Life is Not a Fairy Tale-Book Review


Fantasia Barrino’s book “Life is Not a Fairy Tale” is not a new story. Barrino weaves a story about growing up poor in North Carolina and her deeply religious family.

Barrino won the third season of America Idol and instantly became a star. Recently Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group released Fantasia’s memoirs where she weaves a story about growing up poor in the south and her deeply religious family.

Fans of Barrino will find this peek into her life revealing and interesting. Although, the book gives the reader the eerie feeling of reading something deeply personal that they shouldn’t be reading.

In “Fairy Tale”, the 21-year-old singer pours out her family secret including that she and her mother are illiterate. Barrino admits to signing contracts that she couldn’t read. She had to dictate her book to a freelance writer. By age 17 Barrino was a high school drop out and an unwed mother. In the book she talks about how she was in love with a boy that didn’t love her. She also reveals that another student raped her.

The most interesting revelation is that her family toured as a singing group. They were mildly successful and toured around the South. Barrino’s explains her deep religious convictions have a lot to do with her mother and her grandmother.  Barrino’s grandmother started a Baptist church in her basement. They moved the church several times before finally moving it to a traditional church building. Barrino’s grandmother and mother were preachers at the church.  The singer gives a detailed account of her first Holy Ghost experience, an important mild stone in her life

The only thing special about Barrino’s story is that she won American Idol. Unfortunately, her story is a frequent occurrence in the black community. There are plenty of black children with talent who are poor. How many times have we heard a singer get their start by signing in the church choir? Many of us know someone who became a teenage parent. Some of us may even know someone who is illiterate. It’s the same story some of us have grown up with all of our lives.

This book does not offer anything interesting, insightful or inspirational. The overall message is when you are down, enter a contest and pray you’ll win. “Fairy Tale” leaves the readers with no happy ending. Maybe if she waited to write her book after learning how to read and years of being famous it would have been more believable.

The bottom line: why should someone read her book if she can’t?