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A Helluva High Note: Surviving Life, Love, and American Idol
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A Helluva High Note: Surviving Life, Love, and American Idol

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  132 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Kara DioGuardi is an award-winning hitmaker, a savvy record executive, and a successful music publisher whose songs have been recorded by such superstars as Pink, Carrie Underwood, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, Santana, Steven Tyler, Céline Dion, and so many others. She was also the feisty fourth judge on American Idol.But success wouldn ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by It Books (first published April 6th 2011)
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May 07, 2011 Megan rated it liked it
Reads like the winner of the 10th grade essay contest, but I love Kara.
Lisa Eskra
Jun 16, 2011 Lisa Eskra rated it really liked it
I love Kara, I really do. Hearing her sing the songs she's written, the emotions she puts into it moves me. She has a mentality that I really connect with, and that's why I got this book -- to learn more about her life in the music business, her struggles, and so forth. Her story is an inspiration for women in general. Her message is a powerful one: to not give up on your dreams because with hard work and a little bit of luck, you can achieve anything.

Appendix A is full of great advice, not just
May 05, 2011 AvidReader47 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading Kara DioGuardi's book "A Helluva High Note: Surviving Life, Love and American Idol" I now know who she really is. When I first saw Kara as a judge on Season 8 of American Idol, I was like "who is this chick?" I had no clue. Now after reading her biography, she is one helluva song writer. She has written tons of hit songs with the likes of Pink ("Sober"), Gwen Stefani ("Rich Girl"), Celine Dion ("Taking Chances"), Carrie Underwood ("Mama's Song"), Katy Perry ("I Do Not Hook Up"), Ke ...more
Jennifer Johnston
Jul 02, 2011 Jennifer Johnston rated it it was ok
It's too bad; I really like Kara DioGuardi and she has a lot of interesting stories to tell; however, ironically, she should've had someone else write this book for her. It was very poorly written and constructed with interesting tidbits glossed over and uninteresting parts expanded upon. She could have used a writer and an editor for this endeavor. She has had a really interesting life, is an amazing songwriter and an inspirational woman. People could learn a lot from where she came from and wh ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
Too much foul language for my taste, but I loved reading about her writing process and experiences with other artists and singers. An interesting glimpse into the music industry.
May 05, 2016 Becky rated it did not like it
The book's narrative is disjointed and frustrating to read. Kara spends too much time skimming the surface of her life events leaving the book with very little depth. Why even write a memoir if you're ultimately a private person who doesn't really want to tell your story to the world? I don't expect any person to tell everything about their life in a memoir but it works better to focus on only a few segments of your life and go into detail about them instead of talking about a lot of different e ...more
Jun 17, 2011 Alla rated it it was amazing
“A helluva note” is a memoir by Kara DioGuardi, best known as the fourth judge on American Idol series eight and nine, as well as a song writer known for hits like “Escape,” “Ain’t no other man,” “Sober,” “Walk away,” and “Spinning around,” among many others.

After growing up as a wannabe singer and even temporarily singing in an independent band “Gramma Trips,” Kara gets a lucky break when she gets hired as an executive assistant at Billboard magazine, after her friend who was offered the job tu
Oct 26, 2013 Mediaman rated it it was ok
This book says almost nothing--very much like the love songs she has written. They are a bunch of words on a page that claim to have deep inner meaning but when you look beyond the surface they say nothing significant.

DioGuardi may have had an interesting, emotionally-challenged life. But we don't get much more than the surface here, filled with excuses and her dodging acceptance of responsibilities. She had an eating disorder that she laughs off as just having too many pizza boxes under her dor
Todd Janko
Aug 03, 2012 Todd Janko rated it it was amazing
I'm going to have to start my music auto biography reviews with this book that I picked up out of the blue last year at the library. Kari DioGuardi (a well know song writer for stars from Janet Jackson to Katy Perry) reflects her writing skills in is truthful, reflective book. The book also portrays an interesting perspective of being a contemporary, pop music songwriter in the music industry in this day and age. As many musicians realize, just being in the music industry alone is a lot of hard ...more
Jul 10, 2011 Lily rated it liked it
I have always been a fan of Kara's writing, I'm sure many of you think you don't know her but she's written songs for everyone, from Celine Dion to Paula Abdul. So when I heard she was going to be on Idol I was ecstatic. Althought I didn't find too many people that felt the same way, I guess we are a rare breed. But anyways onto the book, I was very excited to read about her time on Idol and to find out more about the person. It felt like you were reading her diary, the entries were enlighting a ...more
Bonni Sweet
Not a bad book. I hadn't realized that she was as popular in the music business as she was. Like most people who write their own stories she came out with some of her past personal problems but did so without dwelling on them. I would recommend this to others.
Aug 11, 2011 Tara rated it really liked it
Decent fast read... I didnt know much about Kara as I dont watch the full season of American Idol, only the auditions as I like the "funny" ones!!

I didnt know that she was just a song writer and has had so much success and some pretty awesome hits (most of them I have liked and/or owned the cds)!!!
May 05, 2011 Amy rated it liked it
I love her so much, but I was hoping for a more exciting American Idol story, although if that's the way it really happened I guess it's not her fault. Also she spends far too much of this book defending herself and trying not to offend people.
Aug 10, 2011 Stacy rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed learning about Kara's life and her musical career. I think music lovers will really enjoy this. The American Idol part of her career just makes up about a chapter, though.
Dec 06, 2011 Denae rated it really liked it
Shockingly good! I liked reading about the creative process that goes into writing a song. She has so many hit songs, it surprized me.
Gina Gatewood
Dec 25, 2011 Gina Gatewood rated it really liked it
liked it she a gutsy girl lots of talent,was sad to read of her moms cancer kara was there all the way. good fast read
Aug 22, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Great book. Gives me a new outlook on life. I now have a more respect for Kara.
May 08, 2012 Ellen rated it did not like it
Boring and full of herself. Didn't bother reading the whole thing.
Nicole Veno
Aug 22, 2012 Nicole Veno rated it really liked it
Great read, she is talented and honest and I loved it!
Katie Rodemich
Mar 20, 2013 Katie Rodemich rated it really liked it
Kara DioGuardi is Awesome and so inspiring!!!
Sep 23, 2011 Linda rated it it was ok
Could not get into it.
Jan 26, 2013 Patti rated it did not like it
Shelves: bios
Soooo self absorbed. Ugh.
Catherine marked it as to-read
Oct 04, 2016
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Louis Magnotti IV
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Aug 01, 2016
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Jul 22, 2016
Justin Jennings
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Samantha rated it it was amazing
Jul 18, 2016
Michael Macdermid
Michael Macdermid rated it really liked it
Jul 04, 2016
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