there are quite a few of them), have to do the the Scientology golden boy, Tom Cruise. Even people who are not interested in Scientology know how important he is to the religion, and know bits and pieces to his odd behavior over the past few years (yes, the couch jumping is brought up and in fact the whole marriage to Katie Holmes in general). At first, I thought it was odd how much she discussed him but in retrospect, I realize how big of a part to her story he really is. And I guess he is to any and every one that is part of that religion.
Remini recently did a A&E special, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, that I have yet to check out. It’s on my list of shows to check out eventually, though. It will be interesting to see if there will be more information outside of what she has written about.