The Princess Diarist

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Member Reviews

Carrie Fisher didn't know she was close to death when her book The Princess Diarist came out a short while ago. The book chronicles the adventures of the actress and author on the set of Star Wars, as well as journal entries from the time period. Full of her sass and frankness, the book gives a shocking reveal that during her time filming, she had an affair with a very married Harrison Ford.

The Princess Diarist chronicles a confusing period in Fisher's life. Whether it's the documentation of the first time she had too much to drink, her awkward affair with Ford, or her poetry, Fisher presents it all on the table as if she's giving a farewell confession. It is difficult not to feel tightness in your chest when she discusses her insecurities and the days before her addictions and mental health diagnosis. 

My major suggestion for those of you interested in The Princess Diartist is to listen to the audiobook. Carrie Fisher tells the details in her own familiar cadence and sarcastic tone. Her daughter, Billie Lourd, reads directly from Fisher's Star Wars journals, lending a younger voice to remind readers of the youthful fears of a new actress.

I loved The Princess Diarist and found myself crying when the book was over. We may have lost Carrie Fisher, but her haven't lost her contributions.

The Princess Diarist is now available from Blue Rider Press.
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One of Sophie’s reading prompts for 2017 is, “a book about an interesting woman”, which is one of many reasons why she picked up Carrie’s Fisher’s latest, and last memoir – The Princess Diarist. The book was a much harder read than she anticipated, mostly thanks to Carrie’s frequent allusions to her own mortality throughout. Reading her glibly comment on how her death will be “worth something to some people” as it will increase the value of her autographs is pretty tough material to come across less than a month after her passing. 

Having never read one of Fisher’s books before, Sophie can’t say whether this one is unique, but she was shocked at how raw the contents were. Carrie’s emotions are laid bare for us all to pick through in a way that could seem crude and voyeuristic if the contents were not being freely shared by the woman herself. Divided into three parts, the middle section contains extracts from Carrie’s personal diaries written during the filming of the original Star Wars movie during 1976, bookended by more recent writing about wrestling with her own identity versus that of Leia, the nature of fame and celebrity, and thoughts on fans. The diary extracts mostly focus on her affair with Harrison Ford, something her nineteen-year-old self clearly struggled to define. These sections are especially gut-wrenching, mixing poetry with occasionally rambling but always frank discourses about who she is and who she becomes around this overwhelming man, paraphrasing Blanche DuBois and capturing something of that fictional yet tragic figure in herself.

Sophie is happy to have read the book and plans to read more of Fisher’s work in the future, but it will take a while for her to process this one.
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Brilliant and hilarious. I loved it! But I really like Carrie for various reasons which I'll add more about when I get to write up my review. She is rigorously honest. I admire that. 

Thank you NetGalley!

UPDATE:  As I sit here waiting to watch the HBO Documentary Bright Lights about Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, I feel incredible sadness.  I finished this book in December 2016 actually close to the publish date.  In the hurrying and scurrying of Christmas preparations I did not get time to do a review.  Then Carrie died.  I would have rated this book 5 stars anyway. I thought it was genius.  I have been a fan for years and she has been a bit of a hero to me.  

This memoir is funny, sad, witty, honest, believable and amazing.  I am thankful to NetGalley for giving me an ARC to review.  I have since bought the audible version to hear her narrate it in her own voice.   And the day I got back in town from being gone for Christmas I rushed to the local bookstore and bought the hardback to keep for sentimental reasons, placing it by books on the shelf of favorite and inspirational authors.  

So, this is not an unbiased review.  I want you to read it.  I am biased.  I think Carrie learned to look at herself honestly and laugh at herself.  Something I am more inspired to do after reading several books by her and looking at her life and the honesty in which she lived it.  I especially enjoyed hearing her daughter narrate a portion of the book (her journal entries).  

The Princess Diarist is a very entertaining read...but so much more than that. Highly recommended!
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Well, I mean to read this book a long time ago. I’m kind of glad I didn’t get around to it until after Carrie Fishers untimely passing. I’m terribly sad that she died so suddenly, but reading it afterwards shone her last book in a different light. Everything seemed so final; it was like she was wrapping up her story. Honestly, I was hoping for more information about her affair with Harrison Ford because I’m nosy, but I appreciated what she did tell us. While I liked the new parts that she wrote for this book, I was incredibly bored by the journal entries from when she was younger. I definitely skimmed those. I’m sure the past entries meant a lot to her, and I’m guessing they’ll mean more to die-hard fans than me. However, I enjoyed her wiser, seasoned, more humorous perspective on things that happened to her in the past as opposed to reading about how she felt when they were happening to her.
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