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If Only - Geri Halliwell

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Genre: Biography / Author: Geri Halliwell / Edition: New Ed / Paperback / 544 Pages / Book is published 2002-09-02 by Bantam Books Ltd

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      22.12.2009 09:12

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      a really great read

      This book shows the parts we have seen in the press but in a much more frank manner. You feel like your seeing Geri warts and all so to speak. She talks about her poor upbringing in Watford and her over whelming desire to become famous by posing topless, going to endless auditions until finally she got into the spice girls and began on the journey of the famous life she seemed to crave. She talks about her struggle with anorexia and bulimia and how this impacted on the life. It's nice to see someone that has so publicly stated for her weight being honest about it and not shying away from the fact that she has struggled for many years. I love biographies and feel that this was a real eye opener as usually I don't listen to the press but for her to talk about the spice girls and how she felt about it was nice as it came from her.

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      01.07.2009 11:43
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      Well worth a read.

      Geri Halliwell, or Ginger Spice as some may know her, is an intriging character, and even more so when she had recently just left the spice girls. I purchased this book as I love autobiographies of famous, fiesty and interesting people and Geri really fits the bill. Although she had done plenty of interviews and publicity appearances no one was ever sure what the real Geri Halliwell was like, and this was the first opportunity to find out.

      The book starts with detailing her early life (as all autobiographies do) and tells of a very poor upbringing in Watford, being looked after by her lovely Spanish mother. The book then goes on to detail her huge desire to become famous, in whatever way she could. She was a host on a Turkish gameshow, posed for topless pictures and went to hundreds of auditions before she became famous with the spice girls.

      Geri battled both anorexia and bulemia, and the book shows a very insecure side to the outgoing famous pop star we all know. It covers her life in the spice girls and her huge image change afterwards to a yoga loving breast cancer awareness campaigner.

      This a frank and detailedaccount of the behind the scenes life of Geri Halliwell, worth a read for any fan.

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      21.05.2009 23:22

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      The first autobiography of Geri Halliwell, rags to riches tale of heartbreak, drama and courage.

      I read If Only with an open mind and I found myself gripped! You will certainly laugh and quite possibly cry along with Geri as she recounts the most memorable, incredible and devastating moments of her then twenty six year life. She will amuse and inspire you in equal measure, although much of the content is not suitable for younger readers. To capture my attention and imagination enough to entice me to read an entire book is no mean feat. This autobiographical work has a tantalising mixture of the serious and the downright daft! From the loss of a loved one to a career change (albeit in her case amidst a global media frenzy), from humiliating her mum as a young girl in a department store to hilarious failed auditions, via severe mental illness and a tad of romance, all I can say about Geri's rollercoaster life, and pun very much intended, is 'scream if you wanna go faster!' (Halliwell, G. 2001 from the album 'Scream If You Wanna Go Faster', EMI; any plagiarism unintentional). My one regret is that this woman does not write more books for adults.

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      28.09.2004 14:11
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      I love reading Biographies so when I saw Geri Halliwell's "If Only" on Ebay I decided to buy it. It cost me 80p.

      We were introduced to Geri and her family background. I for one had never known her background apart from that she suffered eating disorders and she was friends with George Michael. It was interesting to read about the child and what her family life was like before stardom. She also takes us through her starting with the Spice Girls to her leaving and then deciding to do something to do with Cancer Care The book is dedicated to her dad and she talks in depth throughout the book of her family. It's not until she is a lot older she realises how much her family mean to her. She talks often about school and how in Primary School she was bunged in with the odd balls, the ones who stood out because of their school uniforms or the fact they were from poor families. She also managed to get into the Grammar School. She regularly mentions that her brother went to a really rough school and turned out to be a scientist while she went to the better school and started off at the bottom.

      Geri takes us through her life in a really in-depth way which you can see the pictures in your head of what she describes and what life was like for Geri. Some places in the book are really quite comical and had me laughing my head off. Like when she moved next door to a Nunnery and being amazed that they wore normal clothes. Then the nuns telling her that the papers had got it into their heads that Geri had bought the nunnery and chucked all the nuns out. There are also some really sad bits like when her dad died and she explains her emotions so thoroughly that I could really feel how she felt at the time.

      Geri also talks about her relationships with people and also how she realised at one point that she had no real friends. It really makes you realise that she was quite lonely and is also such a normal person to have gone through what she has. Reading the parts in the book where Geri talks about the press invading her life with stories which weren't quite true and people would sell their stories when they hardly knew her, you could feel the anguish she went through and how guilty she felt for putting her family through all what they went through. She also talks about how bad she is at maintaining men and how she usually only has a relationship with a man when she is bored and has nothing else to do, which to me is such a shame. Being in a very loving relationship myself, I can't comprehend Geri's way of men.

      You can see that although when Geri started with The Spice Girls that although on the outside she was a confident cocky sort of girl, underneath she needed someone to care and love her which was something she never really has experienced as lots of men have used her to their own advantages which is very sad. The true Geri started to come out once she had left the spice girls and had to have a focus in her life and allow herself to find herself. One thing that I did like was that quite often you would read an extract from her diary as she was very good at keeping one. Especially the parts when she was attempting to start out in Glamour Modelling.

      The way that Geri writes the book makes you really feel as though she is having a conversation with you. As you are reading, within your head I found I was asking questions and as if like magic Geri would answer them in the next paragraph. I found the book very easy to read and I couldn't put it down as I wanted to know what happened next and how she felt. I also found it a disappointment to discover that it finished in 1999. It would be great to see how she feels 5 years on. I'm a nosy person and love to look at the pictures which always seem to come in this sort of book. It was amazing looking at pictures off a few years ago and what Geri looked like at school. She has really changed and is a really elegant person who has grown and changed into the real Geri. Geri's book showed me the sensitive side of Geri and how she really felt through all her rough times and how true friends and family will always be there for her.

      This was a book which I found easy to read but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone too young. I got my copy from ebay for 80p, if you look on Amazon it is available for around £5.59. If you shop in bargain bookshops you may find it for cheaper. It was definitely worth the read but I wouldn't have gone out of my way to read it. Though I would read an update if she did one.

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        05.08.2002 23:42
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        I only bought the book (in hard back) because my local book shop couldn't shift any copies and my copy was reduced to an unbelievable price of £2.99. I thought I would only read a few chapters before I became bored but infact I was pleasantly surprised. I could not put it down and within a week I had read it all. It brings to light that geri was just as ordinary as you and I and that her life was hard. She has got where she is today through hard work and determination and with the backing of a good mother. You suddenley stop believing the rubbish printed about her and her odd behaviour, this is a girl from Watford who had a hard time. I admire her for her weight loss and the fact that she is the same as every woman battling the pounds. She didn't just "pay" to get skinny, she worked out now looks amazing. There is no bad words as such in connection with the Spice Girls. Though you do get an impression that Mel B was a bit of a stirrer! It's been a while since the book was published so you too might be lucky and get it even cheaper than me! Please remember though this was written in pre Robbie Williams days. Happy reading.

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          03.03.2002 17:48
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          What a book, this is the best book i've ever read! Geri really lets you into her heart and shares her experiance with you! I love Geri and find her a great role model in the way she battled on thoughout her career. Anyone her likes Geri or the Spice Girls should read this book and theres a good chance that by the end you'll see them in a very differant light. Everyone just saw Geri as a young girl who just wanted fame but when you read the book you realise how hard she worked to get there. This is one of the most heart warming books ever and makes you apperciate yourself more!

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            15.08.2001 21:12
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            I was 17/18 when Spice Girls first hit the charts with Wannabe. I must admit I was intrigued by them but also dead against them because I was a Indie Chick and we couldn't possibly like the Spice Girls! After reading this book, I kind of felt that I'd missed out on the whole Spicey Thang! But now I think they were actually pretty cool! I've always been interested in Geri Halliwell's version of events with regards to leaving the Spice Girls. This autobiography details those well, I had mixed emotion and could really understand what Geri was going through! She has been very adult about the matter, and hasn't been bitchy about any member of the Spicies, I suppose that sums Geri up though - Diplomatic! The book follows Geri from a child growing up in Watford, to a teenager desperate for stardom. We follow the highs and lows of the ultimate wannabe, and I begun to realise that there must be 1000's of girls just like Geri, waiting and hoping for that perfect break. It follows through the auditions for the Spice Girls, the first hit, their phenonmenal success and then of course onto when Geri decided to leave and make it on her own and the success of her solo career. A really good read, even if you are not a fan of Geri!

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              11.06.2001 19:02
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              I have always been intrigued by miss Geri Halliwell since she burst onto the pop scene with the Spice Girls. She was the loud, brassy, self-opinionated one who seemed to have an answer for everything. Therfore when her biography came out in paperback I decided that I would very much like to read it to find out why she was like this. I couldn't put the book down down, i was engrossed in the childhood dreams and disapointments of Geri. I found her frankness about her depression and her battles with food and her weight very touching. It all made sense, the loud, in your face attitude. She had quite an eventful youth, struggling with her weight, striving to become famous. Her story really did show how much she wanted to become well-known and accepted by everyone. She needed to be loved and this was quite revealing. I would definately recommend this book to anyone whether they are a fan of miss Halliwell or not. I would especially recommend the book to people who don't particularly like Geri, as it will give them a real insight into her ambitions and dreams. The book helps us to realise why Geri was the way she was in her time as a Spice Girl. I also think it would be useful to anyone who is going through what Geri went through while she was growing up; weight issues, death of a parent etc. An assest to anyone's book collection!

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                23.04.2001 05:41
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                I got this book as a one off and thought it may interest me.I was surprised, it was not as bad as i thought it was going to be.But i still think it it lacking somthink but i can't put my finger on it.But apart for that i realy enjoyed it the pictures of the spice girls and her as a child growing up were a nice touch.It was nice to see that i'm not the only one who hates there body like that but i don't go to the same length as that anymore i'm getting to old and more wiser as hopefully she will.And it was good that you get to see the real spice girls the fights and partys and boyfriends and how hard they all work to get it i wish i was brave enought to do that sort of thing.I must admit i see her as more of a person than a star.I think the bit i liked best was the bit about her life before the spice girls it showed the real geri the growing up the fight's with her mum, how upsetting her parents deivorse was and the death of her farther.Her coming clean about her past the modeling and photo shot's and dancing in night club's to make some money.How she feel in love with her first dog. the sections done in the style of a dairy worked well.

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                  21.04.2001 04:36
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                  I wasn't a great fan of Geri Halliwell before reading this book, to be honest I only bought the book because it was on special offer. However, after reading the book I have changed my opinion about her. The book is not written in a formal manner, it reads more like a friend telling you about her life. Surprisingly the book doesn't focus too heavily on the Spice Girls, although the second half of the book does focus on her friendship with Mel B and her time with the band. We learn about Geri's experiences as a child, teenager and adult. There are some very disturbing moments in the book when Geri reveals her low self esteem and her eating problems. We also learn of her humiliation at topless modelling auditions and what she went through to get where she is today. Reading the book you realise that Geri has only ever wanted one thing - to be famous. But once she had this fame she found it hard to deal with. Basically she is just your normal girl next door and you really feel like you know her personally when you read this book. It does what a good autobiography should do -draws you into the stars life and makes you sympathise and emphaise with them. I would certainly recommend this book to a friend - it was much better than I expected it to be and I have to admit, I am now a bit of a fan!

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                    15.01.2001 19:27

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                    This was a very good book. Not for its literary value, but for its insight into the mind of a seriously troubled girl. I would go as far as to say that it should be compulsory reading for anybody who works with children and teenagers. Geri Halliwell writes about her youth and her way "to the top" with quite a lot of insight. It's evident that she's done a lot of soul searching and that there's a lot more to her than we could ever imagine when Ginger Spice drove us insane. I'm the same age as Geri and I grew up battling the same demons of insecurity, but came out of it with a sense of confidence and a knowledge that I could do anything I wanted to. For Geri fame was the solution to all her problems, the ultimate measurement of success, but when she got there she discovered that she still had the same problems and insecurities as before, only now she was scrutinised by the world's media as well. In certain parts of the book you get the feeling that she finally grew up after leaving the Spice Girls. Then you read statements about "Wannabes" and you get the suspicion that although she's learnt what her problems are in theory, she hasn't accepted it and therefore needs to cling on to the notion that she is famous – therefore she is successful. It's been quite a while since this book was written and in that time what little I've seen of Geri Halliwell has given me a lot more respect for her. Contrary to the other Spice Girls she seems to try to act like a responsible adult. I really hope that the healing process that was started by writing this book has been allowed to continue and that one day she'll find the peace of mind and inner calm that she's so desperately looking for.

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                    21.12.2000 02:12

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                    Dont make fun of Geri for writing a book. It's not an easy task to do. At least she tried. Besides, it was a best seller and that's an even harder task to achieve. People tend to have opinions about others all laid out before they even know them properly. This is especially true with regard to famous people. In the Spice Girls, Geri Halliwell was viewed as superslut because of the way she behaved, how she dressed and her glamour model past. Little did we know of the fragile character underneath the miniskirts, hair dye and lipstick. In her autobiography, Geri talks of her poor childhood in Watford, and the many auditions and rejection letters and her constant struggle for fame as she became a dancer, a Turkish game show host and a glamour model to keep herself afloat and hopefully get noticed by someone with connections. She tells us how she battled with bulimia and anorexia before and during her time with the Spice Girls and the never ending pressure fame has on a person. When Geri left the Spice Girls she decided for a total change and left the Ginger image behind. She helped the worthy cause of breast cancer research, something close to her heart, and became the United Nations Population Fund's goodwill ambassador. People laugh when I say that Geri Halliwell is deeper than one might think, but I urge you to read this before making up your mind about her. You might be surprised if you don't judge this book by its cover. She's not a writer for obvious reasons, the writing style isn't the best, but it's a fabulous insight into the real Geri Halliwell. I enjoyed it very much.

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                    20.12.2000 03:58
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                    I've followed Geri Halliwell's career since the beginning of the Spice Girls as she and I are very similar. We've had similar upbringings, on occasions behave similarly, had the same ambitions to a point and while I'm older than she is and have made different choices in my life, I see a lot of myself in her. I remember watching Wannabe and the other early videos and seeing what I had hoped to be, during my teenage years. I was almost a Spice Girl - don't ask :> Had I actually joined, I too would have been the loud one. I followed her and the other girls and while, as I said, I had made different choices from Geri, she kinda lived "my other life" for me for a while. I trained until I was 18 in dancing, singing and acting as I also wanted to be a "pop star". When I turned 18, I realised that I didn't want that life at all. The money would be nice of course, but there was no way I could have coped with the workload or fame - so I ditched the career in entertainment, went to University and then set about making babies (which is actually what I truly wanted to do). The Spice Girls seemed to steam roll on quite happily for a while and then I noticed Geri putting weight on. I noticed pain in her eyes, even though she was smiling. The Christmas before she left the Spice Girls they did an advertising campaign for Asda. All five of them looked knackered, in spite of their make up and smiles. Their eyes looked like they couldn't take any more, especially Geri. We all know what happened next. I got Geri's book from the library the other day after reading a review on Dooyoo. It was one of the easiest books I've read. She's no linguist or novelist, but she's articulate enough to get her point across. She doesn't mince with words and as far as I can tell, the words in the book are all her own. She makes her points, then moves on - there isn't any faffing about with
                    big words of phrases. It's a very emotional book from her point of view. She pours out her heart as best she can. She's certainly not a thickie, and I understood very clearly what she meant and was trying to say, although sometimes her phrasing wasn't quite right. The descriptive passages about surroundings and places are quite bare really, but then this book isn't a novel. It's about her experiences. She starts with lots of details about her upbringing and her family. She grew up in Watford and I will admit, this section bored the pants off me. It could have been much shorter and summed up in half the about of space. There are lots of details about her hair, boys, snogging, first experiences, nasty girls at school, fights with siblings etc. It may be relevant at some level to help understand her character, but over all she was a normal kid and didn't do anything that I didn't. Yawn to this bit. Then we learn about her later teenage years. I did learn quite a bit of new stuff about her in this section. I had no idea that she went totally off the rails and nearly ended up dead on quite a few occasions from sheer stupidity. We all rebel in some way, but Geri really took it to an extreme and it was quite scary. Maybe I'm naive or just inexperienced, but there is a seedy side of life out there that is very easy to fall into. I'm not saying that I didn't know that there is a seedy side of life - I just always thought it was a very hard one to find. I always thought it was in central London or Birmingham, not round the corner from someone's terraced house in Watford, not close enough for a naive young girl to just step into. Eventually she gets her act together and starts glamour modelling. Again, I knew that she had done SOME of this, but I had no idea that she'd done it for a very long time. I had no idea of the length of time, the amount of work or blood, sweat and tears she put into i
                    t. She grafted on a large scale and my respect for her grew after reading this section of the book. She stuck with it, despite criticism from family, friends, agents, everyone; despite come-ons, let downs, rejection letters, dirty perverts, dangerous locations, no money ... you name it. It's surprising that she came out alive, let alone unscathed. However, once again this section got boring after a while. It went on too long for me. There are only so many failed castings and go sees and dirty minded photographers that you want to read about. What struck me most was the emotion at this point. She is a depressive, it seems, and literally went from one extreme to the other in a very short space of time. She had a childhood dream of being a star but didn't know how to make it come true. She soldiered on with her glamour modelling and THAT tv show in Turkey, despite being miserable a lot of the time. This proved to me at least, that depression is a physical illness and not merely a state of mind. No matter how depressed she got, she never gave up her dream ... but she did become bulimic. She never saw a doctor about her depression until much later - at the beginning of the Spice Girls - and even then she didn't get the help she needed. She binged and made herself sick, then put on a happy face on almost every page. She plodded on relentlessly and I admire her greatly for that. BUT this isn't what we want to hear about is it? We want to hear about how the Spice Girls came to be, how it all happened and then how it ended. She doesn't begin to talk about the Spice Girls until half way through the book. I got irritated waiting for them to turn up. What you don't get is a catalogue of the alleged arguments and in fighting that we hear about so often. What you do get is a seemingly honest account of how much she loved those girls, how good friends they were, how much she enjoyed it all at first. Despite repo
                    rts to the contrary, she WAS already singing and dancing before the Spice Girls but she readily admits that she was the least musical and trained of them all. She considered them to be professional entertainers but that she had to try harder and work harder and practice more and learn more just to keep up with them. She mentions the odd girlie row so, unless she's holding out on us, they got on better than the press would have us believe. We all know how the first couple of years went for the Spice Girls in public. What interested me was the behind the scenes info. Kids don't tend to realise that pop stars DO exist when they aren't on the telly or in a magazine; they DO have bladders and bowels and zits; they DO go home and find their heating on the blink and the power off; they DO get nervous before public appearances; they rehearse and rehearse and rehearse; they have to learn lines; they have to do 36 interviews in a day and answer the same questions a hundred times; they smile when they really don't feel like it; they miss their mums; their mums still tell them off; they don't just go back into a little box when they aren't on display. I was quite surpised to learn how much the adulation astonished Geri at first - but I wasn't surprised when it lost it's sparkle for her. I wasn't at all surprised when they had worked so much and been so over exposed that she just got fed up with the intrusions. She just got fed up with the Spice Girls being a machine and not about the five girls who formed a band and were having a laugh. The turning point came for her when the other girls didn't want her to do an interview for breast cancer. She realised then that it wasn't fulfilling for her anymore and that it was all about the wrong reasons. If she couldn't use her fame to help people, what was the point? She'd made her money, proven all her doubters wrong, willingly sacrificed her privacy for her dream wh
                    ich had come true ... and didn't end up what she expected it to be. It didn't fill the hole that she thought it would. It didn't make her as happy as she thought it would. This book could have been a novel. "Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it". She got what she wanted - then realised it wasn't what she'd imagined. Writing a biography during your twenties is a tad arrogant, but I'm still pleased she wrote it. She may have written it to cash in on her fame and prolong the memory of her name in the public's collective brain, but it's a solid work that tells a story of a little kid with dreams. The book may no be exceptionally well written, it may waffle on in such irritating self pity that you feel like slapping her (well I did ... snap out of it you spoiled brat!), you may want to shake her on occasions for her sheer stupidity but you will want to applaud her honesty. It's brave of Geri to have written this book. She brings up issues that concern a lot of young women in particular - bulimia, sex, independence - but she also (possibly inadvertently) brings home the fact that, if we are to believe her, her success was all her own hard work. She worked for it from the age of 16. She made herself and carved a career in what is still ostensibly a man's industry. This book will appeal to older teenagers. There are subjects covered that some parents may not be able to talk to their kids about or may fear that their children won't take seriously coming from them. It wouldn't hurt to give them this book to read. She makes no bones about her mistakes and it would do teenagers good to read about someone so famous admitting her errors and learning from them. Younger Spice fans might not need to read this book just yet - there are quite a few photographs of Geri and her family, some of which contain nudity. There is also a fair bit about Geri's sexual exper
                    iences that aren't for younger readers. Spice detractors will probably just laugh at this book as self-pitying waffling rambling, but I enjoyed it. I learned about the needy, self-absorbed, immature but ultimately clever, sensitive and entertaining woman behind the ginger hair.

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                      13.12.2000 21:31

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                      I bought a signed copy of this book, giving me a good excuse when it came to explaining myself to my friends. I never got past chapter two. It is not that the story is not interesting but I could not get into it due to the poor style of writing which made everything seem boring. This is a shame for Geri as it will put many people off reading her story. Maybe it got better further on. I may never know as it is unlikely that I will pick up this book again.

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                      11.12.2000 00:48
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                      Remember Ginger Spice ? All bright red hair, tight tops with oodles of cleavage, short skirts with lots of leg, and dangerously high platform heels ? Well, that image disappeared in May 1998, when Geri Halliwell left the Spice Girls. Like a butterfly, she emerged from the hype transformed. I met her at a book signing in October 1999. She was quiet, but kind, very blonde (no red in sight), hardly any make-up, friendly but seemingly overwhelmed at the attention and queues of fans waiting to meet her. When I told her it was my daughter's birthday that day, she wrote 'Happy B'Day !' in her book, then gave my daughter a kiss. I liked the old Geri, but loved the new one, but marvelled at the change between the two. Having bought her autobiography, I hoped I would find out more about the woman behind these changing images and maybe discover which one is the real Geri. I was a fan of hers when she was in the Spice Girls, but I think her solo output has proved to the world just how talented she is. But it is not just her singing that has alerted the public to her many talents. She has dabbled in political issues too - supporting Breast Cancer Care (All the royalties from sales of this book go to the charity), and speaking out about the lack of contraception availability in the Third World. As well as her obvious beauty and singing talent, Geri Halliwell is a woman with strong opinions, firm beliefs and what's more - she is not afraid of saying them ! This makes for a great autobiography. She writes the book as a diary, which makes it a very approachable format. Within a few pages, I was hooked, it is a very good read. Although she has only lived a relatively short life thus far, she has had an interesting life and her rise to fame from struggling model to top of the charts is an intriguing one. The photos included are interesting as well, especially the childhood ones
                      from her own collection. There are a couple from her glamour modelling days too, so watch out if the kids are looking ! Unlike some autobiographies, this does seem to be written by her, rather than a ghost writer and it is a refreshingly honest book and one that I would definitely recommend. The only disadvantage is that my kids wanted to read it and with lots of mentions of sex, it really isn't appropriate for pre-teens. From meeting her and from reading this book, I believe what we are seeing these days is the real Geri Halliwell. Ginger Spice was merely a caricature, a role for this gifted actress to play. Since leaving the Spice Girls, Geri has had a very successful solo album 'Schizophrenic' and is recording a second. She has also proved her talents in presenting, with Geri's World Walkabout on TV. Personally, I think the new Geri is much better than Ginger Spice and I look forward to following her career and seeing just what she does next.

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