Cover Image: Part of My World

Part of My World

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A faith-filled memoir about not only Jodi Benson's professional life, but also her personal life. The beginning of the book is also a little bit of a biography of Howard Ashman as well. I really enjoyed her story and learning some of the ins and outs of Broadway and voice-acting. I highly recommend this book for lovers of Disney as well as people who struggle with finding their place.

"Dreams aren't supposed to be practical or logical. They might not even make sense. Dreams are our hearts' desire. They have to be bigger than what we believe is attainable. That's what makes them dreams. All we can do is give each one over to God, pray about it, and trust that if it's part of His plan, it'll happen. And if it doesn't, it probably means He's got something even better in store for us."

I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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Getting a chance to read this book has been very emotional for me. I grew up with Ariel and have continued to love the character and the movie, "The Little Mermaid." While reading this I cried, laughed, gasped, and a bunch of other emotions I can't even begin to understand. If you love the "Little Mermaid" or Ariel in any way you will want to read the book. I plan to buy my own copy even though I just read it. Why? Because it needs to have a place on my shelf.
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Thank you for the chance to read this biography, I grew up with Ms. Benson's Ariel and was excited to read about her life and her experience in life. It was a beautifully done biography and I was never bored when reading this. There were some great stories when reading this and I learned so much about Ms. Benson and appreciated going on this journey with her. Thanks again for letting me be part of your world and reading this book.

"Everybody has a favorite Disney movie. Growing up, mine was Cinderella. Wicked stepsisters, a fairy godmother, a charming prince, mice that can sew— what’s not to love? I think what I liked most about it, though, was Cinderella’s undying belief that no matter how grim her situation appeared, everything would somehow work out in the end. She never let her circumstances get her down."
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I enjoyed this biography! It's one that challenges you, and you can learn from; not only a way to learn about someone's life. Jodi tells the good and the bad things that have happened in her life, and it's worth reading, especially for fans of the Little Mermaid!! ;)
Thank you to Tyndale House and NetGalley for the advance e-copy of this book! All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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I am so glad that I was able to spend some time in Jodi Benson’s world. This book made me laugh, cry, and generally think that we can do better as people, like Jodi tries to do throughout her story.

You probably know Benson best as the voice of Ariel, from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. What you probably don’t know is her history of performing on stage prior to landing that role, along with the other details about her life which she freely shares in this heartfelt autobiography.

One might think that the life of a Disney princess is all sunshine and rainbows, but it’s clear that Benson worked hard to get where she was. Yes, there may have been some luck involved, like working on a Broadway show with Howard Ashman just before The Little Mermaid, but it’s clear throughout the stories Benson tells that she was never looking for that sort of role.

Benson’s story is clear and easy to relate to, even if she’s the voice of one of the most memorable animated characters from Disney’s vast catalog. Throughout, it never feels like she’s bragging about her life. Quite the contrary, Benson repeatedly gives credit to God for every gift and piece of good fortune she has received in her life while simultaneously deferring to God for the hardships she has endured, including the loss of her friend Ashman just a few years following Mermaid.

It may seem cliché to say Benson seems like one of the good ones, but if I’m taking her at her word in this book, she truly does enjoy what she does for a living and appreciates the ability to make people happy as Ariel. She doesn’t come across as too proud and understands that she may not always be Ariel’s voice, and seems just fine with that when the time comes.

A must read for anyone who grew up on Disney animated films, especially those from the 80s and 90s.
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Within the Disney fandom, Jodi Benson is a staple. Since 1989, she has been the official voice of Ariel after The Little Mermaid revitalized Disney animation and launched what is now known as the “Disney Renaissance” 

Fitting then, that she would use her more than three-decade tenure at The Walt Disney Company as a foundation for a memoir. In Part of My World, Benson unravels her career, personal life, and faith in a way that will appeal to some Disney fans and likely deter others. Throughout her career, Benson has always been open about her Christian faith. However, this is the first time that fans of her work have gotten this deep of a look at her not just her beliefs, but how they have affected her everyday life including her marriage and career choices. That being said, God is on almost every page. This is hardly surprising, as the publisher is Tyndale, which specializes in both Christian fiction and non-fiction. For many readers who simply want to hear about her career, this open discussion about God and faith may be a bit of a turn-off. But for Benson, God has been integral to her career since the beginning. In fact, they are inseparable, which a point that she drives home throughout. When reading her book through that lens, you realize how important it is that she tells this story and that this is, in fact, the only way that it could be told. Without God, it wouldn’t be the story of Jodi Benson. I applaud her for being so open and honest with her memoir and I encourage those that may be apprehensive to read it anyway. Even for non-religious readers, there are a lot of life lessons here that are inspiring.
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Little mermaid was my favorite movie growing up so this was such a delight 

Join Disney Legend Jodi Benson on a magical journey from a Midwestern town to the bright lights of Broadway and the recording booth where she brought one of the most beloved Disney princesses of all time to life!

A treasure trove of colorful characters and unforgettable anecdotes, Part of My World reads like a real-life fairy tale as a girl with a big voice and even bigger dreams sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. Along the way, Jodi shares lessons she's learned about faith, friendship, love, loss, taking chances, making mistakes, following God’s call, and chasing your dreams. In Part of My World you’ll come alongside Jodi as shestruggles to find her footing in the rehearsal halls of Manhattan;finds (then loses, then marries) her prince charming;makes a splash on Broadway;gives voice to a feisty redheaded mermaid, a blonde bombshell named Barbie, and a Tony-nominated powerhouse named Polly; andsearches for her own personal happily ever after.
Written with warmth, humor, and disarming vulnerability, Part of My World is a captivating glimpse behind the curtain at the making of one of the most celebrated animated movies of all time, and a must-read for Disney fans of all ages
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To put it simply and right up front: If you're already a fan of hers, it's just going to enhance your appreciation. 

Benson is candid from the get-go, even going so far as to wondering why anyone would want to read *her* story, and that relaxed attitude prevents this from being a starchy, seemingly practiced endeavor. It makes the pages go by quick as she recounts lessons learned and incredible stories from her legendary career. 

That she still is able to enjoy benefits from The Little Mermaid is so very refreshing, and I'll have to revisit ENCHANTED in order to see her role, because I definitely missed that the first time around. 

As the subtitle implies, she speaks at length about her faith, and it's nice that she's using this medium to draw from her own experiences in order to hopefully impart some comfort to someone reading out there in the world. 

As advertised, for sure. Who's to say with regards to the state of Disney fandom, but I found it fascinating and certainly worthwhile. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Tyndale House Publishers for the advance read.
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I enjoyed reading about Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel. Before this book, I had no idea that she was even a Christian. There are some great lessons to be learned from her story. I did find the book a bit slow at first, but I’m glad I kept reading. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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What drew me about this book was the cover; Jodi looks amazing!!! It literally made me smile. She's simply glowing and I figured she might be sharing the secret to her radiant glow in the book. Lol!

Jodi Benson gives us a pretty straightforward memoir. She gives us a glimpse into her Christian faith and how God has ordered the steps of her life: God, family, career. It's heavy on Christianity and faith with Bible verse references and even a little bit of shade thrown toward Catholicism. She talks about her wonderful family and the journey from Broadway to Disney voice actress. I enjoyed this book and learned quite a bit about Jodi's life. I loved how each chapter is a verse from a song she's known for with my favorite chapter being the one where she talks about recording The Little Mermaid. I would've love to see some family pictures especially since she's a self proclaimed picture junkie.
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Jodie Benson’s autobiography is a true winner from her early days to where she is today is an uplifting life story that shows that even through the darkness, we can always find the light.

Jodi Benson’s life is just short of being wonderous from her days on Broadway with the short-lived musical Smile to her voice for Disney and Pixar through to her triumphant return to the Broadway show Crazy For You.  Little does anyone know about the questions of faith, difficult times and the road she was on as she was going up the career latter as per personal life was not as straight forward.  Benson gives an honest and thought-provoking look at her life and once she has become cemented in her faith, the rest of life challenges turn into optimistic and faith inspiring hobbles that she was able to overcome.  

Benson is a true credit to her faith and career, and it was an absolute gem of a human being that whilst you cheer her on during her dark times and want to applaud her for the good times.  Jodi Benson’s autobiography gives hope and awe inspiring testament that even in the bad times, if you hold on, the right path will guide your through.

This is an absolute must read.
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Summary:
Jodi invites gives you a glimpse into her life before, during and after the movie that made her famous. She shares the good times, the stressful times, the times her heart was completely broken and the faith that gave her the strength to navigate it all. 

Who hasn't seen the Disney smash hit, The Little Mermaid? Like most of the world, this is the movie that not only gave us songs to sing, but also introduced us to the talented woman behind the voice, Jodi Benson. But, that's all we knew her as- the voice of a mermaid millions of little kids were fascinated with. So, in reading her story, I got to learn more of who she is. 

Leading up to her famous role, she had navigated her parents divorce and her school years. And while, they helped shape the woman she became, I was more gripped with her story once Disney stepped in. It was fascinating to learn she struggled with her mega hit "Part of Your World". It was interesting to see how they were finally able to get the Broadway style out of her voice so Ariel could come through. I loved reading about the people she was blessed with who guided her every step of the way.

Mostly, in the second half of the book, I felt glued. It's here when she opens up about how her faith was tested through several devastating losses and uprooting lows. This life she had built no longer looked the way she expected it to and she had no choice but to walk through the dark times. 

While this book isn't an in depth look into her life, you definitely get to know the woman behind the iconic voice. You will smile, laugh and tear up as you turn the pages. You'll learn that working with Disney can be the golden touch in your life, but it doesn't save you from heartache and struggles. Marriages still have the ability to fall apart, loved ones still pass on, celebratory times can still quickly turn into mourning times. And that's when, and why, you have God. Relying on His strength helps you put on foot in front of the other when you want to do anything but that. 

I enjoyed reading her Jodi's story. I thank her for sharing the highs and lows with us. She has blessed us all with not just Ariel's story- and hers.
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Part of My World is an emotional and vulnerable memoir. Jodi Benson's writing is melodic and expressive.  Such a fantastic read!

My love for Disney and Disney princesses started when I was about five years old. I saw 'The Little Mermaid' and just fell in love with Ariel and the characters. Now, that I am an adult, I believe my passion for Disney and the story of Ariel has grown. I can still watch the movie over and over again to this day and one of the main reasons is the voice of Jodi Benson. There is something so pure, genuine, and inviting about her voice so I was more than excited to read her book. 

As I started reading Part of My World, I saw the beautiful human being behind such an iconic character. Jodi is so kind and gracious in everything she does. I loved when she talked about her faith. She attributes her success to God and remains constant in her faith through the bad times too. She is really inspiring in so many ways but for her to truly put her life in God's hands helped me strengthen my faith. 

The chapters are so well put together and flow really well. Readers will get to read about her life from the start and see how she got to be a Disney Legend. Her journey wasn't easy but she kept at it. Her tenacity and passion for music and theatre are beautiful and inspirational. And one of the best parts about it as a reader was seeing how many friendships she built along the way. Nowadays, you always see co-workers fighting for spots or promotions and Jodi was not like that. Instead, she took every win and loss as a stepping stone in God's plan. 

Fans of Disney and Jodi's will love the behind-the-scenes look at her time as Ariel. You know when you are a fan of someone, people always warn you about meeting them because they might leave you disappointed. I know this wouldn't be true if I ever had the pleasure of meeting her. That's because you can tell she loves and appreciates every single fan. In one instance, she describes declining a picture with a fan for the first time and dealing with a personal matter. Once things calmed down, she found the fan and took that picture. Her words make it crystal clear. Everything always comes back to God. And I know God put her on this earth to inspire and spread kindness.

I give Part of My World 5 stars. It's an admirable and moving memoir about faith, family, and love. It warmed my heart with every page. Jodi Benson's charm, compassion, and gentle nature put a smile on my face because I know she is this way because of God and her faith. Her belief truly helped me look at mine and remember why I love God so much. It's people like Jodi who remind us to be loving, kind, and gracious in the high and the lows.
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Ariel may not be my favorite Disney princess, but Jodi Benson is certainly one of my favorite Disney actresses.

I've been following Jodi on Instagram for a while, and I love her honesty and her hopefulness. She's always encouraging others, sharing heartwarming stories, or talking about finding joy in the simple things. She's a ray of sunshine come to life, and when I heard that she was writing a book, I knew I had to get my hands on it.  

Part of My World is Jodi's story, from her early years as a theatre actress in NYC to her current work. As a former thespian myself, I loved reading about her experiences on Broadway. Jodi shares the reality of acting--the good and the bad--but she does so with an optimism that makes you smile. It's amazing to see how one experience led to another opportunity and another and another until she ended up being chosen to voice Ariel. While it may seem like luck, Jodi's opportunities were certainly the result of not only her amazing talent and hard work but her kindness and her ability to connect and care for others. Being kind can open so many doors, and Jodi shows this as she walks readers through her life.

That's not to say that everything was always sunshine and roses. Jodi shares the hard parts of her life, too--the failed auditions, the difficulties between her boyfriend-then-husband, Ray, and her miscarriages. But once again, Jodi shares those moments not with a 'woe is me' attitude but with 20-20 vision of how those experiences changed her for the better. So much of her resilience is attributed to her faith, and I love that Jodi is so open about her relationship with God, both in this book and in her everyday life. Like Jodi, I often struggle with knowing why bad or difficult things are happening, and I hope that I eventually can look back and, like Jodi, see why God allowed those things to occur. 

All in all, Jodi's story is an amazing one. Not only is her memoir full of the expected theatre drama and Disney dreams, it's also full of faith, inspiration, and hope. Part of My World is just like Jodi herself--a bright light in an often dark world, and I really have been blessed through her book and allowing her to be part of my world for a little while.
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Part Of My World: What I’ve Learned From The Little Mermaid about Love, Faith, and Finding My Voice 
Today I finished reading “Part Of My World: What I’ve Learned from The Little Mermaid about Love Faith, and Finding My Voice,” through Netgalley. Not only is this book for Disney fans its also part memoir part Christian Inspirational. Jodi talks about the highs and lows of her life and that no matter what life threw at her, she still kept her faith in God and credits him for her career. I even found out some facts I didn’t know about Jodi. 

Pros 
I found out some amazing facts about Jodi. One was she never thought she could or would do voice acting but God had other plans after the Broadway show Smile didn’t do so well. I also thought the story of how her and her now husband Ray Benson met was sweet. It was also interesting that Jodi auditioned to voice Belle in Beauty and the Beast but her best friend Paige O Hara had gotten the part as we know now. I also had no idea they almost didn’t use the iconic song Part Of Your World in Little Mermaid because in the test screening didn’t keep every child’s attention. Part Of Your World is an “I Want” song where the main character longs for something and you want to see that character get it.  Reading this book you can tell Jodi Benson is very humble she credits God and the people who helped her become who she is. Many in Hollywood get big egos forgetting who helped get them where they are in the first place. I also wanted to hug her at certain points when she was suffering with the loss of Howard Ashman, her niece and miscarriages.  Despite all of Jodi’s suffering she kept her faith in God even when she didn’t understand why things happened the way they did. 

Cons
There wasn’t much that I disliked. I did feel some parts seemed repetitive here and there but I cut her slack since she is not an author. Also depending on which denomination of Christianity you belong to, Jodi says something many especially Catholics like me would disagree with her on. I won’t go into detail because there is already too much debate and no longer the “agree to disagree” attitude when it comes to religion, politics or even the most mundane of topics. 

Overall 
Overall it’s a wonderful memoir. I wasn’t expecting it to be Christian inspiration mixed with Disney and a memoir. It’s different because it seems faith in God isn’t as important as it was decades ago. Christian books fiction or non-fiction can either be good or it could be cringe worthy. Thank goodness it falls in to the good category. Thank you Netgalley for an early copy of this book I truly appreciate it. If you are curious about this book, request a copy from Netgalley or pre-order it so it will arrive the day it comes out on September 13th.
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Jodi Benson!!! I absolutely love her and when I was given this opportunity to read her book man, I took it! She is a godly woman and her faith guides her which is very unique in this day and age. I absolutely loved this book! If you love the Little Mermaid you will absolutely love this book!!
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I was excited when I learned that Jodi Benson had written a book because as a child the movie, The Little Mermaid was my favorite movie. It still is to tell you the truth. I love following Jodi on Instagram as well and seeing her so polite and kind to her fans made me want to read her book a little more. This book has allowed me to learn more about her struggles as a person and how she found her life on the big stage called "Broadway". We all have had to learn lessons about life struggles and this book shows that even celebrities have the same struggles we have. If you loved Jodi Benson from growing up, this book is the one for you!
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I had the pleasure of seeing Jodi Benson on stage as the original Polly in "Crazy For You". Also, I saw her and her husband Ray numerous times in the European touring production of "My One and Only".
So I was looking forward to this book, unfortunately she did not cover C4U in detail and only mentioned MOAO in passing. 
Fans of "The Little Mermaid" will be in heaven though as she deals extensively with how she got the role, her experience in the recording studio and her life afterwards. 
She stated her reasons - her family - why she basically stopped doing stage work very early, something that has always puzzled me.
The book was a quick read but one word of warning:: Jodi is a devout Christian. If you can`t deal with her mentioning God on almost every page and quoting the bible repeatedly, this book is not for you. God comes first for her, the family second and then her work and that´s how the book read. 
Thanks for Netgalley for proving me with an advance copy of this book.
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Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers and to NetGalley for an ARC of this book to review.

I have been a Jodi Benson fan since hearing her voice in The Little Mermaid.  I was really excited when I saw that she had a book coming out, and I requested it in hopes that I would be able to get a copy to review.

I really enjoyed this book.  Jodi puts it all out there: Her faith, family, struggles, working with Disney and her Broadway career.  She really is quite a incredible woman, who has had a long career.  She talks about her relationship with her husband, Ray, and the struggles that they have had also.  She tells us about her Faith which is really important to her.

This is a nice little read.  I will definitely read it again, and maybe purchase the audiobook.  I recommend this for fans of The Little Mermaid, Disney, Broadway, or someone looking for a book about Faith to uplift them.
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I was familiar with Jodi Benson from the time Little Mermaid came out,  so was interested in reading this book.  As a fellow Christian almost the same age as Jodi, and also a singer and performer, it was delightful to read about her life.  Her early career  was "the road not taken" for me, so it was so enlightening to read about her experiences.  If you enjoy memoirs, especially if you are a musical or Disney lover, you will enjoy this book.  I received a complimentary  copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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