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Between the ages of seven and ten, I was absolutely obsessed (and I mean obsessed) with the pop group Steps! I thought that they were amazing! I had all their tapes, videos, books, posters, mugs, bags, pencil cases, t-shirts, pyjama sets, posters and concert tickets....you name it I had it. I could never choose a favourite, it was always between the girls; sometimes Faye would be my favourite, other times Lisa and other times Claire, although I do think that Claire used to 'win' most of the time. So as you can imagine I was over the moon when over a decade later Steps reunited. When I was younger I was only interested in Steps and their music; I wasn't interested in their personal lives - however as I have got older I love reading about the personal lives of celebrities. I was so excited when I heard that Claire Richards from Steps was releasing an autobiography! Ooh this is going to be juicy I thought!!
All Of Me is the autobiography by Claire Richards. The book was released in the United Kingdom in 2012 and so it is very recent. The book is currently available to buy from Amazon for a price of £5.59 from Amazon. As much as I wanted it, I wasn't going to pay the £16.99 price it was selling for when it was first released. Waiting paid off though as I managed to get a used copy from play.com for just over £2 - bargain!
Steps were a huge part of my childhood - I could not get enough of them and so as you can imagine I was really excited to read about all the juicy gossip from behind the scenes and what being a member of one of Britain's best bands was really like.
I have always liked Claire - she has always come across as being really lovely and this book is no exception. She is really friendly and seems like a genuine and down to earth person who you could imagine being friends with. She's very honest in this book. I did feel really sorry for Claire when reading this book; I hadn't realised what a hard time she was having in Steps and now that I know the full story I really sympathise for her. She is very likeable and I think that now I have read this book from her perspective I admire her even more and can say that she is definitely my favourite Steps-ter now! Also having watched the Steps Reunion documentary, I thought that Claire came across as being a real baddie; although now that I have read her story I realise that it was in fact the other members of Steps who were really horrible to Claire (not mentioning any names). Claire has a really warm personality and I found her really easy to relate to. I could also hearing her telling me the story in her voice.
I remember, along with all the other Steps fan, being really annoyed on Boxing Day 2001 as it was the day that Steps announced their split - I remember I had a Steps calendar for 2002 and thinking 'well, they've split up before 2001 has ended'. I remember being really annoyed at Claire and H for leaving! Although, now after reading the whole story, I realise that it must have been so difficult for Claire putting on such a brave face when in fact she had been really unhappy in the band for a couple of years. It makes you wonder how she carried on with Steps for so long - especially being in the public eye and all that.
The book is written in a very easy to read way which means that it makes a nice relaxing read - a perfect bit of light reading. I like that the book is fast paced - it moves on quickly and doesn't hang around. I found that I flew through this book - there are only 250 pages and I seemed to finish the book within a couple of hours. I would have liked if certain parts had gone into more detail. To be honest, there isn't that much really from her Steps' days that I didn't know. I learnt a lot about the rivalry and arguments from the Steps Reunion reality television programme - so there wasn't a lot in the book that I didn't know about.
I would have liked to have known more about the 'Steps days' - considering that the reason she's got an autobiography for being famous in Steps, so I thought that the book would have covered more on this topic. I found it interesting to read about what Steps was like from Claire's perspective - she always seems so happy looking from the outside. I would have liked more juicy gossip about her time in Steps, although it seems that she doesn't like to spill too much. She speaks of issues with jealousy and rivalry and arguments and yet she manages to deal with the issues sensitively - she doesn't slag anyone off - just says it how it was. She is very careful with the information that she does reveal though - I guess as the book was released at the time of the reunion, she didn't like to say too many bad things about the band members as she was having to see them everyday at the time. However, if she had written the book during her time 'off' away from Steps, where she didn't see the others for over a decade then she may have revealed more information.
A large proportion of the book features Claire speaking about her weight. I had already learnt a lot about her weight issues from her tv shows 'slave to food' and from all her various magazine interviews that she has given in the past. So there wasn't anything that I didn't really know about really. I loved this book, although I did think that she did go on and on about her weight issues a bit much. I did think that the title of the book 'All Of Me' was a clever title though; as she talks so much about her weight and how she has gone from being skinny to overweight to skinny to overweight again. I found Claire very easy to relate to - it makes you think even superstar pop stars have insecurities.
There are some photographs in this book; a lot of them I had already seen from the Steps days and of her childhood from Steps Books and from their video where they showed pictures of themselves as kids, so I didn't really find the pictures that interesting. I would have preferred if there were more photos and also ones which we hadn't actually seen before.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it has definitely made me like Claire even more. I would definitely recommend this book to all women - I found it to be such an inspiring read.
Thanks for reading!
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