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Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  3,278 ratings  ·  421 reviews
Melissa Joan Hart explained it all-from dating to bullies-in her groundbreaking role as Clarissa Darling on Clarissa Explains It All. She cast a spell on millions more viewers as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Now, in Melissa Explains It All, Melissa tells the frank and funny behind-the-scenes stories from her extraordinary past and her refreshingly normal present.

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Hardcover, 276 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.37  · 
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 ·  3,278 ratings  ·  421 reviews

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Dec 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Melissa called this book "tales from my abnormally normal life" - so why then she tried to beef it out with allusions to as much rebellious behaviour as she could is beyond me. She glosses over Clarissa & Sabrina, the two characters she's best known for. There are no backstage secrets (unless you wanted to know that there were 7 real life Salem cats and 2 fake ones, or that the actress who played Zelda Spellman used to flash her "ta-ta's" at Melissa for fun). Melissa comes across as incredib ...more
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I feel like this is a big, guilty embarrassment. But I must press onward. I READ MELISSA JOAN HART'S MEMOIR. There, I said it. And what a poor choice I made.

I don't need to explain much about the book--it's written by Melissa Joan Hart, child star of Sabrina and Clarissa Explains It All, whom I fondly remember from my childhood days as a spunky, cool girl. It seemed like a great idea to read her memoir and hear about how great it must have been to work on those shows (robot cat puppets and Carol
Nov 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013
I was so disappointed in this book. I loved all things Melissa Joan Hart growing up and was so stoked to see she had an autobiography coming out. I even preordered it! This book was totally self-serving and was just a way for Melissa to show the world just how amazing and awesome she is. Too bad for me it was more about how amazingly and awesomely boring she is.

I was on board at first when she talked about her humble beginnings, but shortly there was nothing humble left. This book seemed like on
Jul 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
So my gripe is not the common one with this book. Most have said that her subtitle is misleading with all the names she drops and the mostly lavish life she lives. But I had a teacher that said that the very fact that we have things like "Stars- They're Just Like US!" proves how NOT like us they are (since we have to emphasize it). So, no, I didn't expect to read about Melissa being quote unquote "normal." What I did hope to read was a relatable book by a 90s star who did not get eaten by fame. ...more
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, autobio, audiobooks
That's a lie! She didn't explain the Vasiliev theory! Not to mention the Higgs-Boson or the finer points of quantum mechanics. Guess I'll have to try Soleil Moon Frye's book.
Christa Harmon
Jul 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
I wish I could go back to life before this book, when I could still believe that MJH was "abnormally normal" and down-to-earth, and probably more like her Sabrina/Clarissa characters than she actually is in her actual life. Part of why I disliked this book is because I just read Amy Poehler's Yes Please, which showcased Amy as a much more giving, emotional, helpful person. (Not saying my comparison is fair, just saying that IT HAPPENED).

MJH isn't normal~, despite all her great attempts to seem s
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, library, hollywood
In the late 80s, I wanted to be Punky Brewster. In the early 90s, I developed a new “girl crush” on Melissa Joan Hart in “Clarissa Explains It All” (ironically enough, Hart and Soleil Moon Frye are best buds and starred together in later seasons of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”). Her look, attitude, the set of her bedroom…I wanted to be her. Now more than 20 years later, I still hold a special place in my heart…for well…Hart. Luckily, Melissa Joan Hart opens her life to fans in, “Melissa Explains ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve loved MJH since Sabrina and knew bits and pieces of her life, but it was nice to see how her past experiences have made her who she is today. Yep, there were some crazy times, but she also helped Britney Spears sneak out for a fun night. She took classes to help her husband with his music. She did everything she could to be an active part of her kids lives while working in LA. I’m amazed! I can’t wait to see what she’s in next.
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
GoodReads considers 2 stars to be "OK." That's what this book was "OK." Melissa was sometimes annoying as the narrator and was occasionally conceited. Plus, she barely mentions "Sabrina" which was most certainly her biggest, most important role to date.
There was a lot of repetition in the book as well, and she tended to jump around a lot in her narration. I appreciate that she clearly authored the book, though, instead of working with a "real" writer.
Nov 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was excited to read this book, because I watched 'Clarissa Explains It All' as a kid, and I loved 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch', so I wanted to read all about both of those shows in this book.
The book touched on both shows a little, but not much. Melissa did write how she started out becoming a child actress, and through that, getting the Clarissa show, but she didn't talk about either show much, which disappointed me.
Something about her voice as an author though, I didn't like. I felt that she
It was okay. I enjoyed the beginning with her talking about being on Clarissa and Sabrina. I liked the end with her talking about her husband and trying to be the mom that has it all while shooting in LA while her husband and kids are in Connecticut. She is really easy to relate to and I enjoy her voice, I don't feel like she dumbs it down or preaches things to me or is all high and toity. Only thing I didn't like was her twenties, because I felt she spent half of those chapters talking about ho ...more
Feb 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
I was surprised on how disappointed with Hart's biography. She has achieved a lot, and I will give credit when it's due, but she was very self-congratulatory. It became tiresome very fast. Also, her name dropping got very annoying. Some people she named that she didn't really know. Hart named them because of the caché of their name.

I've read many memoirs but this one made me cringed. She does or did drink a lot and experiment with different drugs. How professional is it to be high on a photoshoo
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Looking back on my 22 years of life, the two people I styled myself after were Melissa's Sabrina and Avril Lavigne. It's funny, because I've never wanted to meet Avril, but reading this book has taught me that I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to meet Melissa (seriously, if you're reading this, come sign books in Oregon--preferably at Barnes & Noble Bridgeport).

All Sabrina fans should read this if you want to know Salem's secrets, Archie Comic's requirements and so on. Of course, Melissa ha
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Melissa Joan Hart needs to step off of her high horse and realize she is not normal. She also needs to get over herself. Her book was so boring because her life did not warrant the need for a book. I have been a fan of hers since 'Clarissa Explains It All' but not sure I'd count myself as a fan after reading this book. Her views on life are skewed but she's too self involved to realize it.
Jul 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Melissa Joan Hart, you are no Jodie Sweetin.
Sarah Anderson
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I wasn't incredibly impressed. I liked her matter of fact opinion of child acting but after that, there was a tone of arrogance and self worth I wasn't interested in.
Traci Lee
May 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Perhaps the failings of this memoir should be blamed on the second or third pair of eyes that reviewed MJH's writing. My recurring thought as I read was: she could have used a better editor. I don't doubt the former child star has stories to tell--who wouldn't, with her resume?--but the stories are jumbled, the writing isn't concise, and you get the sense that she's writing more for herself than the audience she purports to be reaching.

There have been few moments where I've felt any connection
Melissa Marin
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I listened to the audiobook and am glad I did that instead of trying to read this - you can tell she did not use a professional ghostwriter or have a good editor because wow, she is all over the place. I would say the biggest revelation for me was about her drug use and I did some Googling to find the druggie boyfriend she trashes but doesn't name in the book. I feel like she's very defensive of her stage mom (who sounds not fun) and her relationship with her husband and doesn't spend a lot of t ...more
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I found this book full of humour and empathy, the book I assume is directed to woman but still am enjoyable read full of enquiring sentence's, one liners, east to understand antidote's, as fir the empathy, look at page 155. lower paragraph ... young star coming to celebrity status , and those of the future .a fair discrepancy ..( that boys are have a device that make them cheat ?... some girls do also) yet adolescence is a learning curve ..... if it isn't.... sorry for you ... she has a support ...more
Mar 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
DNF, I would not be surprised if the motivation behind the existence of this book is just to make us readers know how great she is and make us read 276 pages of pure horn tooting. This one was heavy on the name drops and didn’t offer me anything I went in excited to hear about.
Jen (NerdifiedJen)
Mar 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, autobiography
I don't think anything here could be considered a spoiler... most of this stuff is alluded to in the first paragraph of the book.

I love autobiographies and I love Melissa Joan Hart, but this book disappointed me. A lot of people have been complaining about this book because she admitted to drug use and same-sex make outs. That stuff doesn't bother me as much as how she tidily swept these things under the rug (the drug use and partying, I don't care a bit about the kissing). With no regret for p
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I never watched Melissa Explains It All...I tried once or twice but just found the hyper character annoying. Now having read the book (well most of it) I realise that "sugar rush opinionated brat" thing was an acting style imposed by Nick and Co back in the day, apparently because they thought it was...cute? Cool? Who knows. It did nothing for me, so I never managed a whole episode.
The authoress' narrative voice is pretty familiar for anyone who's ever watched all or part of an episode of the li
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I grew up watching Melissa Joan Hart on television, and I genuinely feel connected to her because of that time in my life. Whether is was as Clarissa, Sabrina, or in one of her movies, Hart was often present in some of my favorite memories. (I even had a Salem the Cat Giga Pet! Though it got stolen out of my school locker.) When I heard she was writing a memoir, of sorts, I was immediately interested. I actually purchased the book via, because I always enjoy hearing the author read t ...more
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Anyone whom was a teen in the 90s knew Nickelodeon and one of its most endearing shows was Clarissa Explains it All. And then, once that wrapped, the star of the show, Melissa Joan Hart, went onto another 90s series, Sabrina. When I realized that she had written a memoir, I decided I needed to check it out.

Melissa Explains it All: Tales from my Abnormally Normal Life is a candid look at Hart’s life, from very early on to her life today as a married woman and mom of three young boys. Hart maintai
Brianna (The Book Vixen)
I never watched 'Clarissa Explains It All' but I did catch some episodes of 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' growing up. Still, I was curious enough to listen to Melissa Joan Hart's autobiography, which she narrates herself (the only kind of auto-bios I'll listen to).

MJH talks about her early start as a child actor, all the way to her current life with her husband and 3 small boys. She kisses and tells - from Ryan Reynolds, Mario Lopez, James Van Der Beek, to Joey Lawrence (and more). She also talks
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Although not being a ground-breaking biography, this book is definitely a refreshing take on the young Hollywood star life.

Melissa Joan Hart never went into rehab or checked in a center for exhaustion, contrarily to many child stars of the 1990s and early 2000s. Her biography is centered around her family upbringing, her work ethic and her married life. As the title says, her life is abnormally normal - for a Hollywood actress.

There is a fair share of name dropping, some of which might make you
Rebecca A
Like many of my fellow nineties children,I grew up with Sabrina--err Melissa. In fact, when my parents "needed" to punish me? My love for the TGIF lineup was so legendary that it was the ultimate punishment. So, from the very minute that I heard she was writing a memoir I sat in front of the computer, counting the days religiously.

The minute I got the book I started tearing into it like it was a rare steak.

It was not a disappointment. The book is funny, witty, and candid. You feel as if you're t
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I had issues with this book from the very beginning, as far as how it was written. Some autobiographies read like the person is talking directly to you, but this one came across as Melissa talking above the reader. She continually refers to her "normal" life, but then never misses an opportunity to tell us how wonderful she is or how great of an actress she has always been. I hated the way she trashed certain celebrities, really for no reason at all. She could have handled those situations so mu ...more
Aug 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
This was the longest read I ever had because I constantly had to put this book down. 200 page books typically take me a day, two days tops to finish. Melissa's took what felt like forever because I could only stand her terrible writing and horribly obvious celebrity name dropping for a chapter or two. She seemed to gloss over such key moments in her career (Clarissa, Sabrina) and rather wanted to brag about who her current boy toy of the moment was. All her talk about the various drugs she did, ...more
Carolyn (Carrie)
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was well written. I didn't like the slams used against certain other celebrities like Drew Barrymore. If you have EVER read "Little Girl Lost"- Drew was so messed up & young when she called Melissa's mom the B word. Yet this is brought up & Drew is brought up again towards the end of the book. So- obviously there is an issue or jealousy or envy going on Melissa's part. I did like the book. But I disagree with her. I feel she may feel like a typical "normal" person. But her life ...more
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