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Life is Just What You Make It: My Story So Far
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Life is Just What You Make It: My Story So Far

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  340 ratings  ·  62 reviews
At age five, Donny Osmond first sang his way into North Americas heart. By the time he was a teenager, he had four separate careers successfully underway, as a solo artist, as a member of the Osmond Brothers, as part of a singing duo with his sister, Marie, and as the co-host of a highly successful network television variety show. But by the early 80s, public perception ha...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 9th 1999 by Hyperion Books
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Back in July 1999, my husband and I stood in line for more than an hour at the ZCMI Center in Salt Lake City so we could meet Donny Osmond at Deseret Book and buy an autographed copy of his story. Donny was a nice guy, and we were happy to have the book, but never thought much about reading it in detail (there were a lot of fun pictures to look at in the book, after all) until a few weeks later when we took a long road trip with our two adolescent kids. It was great fun to read this book aloud...more
Ann Agent
I love biographies and this one is an exception. It was great to take a look into his feelings of events, most of which we knew about, some of which you learn about for the first time.

My favorite part is Part 2 in the revised edition. I feel that extra section especially the acknowledgements (the last sentence) is a MUST READ! Amen!
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Donny Osmond’s autobiography, Life is Just What You Make It, is a journey-like story about a teen idol’s rising to fame and suddenly becoming yesterday’s news. In the book, he describes the wonderfulness and hardships of being a young, Mormon heartthrob during most of the 1970s decade. He describes his warm beginnings (accompanied by 4 of his brothers, Merrill, Jay, Wayne, and Alan.) with great detail, (taking place in the mid-60’s) and shares the 411 of the music industry, exposing techniques...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
I'm an Osmond fan. I reread this book recently and enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Donny shares his life and his career experiences. He's honest and forthright: at times his recollections are heart-breaking. The Osmonds went through some incredible successes and just as incredible losses. As Donny talks about trying to find himself as an entertainer and the humiliations he endured, your heart just breaks for him. As he finds his comeback and transitions to his successful theater caree...more
I'll admit this has been on my bookshelf for years, unread. Hey! I thought I knew everything that was in it already, so reading the book wasn't a high priority. But now that I'm working on a book with Donny's brother Alan, I decided it was time to finally give it a read. And I'm glad I did. It's funny, poignant, and gives me much more insight to the man I thought I already knew. Of course, I'd heard some of the stories, and it was fun to see how many of these events I had actually been there for...more
I enjoyed reading this book. I was surprised at the challenges Donny Osmond faced growing up and performing as part of his famous family. He discusses his insecurities in dealing with fame, including the panic attacks he would feel from worrying about being the perfect performer and the perfect person. He shares how his wife and a therapist helped him to overcome this social phobia. Did you know that Donny wore purple socks not only because he like the color, but because he would be physically u...more
While this book was enjoyable to a point, I have to give it only 2 stars. I was a Donny Osmond fan as a child, and watched the Donny & Marie show faithfully as a teen. While I didn't expect a Donny Osmond "tell all" book, I was a bit annoyed at the way he constantly made excuses for bad behavior on everyone's part: his family; his fans; and various people in the business. I know that he is a genuinely nice guy, and I didn't expect him to really bash anybody, but the continual excusing got to...more
I am a huge Donny Osmond fan so I am somewhat biased, but I have to say that his life has been really, really interesting so far. I knew he was a perfectionist, but I had no idea to what extent and how that drove him to near madness. I could totally relate to the things he described and I was also thoroughly entertained by his stories of show business as well as those of his family - from his 8 show biz brothers and sisters to his own supportive and understanding family today. He's done so much...more
This book was really good. I have a whole new respect for Donny Osmond. What an unusual upbringing. It would truly be difficult to be a child star and he has gone through some really difficult things. Most of all, just never living a "normal" life. He has dealt with extreme cases of rejection, but kept on moving forward and had a truly long "showbiz" career. Here are some quotes from the book I liked: "We do not display my gold records or other commendations in our home, because we feel that hom...more
A fun feather-light read for those of us who adored Donny and his brothers in the '70's. Donny tells his own story the way he saw it and, we shouldn't be surprised, it's a bit sugar-coated. The extent of his sheltered showbiz life is revealed in his naive albeit good-hearted views of people and life in general. His image has always been that of a sweet young man, now a sweet grown man, and that's okay. That's why we love him. We should all strive to follow his example and try to see the best in...more
Winter Rose
A Beautiful Touching Book!
What can I say...I'm a fan
I was interested in reading this because of what I had heard about Donny's struggles with anxiety and perfectionism. Plus I've been a fan ever since hearing the soundtrack of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. (that voice = crush). It was mostly a straightforward account of his life; and he and his family impressively stayed rather wholesome throughout their careers, so not too too much drama, but definitely some. I didn't even realize that he won Dancing With The Stars! Go him!!
Donny is very close to my age, so I grew up hearing about him. I wasn't much of a fan as a teenager, but I do love his Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat album. It was very interesting to learn more about him--he is a man who has kept his feet on the ground, maintained a long and faithful marriage and seems happy with his life--good for him. I admire he would openly admit his life is not perfect, but with the support of others, he has found a way to make it work.
Lisa Gregor
This is my second read - I’m a huge Donny fan! This book really humanizes Donny, showing there’s a lot more behind that great smile than just an iconic pop star. He successfully relays his anxieties and feelings about growing up in the limelight and his struggles with maintaining (and regaining) a successful career, while at the same time, keeping his morals and strong family upbringing in tact. An honest account of his life, this book is a must read for Osmond fans.
Donny's Story was intriguing. It was filled with names of people and songs I'm clueless about. He could have left out many of the names and it would have been just as interesting. I've been indifferent about the Osmond Family but have been curious about how they lived in show business and still maintained their LDS beliefs. It answered a lot of my questions. I came away with some admiration for Donny and the challenges he's faced while still maintaining his faith.
Besides being a great read that took me back to the sixties and seventies,this is a great book filled with real life lessons that we can all relate to. I wouldn't want to experience Donny's particular heartaches and rough roads, but I am more than happy to learn from his experience. It took a lot of courage to publish a book as personal as this one is. Donny leaves no doubt in the reader's mind as to who he really is and what he believes is most important in this life.

A friend and I have this friendly bantering about who is better - Donny Osmond or Neil Diamond. (Does that age us, or what?) Anyway, I pulled this book off the shelf at the library and thought I would catch up on what has happened in Donny's life since the Donny & Marie days and the fall of the Osmond empire. Interesting, sad, funny. . .times where you could read between the lines to see what he 'really' was saying. All in all, okay book, but Neil still sings better. haha
Interesting look into what it was like to grow up as a "one take Osmond." I read this because I was interested in his take on social phobia (and as a psychologist, have to give props to him for his honesty about his therapy, as well as him giving a shout out to his therapist!) but it contained some very interesting tidbits of trivia and behind the scenes info. Fans of Donny Osmond will eat this up, but I think even non-fans will find it interesting.
I started off not knowing if I'd really like this book but I ended up not being able to put it down. I liked the honesty of all the ups and downs Donny has gone through and the ultimate optimistic attitude the book ended on. I'm glad I took the opportunity to read it!
I love a good biography, but this was just okay. He is a nice guy living in the tough world of stardom, maintaining LDS standards. The question I still have is...did the church really ask him not to go on a mission. I have heard the same about David Archuletta and have always wondered if that is Mormon myth. Donny talks about his sons serving missions, but nothing about his reasons for not. I am still curious about that.
I loved this book! I didn't know that Osmond story and I found this very informative and gave me a better perspective on Donny and his family. I think they are a great family. I have more compassion for the Osmonds in general and the struggles they've been through. It's funny that I learned so much from this book having grown up around them all and their studio, Osmond Lane, Marie being in our ward, etc.
I love Donny so of course this book rocked! It was very interesting to read of all of his trials and tribulations. The only thing that makes me sad for him is having to be perfect...he is perfect in every way to his fans!!! I think since he has let down his guard...he has become even better if that is even possible. Its simply amazing to see and witness all he has done in his lifetime!
An enjoyable biography. I think I would've liked this much better had I followed Donny Osmond's career. I read this on the recommendation of a friend - one who grew up with the Osmonds. So while I enjoyed it, I think that a person who grew up listening to the Osmonds music would've enjoyed this book much more.

That said, it is a good book with a good message.
My sister loved the Osmonds. We watched Donny and Marie every week. So I read the book and learned a lot about Mr. Donny Osmond. Did you know the Osmonds toured Europe with the Jackson Five. Guess who opened? Wrong--the Jackson Five opened for the Osmonds. Good book-but only if you are interested in the Osmonds.
This was a good book for me to read. It is the first time that I put a name with how I was feeling inside in social settings. Donny Osmond had "social phobia" (an anxiety disorder) and talked about at length. I am forever grateful for him writing about how he felt because it helped me tremendously.
Debs Samways
Ive been a donny fan since the osminds lept onto our tv when i was 10-11 ... i loved this book . I couldnt put it down. I laughed at the funny bits , cried at the sad parts . He and his family have been through so much . I thoroughly enjoyed this book ..well worth reading
This was really a good book. I was surprised at how hard his life has been. I imagined that his life was so easy but it wasn't. It gave me a good reminder that we all have our challenges. It was also interesting because I used to listen to his music when I was a teenager.
I really enjoyed this! I wasn't really a fan when he and I were younger - but I did always think he was cute. I was fascinated by his friendship with Michael Jackson, comments about Elvis and his problems with social phobia. Definitely worth the time.
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