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Happy Chaos

3.16 of 5 stars 3.16  ·  rating details  ·  387 ratings  ·  83 reviews
From Punky to parenting, Soleil Moon Frye shares insightful, realistic, in-the-trenches parenting advice, inspiration, and fun.

Enthusiastic, spunky, and positive, Punky Brewster was the quintessential eighties kid. Nearly thirty years later, Soleil Moon Frye-the adorable girl who played her on TV-is all grown up. Now she's a married mom of two, an entrepreneur who parlay
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Dutton Adult (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 830)
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Janel
A cute book in an easy to read format divided into short chapters. I really didn't see the "chaos" in Soleil's life though. I thought I'd get more funny, crazy stories about parenting that I could relate to, but it just wasn't in here. If you want to see happy chaos(or sometimes just plain chaos) come on over to my house! Her life sounds a little too perfect for me to relate to. Hasn't she ever shanghaied by stepping on a lego in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom? Kids ever star ...more
Melody
Absolutely wonderful. I had an inkling it wouldn't be the "what it was like to be Punky" book I'd perhaps prefer but the subject matter (parenting) didn't put me off as I've grown to love her voice and attitude on Twitter and would read anything she wished to write about in long form. This contains a lot of eye-opening information about parenting (an adventure I've yet to embark on), much of it surprisingly hope-inducing (she comes from free-thinking stock and continues in the same spirit with h ...more
Meredith Spidel
Oh gosh, I guess I'm the only one who didn't like this book. Chaos for sure, but I'm not so sure about the Happy part for me...At least 50% of it was her name-dropping celebrities from her childhood and ones she still runs with. All over the place with (duh-obvious) parenting tips--really, it's a cute idea to put a note in your kids' lunchboxes?? I never thought of that before--stories about her quirky mother, throw-backs to life as Punky, and her current beliefs about only using organic clothin ...more
Maryjo
Soleil, although brought up in Hollywood has a genuine sense and desire to be a close-knit family. In her book she tells about the values she was brought up with and is instilling them in her 2 daughters. I love that she seems so 'normal'. Not anything like the majority of the Hollywood parents out there.
Marni
One of the best books I've read in a long time. One part memoir one part child rearing tips wrapped in a whole lot of grace, love, and personal faith. I recommend this to everyone, no matter if your planning a family or have children in their 20's. Soleil is one cool chick!
Anna
Happy Chaos by Soleil Moon Frye was a good book to read. It was not so much about Hollywood and not so much about Soleils experiences as a mother or A person. There was a little Hollywood which was fun to read about. There was some of her own experiences and a little about het mothering experiences. I also enjoyed this book because Soleil is not another child actor that crashed and burned or needed the extra attention. She has always been one of my favorites and reading her thoughts and opinion' ...more
Jamie White
Punky Brewster was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid- I even dressed as Punky one year for Halloween. Naturally, when I heard she had a book coming out I wanted to read it. I'll be frank... there's some TMI about the delivery of her children and a couple of stories I thought didn't exactly need to be shared. Still, I enjoyed the book and there were some great stories from her childhood.

One of my favorite stories was about her being found hiding in Johnny Carson's personal office after h
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Jodi
Feb 10, 2012 Jodi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone who loved Punky as a kid
Okay, I'll admit it - I loved Punky Brewster as a kid so I was interested to see how Soleil Moon Frye is as a mother. I must say for the childhood she wrote about she seems to be a well-grounded, good mother. A little "granola" (aka hippy) but that didn't surprise me for some reason.

Her parenting advice was simple and wise - be present with your children, respect their fears and desires, have fun with them, and create as many memories as possible because they grow too quickly. I also loved that
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Noa
Dec 08, 2013 Noa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nostalgic people, the world
Recommended to Noa by: Soleil via her blog
Shelves: favorites, i-own
Oh, Soleil, Soleil... You never cease to leave great marks in my heart.

WARNING! I'm basing this review on my own reception being an early fan of Soleil. If you don't like her, this review is not suited for you.

First of all, it is very important to state that from what I can remember, Punky Brewster has been my first and all-time favourite TV show. Years later, when Sabrina, the teen witch, went to university, I fell in love with one new character, Roxie. How bad I wanted to be just like her! And
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gina
A fluffy but enjoyable trip through Frye's take on parenting. I agree with her on most stuff, except she has a very narrow and positive view on how much men do and want to help with children at least in *all* the families I know, it does not match her take on this topic. Her chapter for dads is laughable- assuming that all dads want to do more but poor old dads, the moms just wont let them because moms believe they have to do it all. But she comes from a different world and a different income br ...more
Brad Carter
This was boring to me. I was kind of expecting a biography thing about Punky Brewster in the 80's, but it was more about her boring adventures in parenting. I read the entire book in an hour, because I skimmed over all the boring parts. I'm sure it's an okay book, but reading about someone else's mom adventures is really boring, even if she is Punky Brewster.

The one cool part to read about was her evening with Michael Jackson when she was 8 or 9. As all parents seem to somehow do, they left Punk
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Tabitha
Nope. Your book can be a memoir or a self-help book, but please don't try to be both. Also, please don't treat your readers like they are idiots - just because YOU didn't do your research before birth doesn't mean the rest of us don't know about post-birth nipple pain and vaginal soreness.

And PLEASE, for the love of all that is good in the world, stop telling women to "toughen" up their nipples before breastfeeding. That is outdated and potentially dangerous advice. I mean. Good God.
Jenn
I would give the book a 3.5. I really loved the book to begin with and if I'd had the time I probably would have finished it in one sitting. It has a lot of humor, especially at the beginning. As a first time parent, it is nice to have someone to relate to, someone who doesn't know it all or have all the answers, someone who makes you feel like you are doing okay just being you.

Toward the middle, the book seemed to spend too much time talking about Soliel as a tween/teen and focusing on a lot o
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Holly
Why does every celebrity who has a couple of kids think they are then qualified to dispense parenting advice to the masses?
This one couldn't decide whether she wanted to write a memoir or a parenting book, so she combined them to disastrous result.
Each chapter starts with quotes from random people solicited from social media sites followed by some name-dropping story about her childhood or family life. Then she somehow tries to relate this to a parenting topic and offers her advice about what t
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Neil Sarver
I liked this. In fact, I liked what she had to say a lot and encouraged my wife to read it because it was so much what she needed to read. For me, though, it didn't give me what I needed per se, aside from a charming read, which it was, and I enjoyed just fine.
Meg
I read this book as a first time parent and was hoping to gleam some words of wisdom about the chaos that comes with taking care of a newborn. Punky's "chaos" certainly was happy. From her prose, she looked like she had it all together as a new parent. Everything was happy and free and beautiful - a huge contrast to my nights of sobbing hysterically trying to calm a newborn who can't get the hang of eating. However, the book was cute. I liked her retrospectives on playing Punky Brewster and enjo ...more
Pauline
I usually avoid celebrity memoirs, but I'm a childhood Punky fan and had to buy this. While Happy Chaos might not appeal to everyone, I did enjoy learning more about a childhood idol. The book is cheerful and really does set the "girlfriend chat" tone, but I can see how others might be confused or lost by how chapter sections are divided.

Frye had an incredibly...unique...childhood and has grown up with most of the target market for Happy Chaos. Her memoir gives fans that chance to delve deeper
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Anna Phoenix
I was expecting the usual dry celebrity memoir that I could sit back and enjoy quickly and then toss aside. What I got instead was a parenting guide with memoir artfully intertwined - experience is the best teacher, after all! This is one that I'll buy in actual-book form to have on my shelf for reference as it's insightful, funny, and full of great advice.

Three stars instead of four only because I was becoming increasingly aware of overuse of the word "so". As in, this book was so good, I'm so
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Jeanie
I really liked to this books narrative and it's a must read for soon to be parents or parents.
Jackie
This is a PARENTING book. If you don't want to read about that, you won't likely enjoy this book. However, if that's what you are looking for, like I was, hopefully you'll find is as fun and useful as I did.

There are some great ideas to have a close, happy, and relatively peaceful family life. They gave me plenty of things to try in the future. I enjoyed that each chapter had a question to prompt you to actively think about parenting and your life. I will be recommending this to others as well
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Mari
Another fun parenting memoir -- which I found at the library on the new biographies shelf by the checkout. I loved Punky as a kid (one of my best Halloween costumes was as her ... although I lost my knee bandana and that still haunts me). She wrote the book sort of with the help of her Twitter followers and Facebook fans -- the start of each chapter has quotes from those people responding to questions about parenting. I kind of skipped over those, but otherwise liked reading about her life, her ...more
Sabine
Okay. Having read a gazillion blind items about what was going on in her life as she was promoting this book probably set the bar too high.

Unlike some of the other commenters, I wasn't too sad about the fact that Frye is not talking about her Punky past all that much - but her parenting advice is nowhere near "spunky", "innovative", "alternative", "different" or whatever adjective she or her PR people may have used to describe it when promoting the book.

It's just neither a parenting advice boo
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Monica
Part memoir, part how-to/tips. Good idea to mix, not sure if it is geared to a large audience, more to Punky Brewster lovers. Very light reading, nothing too deep.
How to cut an apple to find the star and take a staycation, because you can't afford to fly your own family of 4 to Mexico spur of the moment...oh and here is a picture of Johnny Depp - kind of all over the place, which makes sense, I believe it was started as a blog.
Also starting each chapter with people answering questions?? Kind of
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Diana
I read this more because I am a child of the 80's and adored Punky. I just had to be honest there. I thought her personal stories were great, and though I got no fabulous parenting advice (which did not bother me because I hate parenting books), I thought it was a fun book. She relates most things back to parenting even when it is a story about something she did as a child. I like that she is a little bit hippy mom, but also knows that you have to let some things go and be "conventional". A fun, ...more
Rindy
I was torn as to whether or not to give this 3 or 4 stars. For some reason I was really drawn to this book. I am not a new mother, my oldest being seven, but sometimes it's nice to know that there are others out there who are doing the best they can and not always perfectly. It is also nice to get a new perspective and hear orhers ways of doing things. The book is a little repetitive at times and some of the information isn't relevant, but it was light hearted and positive which I found refreshi ...more
Mike
In my ongoing quest to find celebrity biographies, I found this one at random....no it doesn't have wild stories of a child actor turned adult. This one is more of one person's how-to book of raising a family.

Soleil Moon Frye, better known as Punky Brewster back in the 1980s, wrote a good autobiography....mixed in there are her how-to points on raising kids...and of course her adventures growing up in Hollywood.

By no means a tell-all...but a good book nonetheless.
Robyn
This was a quick read. More of a parenting book than memoir, which is what I read it for (the memoir,not parenting. Do not need that yet!). It is very entertaining. Soleil had a very unconvential, yet fascinating upbringing. And a happy childhood, especially being a child star. She is very insightful as a mom, too, I think.

I recommend if you are a Punky Brewster fan (or wondered what happened to her) or a parent or aunt or uncle or child caregiver.
Genevieve
If you are looking for a book on Punky Brewster, this is not it. This is, however, a cute "guide to parenting" as compared with growing up playing Punky Brewster on TV. There are cute Punky anecdotes and fun stories from Soleil's youth (like hanging out with Joey Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart) but this book is geared towards parents trying to survive in the crazy world of parenting.

Maybe I will re-read this in 3-5 years.
Alex
This was okay, but I was really hoping for more. I knew it was going to focus on parenting, but the cover also said "from Punky to parenting and everything in between" so it was a bit of a surprise that this was really nothing but a parenting book.

Soleil seems like a nice and down-to-earth person, but as a book this was a slow read. I also disliked the "questions of the day" at the beginning of every chapter.
Raimi
The cover of the book totally caught my eye at the library! They had it on their hot picks table. It was a quick read and fun to see what kind of life Soleil Moon Frye has lived. I loved Punky Brewster when I was a kid and I was happy to read that she maintained a balanced life. I love that she wasn't all over the tabloids as a failed teen star. She should be very proud of herself.
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“And just like that, I became my mother. We all do, if only for a moment at a time. That person we never think we will be like when we grow up is the person we see in our own reflection. How did that happen so fast?” 3 likes
“It is in the times when we feel most broken that we can discover how to be better parents, and it is in the pauses and dashes in between when we are able to fill life with all of the delicious discoveries, images, and snapshots that we will carry with us throughout our lifetimes.” 2 likes
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