“ Author: Cheryl Cole / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 11 April 2013 / Autobiography: yes / Genre: Arts & Entertainment / Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers / Title: Cheryl: My Story / ISBN 13: 9780007500147 / ISBN 10: 0007500147 „
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Whilst she was on X Factor and became the Nation's Princess, even though I could see it was all mainly publicity hype (I mean know one actually liked her that much before did they?), I did actually start to warm to Cheryl Cole and became a fan. Since then though, I have become less of a fan of her...however, I still had to have this book to see what life was actually like for Cheryl, in her own words. I was determined not to pay full price for this book and so waited until it had dropped in price.
Cheryl: My Story is the autobiography of Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole. The book was released in the United Kingdom in 2012 and so is fairly recent. The book is currently available for sale from Amazon for a price of £3.85 which I think is good value for money.
The book covers all of Cheryl's life right from the beginning right up until 2012. I found it interesting hearing about her personal life and childhood, as if I'm being honest, we already know about her 'pop star' days (especially after the X Factor) from all the newspapers anyway. So I particularly found her pre-fame story to be interesting.
Cheryl comes across as being really down to earth and just a normal person really. She comes across as being really sweet and likeable, yet at the same time, she is a very strong and determined woman - which she has had to be what with hard times she has faced. Despite her difficult life, she still remains to have a good sense of humour and comes across as being quite comical as she tells her story. When I was reading the book I could hear Cheryl telling me the story herself in my head. Whilst I think that Cheryl comes across as being sweet and innocent...I don't actually think that she is as sweet and innocent as she makes out - I think some of it is a bit fake and pretend if I am being honest. I still like Cheryl though but just don't think that she is as sweet as she makes out.
Having read her other book 'Through My Eyes', I have to say that I much preferred this book as there is much more to this book as it goes more in depth, whereas Through My Eyes was more or less just a small teaser into the life of Cheryl Cole. There is a lot more information regarding her personal life in this book. Whilst, she was obviously going to hold some information back, I was impressed by the amount of information she revealed about her marriage - even though it was a major part of her life and was highly documented in the British newspapers, I had expected her to have just 'skimmed' over her marriage in this book, and yet she actually says a lot about it, which I found to be interesting. It certainly made me think that even Cheryl Cole gets dumped! However, having said that, the majority of stuff in this book is stuff I already knew about from what I have read in the newspapers and so I didn't really learn that much new information from this book...it was mainly just Cheryl confirming what the papers had already told us previously.
This book includes personal photos which I found interesting as personal ones are more interesting than publicity pictures which we have already seen a hundred times before. Fans will enjoy looking at the photographs and also children who maybe like Cheryl but can't read. The book is written in a fairly easy to read way which provides great light reading.
I would recommend this book if you are a Cheryl fan, or even if you are not and just like reading autobiographies. It is certainly an interesting read. In fact I found this book to be hugely inspirational.
Thanks for reading!
This was a greatly appreciated Christmas present. I started to read this book the day after I received it, boxing day and had finished it 3 days later. I loved it, it was captivating and from the very first page I was hooker. I didn't expect Cheryl to be so open and candid around details of her personal life, especially concerning the arrest of her brother and her marriage. I quite liked Cheryl before I read the book but now have a new respect for her. The photographs are insightful of her changing status and show a softer side than her TV persona. I would recommend this if you are looking to get an insight in to the life of celebrity and reality TV shows. I was given the hard back version of the book however have checked and the photographs in the paper back copy are exactly the same, so no loss if buying a chepaer version.
I borrowed this from a friend, and have to say while I enjoy her music, autobiographies aren't normally my thing as I'm just not that interested in celebrities' lives. My friend said she had got it as a christmas present (she had asked for it), and while she had enjoyed most of it she was pleased she hadn't spent the £20 on it, I think she only enjoyed the part about the affairs.
The book is well written and tells us about her life from her early childhood until 2012, and covers all aspects of her life including her early fame, marriage and divorce, as well as her time on UK X Factor and USA X Factor. I learnt lots about her and those around her that I didn't already know, in particular how hounded she has been by the press, and what happened in the USA as well as her illness.
What did I think
On the whole I enjoyed this book and if you have an interest in Cheryl Cole or celebrities I would recommend it. The book is well written and Cheryl comes across as a woman who has survived a lot in her short life, and who has always had a belief that she would one day be a star. Her style is pretty up beat and while she tells all about childhood depression, her illness and her difficult marriage to Ashley she does so from a position of, she survived it and learned from it, rather then from a "look at how hard i've had it" point of view. The only thing to have really upset her (apart from the obvious) is how people treated her like an object when she was seriously ill, rather than a person. The parts I particularly enjoyed were her childhood, and her time with Simon Cowell on X Factor.
If I have one small criticism of the book it is, it felt like she has portrayed herself as always having been good, and for me it was not quite believable and too sugary, but then maybe I'm just a cynic. I have to say though my opinion of her has gone up, just because of how much she has survived in her short life, and how normal she still seems. I also felt sorry for her for how much she was hounded by the press, and feel pleased she's found a way to tell her own story in her own words.
In short I wouldn't buy the book, but I am pleased I borrowed it.
Cheryl Cole is one of the biggest celebrities in the UK, I'm sure everyone reading this knows who she is but just in case you don't, here is a quick bio. Cheryl found fame on the reality show Popstars: The Rivals, becoming a member of Girls Aloud. After huge success as a group, Cheryl went her own way and found more success as a solo artist. Despite her strong career, it is Cole's personal life that occupies the tabloids day after day. There have certainly been plenty of noteworthy events in Cheryl's life over the past ten years, which makes this book a must read for any fan of hers.
The autobiography begins with a prologue recalling Cheryl's stay in hospital after contracting malaria before proceeding in chronological order for the rest of the book. I don't really think the prologue was necessary, I'm assuming it was put there to pull the reader in and convince you to keep reading but it was just out of place. I would have preferred if this chapter was where it should be in the time line of Cole's life. Just a personal preference.
Cheryl doesn't hold back throughout the book, being totally open and honest about the hard times in her life. Growing up in a poor area of Newcastle, Cheryl was surrounded by drugs and was affected by the people taking drugs including her own brother. This opening section is perhaps one of the hardest hitting parts of the book as the emotions she felt come across well and feel so raw, like she was really reliving the events whilst writing the book.
There is surprisingly little written about her fellow Girls Aloud members, which was a little disappointing for me as a fan of the group. Given that Girls Aloud spent 10 years together, I thought there would be more inside information on their time together. She does however go into detail about her relationship with Ashley Cole and how she felt about the allegations that led to their divorce. This part of the book was a good read as Cheryl has been understandably very quiet on the subject. She goes into detail about when she found out about Ashley's infidelity for the first time, again showing her true emotions.
One slight negative for me was the number of conversations in the book; Cheryl wrote the majority of the book in quotation marks which makes me wonder how she remembered everything in her life. There are conversations relayed from when she was 13, how she remembered that word for word I do not know. I would have preferred more narrative explanation rather than the story approach that she favoured.
The writing in the book did at times come across like she wanted pity, which wasn't particularly amiable. The beginning of the book shows that her childhood wasn't idyllic yet there are constant reminders of her bad background and how she is a survivor from childhood. It got a little too much for me at times, there was no need for the reminders as the story she told was strong enough to hold in my memory.
The pictures in the book are good, plenty from Cheryl's private collection giving further insight into her life. There are full colour inserts in the book rather than black and white pictures mixed in with the text.
Cheryl: My Story is certainly an enjoyable read if you're a fan of hers; I doubt it would convert non fans however. A lot of the information in the book isn't new but getting her insight into the events of her life is interesting and worth reading. Plenty has been said in the papers about what Cheryl is doing and thinking but as you'll see if you read the book, most of it is rubbish. As I have mentioned in the review, there are a few style points that I don't like but other than that I can't fault the book. It is a very good autobiography that keeps you hooked from beginning to end. It is now out in paperback and can be bought for £3.85 from Amazon, that is a very good price for a good book.
Also posted on ciao under the username shabbating.
Cheryl Cole is probably considered to be one of the most famous women in Britain. She became famous after being one of 5 winners in a competition to be in pop band Girls Aloud and has since had her own solo music career. She's also been a judge on the X factor and if that wasn't enough, she's considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the country and has been married to a Premiership footballer too!
Firstly, I'll admit that I've never been a huge Cheryl Cole fan. Don't get me wrong that's not to say I don't like her, I'm just not a massive fan who pays to watch her countless times in concert or has any particular interest to follow anything she does. I used to listen to some of her music because I thought it was quite good and I watch X factor regardless of who is on the judging panel - none of these things were because they involved her personally. But, when this autobiography was released, I found myself intrigued to read it as I am quite possibly the nosiest person in the world and I wanted to know all about her life in general, in particular her side of the goings on in her marriage to Ashley Cole because like many I'd seen umpteen stories in the newspapers.
The book is written in the style of a typical autobiography - she tells about her childhood and upbringing and tells of how she always wanted to be in the limelight. It seems even from an early age, she made big efforts to take part in local shows and events, not to become famous but because it was something she enjoyed doing. Then the story moves on to her appearance on Popstars: the rivals, the show that created Girls Aloud, before embarking on her relationship with Ashley Cole and their subsequent marriage (and it's breakdown), how she became an X factor judge and how she nearly died of Malaria after a trip abroad on safari. At 29, I was sceptical that the book would have enough information to keep me interested but she sure has packed a lot into those few years! The book was very gripping and soon became one that I couldn't put down for very long. I read mostly before I go to sleep and I found myself saying 'ooh, go on, just one more chapter!!'
Overall, I found the book a fascinating read and it completely changed my opinion on her for the better I have to say. I found her upbringing quite upsetting really as it sounds as though she really had to be a tough cookie to live in the area she did and come out of it on the other side, with some people she knew from her childhood ending up on drugs. It seemed she had to be old beyond her years to deal with some of the things in her younger days in Newcastle. One of the things that struck me, was how important her family are to her -she comes from a very close knit family who stick up for their own completely.
I was also quite surprised to read about the extent to which Ashley hurt her emotionally and she discusses this at length over a series of chapters as he was such a big part of her life. I was expecting her to mention him obviously but not to the extent that she does.
The part I found very surprising was when she had Malaria - I knew from seeing it in the news that she hadn't been well but I had no idea of the scale this had been. The illness really took hold of her and she was extremely ill for weeks. Thankfully she fully recovered and with telling this story in detail, she has probably helped a lot of people realise how important it is to check when travelling and if it's an area at risk of Malaria to take the necessary precautions before, during and after the visit. I hold my hands up and say I didn't realise how serious a condition it was as I've never visited anywhere where it is an issue but in the future it is definitely something I will check after reading about her horrific time fighting it.
There were only one or two minor points that I thought were a little contradictory in the book eg at one point she said that the wedding photos were sold to a magazine reluctantly to ensure that they received the best security for the day and said that her and Ashley didn't want to profit whatsoever from it, but in the same sentence stated that the money the magazine gave them was all put into the wedding. Really I saw this as profiting from selling the pictures?! Not that it matters, I just thought it was a bit of a strange thing to say - I was expecting her to say it went to charity instead.
I rate the book 5 stars overall, as it was one of those books that I couldn't put down once I'd started to read it. I found it very interesting - particularly as the book went on to talk about her marriage and when Girls Aloud were established as a pop band. I definitely recommend the book, even to those like me who aren't massive fans of her work. I, like a lot of people, have seen tonnes of stories in the papers over the years regarding her saying all sorts of things and this book tells the story directly from her point of view - it certainly tells a few truths and puts stories straight.
Available as a paperback, hardback and electronically for e-readers. My copy is the hardback and currently costs £8 on Amazon.
Thanks for reading :o)
I've always been a fan of Cheryl Cole, but the first thought I had other than excitement about her releasing an autobiography was curiosity. I mean, what else was left for us to read about Cheryl Cole that hasn't been splashed all over the media over the last decade?
As you all will know Cheryl Cole is a member of one of the most celebrated and successful girl bands of the 21st century, and a pretty damn successful solo artist in the UK with 3 #1 albums under her belt; the beauty of a supermodel - it would seem she has it all; the fame, the beauty and the wealth. But it was time to see how Cheryl, the woman, the daughter, the aunt actually felt. It was time to see what happened to a normal 18 year old Geordie, through her words and not through the constant articles millions of people read about her, and what she went through to get where she is today...
The beginning of the book starts with a prologue which is a glimpse of Cheryl's celebrity and the fame that hounds her constantly. With the first few chapters going through her childhood and teenage years; how she was with a heroin addict boyfriend who she moved in with aged 16, and how she started her career modelling.
Then she explains how she auditioned for 'Popstars; The Rivals' and went on to become the first confirmed member of 'Girls Aloud', her friendships with Kimberley, Nicola, Sarah and Nadine. She also goes through how hectic her life was prior winning the talent show and releasing albums, her worries when they thought they were going to be dropped by her record label and then moved onto Ashley...
Her marriage to Ashley was something she treasured with all her heart and really wanted to be with him forever. She even thought of taking a break from 'Girls Aloud' to start having a family with Ashley before the affair was exploded onto 'The Sun' at midnight, which she found out by her management half hour before it was published.
I won't reveal all the juicy stuff in her book or it would be pointless for you buying the book. But there is some heartfelt moments in her autobiography which really makes you think; like, how when she almost died in hospital of malaria a nurse came and asked for a picture with Cheryl and an autograph.
She also writes about 'The X Factor', Simon Cowell and of course the infamous axing as a judge on 'The X Factor USA' - all of which is very juicy!
Through reading the book, you understand what kind of woman Cheryl Cole actually is; she's a family woman who wears her heart on her sleeve - what you see is what you get with Cheryl. And that is what makes her autobiography so pleasing to read...
In October me and a friend went to see Cheryl Cole in concert and had such a good night and so when I saw that she had released an autobiography just before Christmas I put it on my list straight away! After a week in Lapland, I finished the book in only a few days and really enjoyed it.
Cheryl Cole is as most of you will know, a member of Girls Aloud, but in recent years has become a successful solo artist. She appears in the press constantly but mainly due to her personal life rather than her career. I found the book really interesting and is evenly balanced between what you may already know from the press, and bits you wouldn't know.
Beginning with a Prologue, the book starts with a glimpse of Cheryl's world and the fame that surrounds her, even when she was extremely ill with malaria, and people were still trying to get her photo of her lying in a hospital bed. Cheryl is quite honest in the book and touches on aspects of her life that I expected she may avoid, such as her getting arrested for the assault on a toilet attendant, and especially the whole Ashley incident which eventually resulted in their divorce. It was really interesting reading her own side of things rather than what was written in the press. I always take articles written about celebrities with a pinch of salt anyway but it made for interesting reading about a whole different life that most of us will never experience. I found it fascinating reading the comparisons between even Ashley Cole and Cheryl's lifestyles, when you would have expected that Cheryl was earning a fortune, she was going ballistic at Ashley for spending stupid amounts of money on material possessions.
As with most celebrity life stories, they are fairly easy reads. Nothing complex and you can switch off. This is the case with this book and really isn't going to be taxing on the brain to read, but if you're a fan of Cheryl then I would really recommend it. I'm not really a follower of celebrities and I don't really buy celebrity magazines all that often but if I do read anything in the press about a celebrity it tends to be Cheryl Cole. I quite like the way she has sought fame as a singer ten years ago on Pop Stars and over the years has become a person in the public eye who still understands where she has come from. This book touches on a lot of where she came from, and being brought up on one of the poorest council estates in the North East, she saw what poverty was. Over the years she witnessed much heartache because of heroin and crime and she doesn't hold back in explaining how this affected her and the relationships she has had. Reading this book gave me an understanding of why she struggled to let go of her cheating husband, as an incredibly loyal person all she wanted was the truth.
If you know a certain amount about her life over recent years from the press, then the chapter titles aren't going to leave you guessing as to what is coming. There are 19 chapters plus a Prologue and Epilogue and the titles of the chapters include 'you're arresting me?!', 'will you marry me?' and 'I'm divorcing you'. So not really leaving you guessing (even if you know absolutely nothing about her I'm sure you could guess the contents of the chapters from the titles!
She doesn't really shove her lifestyle down your throat which I have found some autobiographies have done that I have read over the years. Mel B's springs to mind which I read about ten years ago, I didn't really have any feelings towards her but after reading I thought she was self obsessed and up her own arse! This isn't the case with Cheryl's book and at times I felt incredibly sorry for her. Yes she understands she is famous and understands the attention she gets because of it, but asks at what point does it become invasive when she is being photographed on the verge of potentially dying from Maleria or when she had to scale the wall of her house just to get away from the fifty photographers camped 24/7 outside of house. This is the side of celebrity that we don't see and it did strike me as incredibly unfair given that she isn't a celebrity that rings up the press and tips them off as to her whereabouts.
Although I have a kindle, I didn't want to download this book as the first thing I enjoy doing when getting an autobiography is flicking straight to the pictures section. I don't know why I can't ever wait till I actually reach that section but I always have to do this first and I enjoyed looking through the pictures that Cheryl had supplied in her book. There are just over 40 pictures printed inside the book and they are split into two sections. The first section has photos from her childhood and teenage years (the one where she dyed her hair blonde to look like Beyonce is my favourite!), while the second section focuses on 'celebrity Cheryl' since she has been in the public eye (my favourite of this section being a petrified looking Cheryl on a morale boosting visit to Afghanistan).
At £20 for the hardback its not a cheap read, however as long as the book is still in the chart you won't pay that. I've seen it in most supermarkets for around £10.
A really interesting read which I would recommend if you are a fan of Cheryl but obviously avoid if not!