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This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  7,136 ratings  ·  1,030 reviews
The Oscar-nominated Precious star and Empire actress delivers a much-awaited memoir—wise, complex, smart, funny—that is different from anything we’ve read

Gabourey Sidibe—“Gabby” to her legion of fans—skyrocketed to international fame in 2009 when she played the leading role in Lee Daniels’s acclaimed movie Precious. In This is Just My Face, she shares a one-of-a-kind life
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Elyse She was a phone sex operator and talks about it a lot so no, probably not a good idea. Seniors, sure. Any younger, nope.

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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  7,136 ratings  ·  1,030 reviews

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Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gabourey Sidibe’s delightful memoir This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare offers a memorable look into what happens when a black girl’s dreams come true, from the inside out. From her unique childhood as the daughter of a subway singer mother and polygamous father to struggling with depression to getting the role of Precious, Sidibe is fearless, incredibly funny and gorgeously open. What she offers of herself in these pages is a gift.

Also, major side eye to lee daniels. And andre leon talley.
Cristina Monica
Gabourey Sidibe is the kind of celebrity who doesn’t care about being a celebrity. Of course, she appreciates the opportunities and having followers who encourage her (when they’re not fat-shaming her and criticizing her wigs), but she wasn’t born famous and she knows what it’s like to be poor, judged, depressed, uncomfortable in her own skin, and not knowing what to do with her life. I found her coming of age story thoroughly engrossing. I was fascinated by her dysfunctional family and her form ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As you all should know by now, my reviews are based off of emotion. If you want fancy well thought out reviews...I'm not your girl.

Ok. Now on to my review.

I love Gabby! She says that's what her friends call her and obviously we're besties now so Imma call her Gabby.

I remember being afraid to watch Precious because I knew it would piss me off. It did, but I'm glad I watched it(if you haven't watched it, you should) I loved Gabby and was really happy for her, but I also thought I'd never see her
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it

Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe (Gabby) is an American actress who starred in the film 'Precious', co-starred in several seasons of the television series 'American Horror Story', and co-stars in the musical drama series 'Empire.'

Gabourey Sidibe in Precious

Gabourey Sidibe in American Horror Story

Gabourey Sidibe in Empire (with Jussie Smollett)

Gabby was a struggling young woman trying to make ends meet when she was offered the starring role in the 2009 movie 'Precious.' And the rest is history! G
Jessica Woodbury
I usually do not read a whole lot of celebrity memoir-slash-essay books if the celebrity is not a writer or comedian whose work I'm familiar with. But I was so charmed by the cover and title of Gabourey Sidibe's book, and knowing a little of her backstory I thought it might be a fun read. I was very much right.

This is the kind of book you read where when it's over you feel like you and the author are now friends. Sidibe does this thing where her writing feels so conversational, so natural, that
Ebony Rose
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my reading goals this year was to read more nonfiction and poetry. And for some reason, reading memoirs is how that goal has manifested. This is interesting because for the longest time I have vocally declared my disdain of all things memoir/autobiography. It turns out I was wrong. I was just reading the memoirs of the wrong people . I was reading stories of the great heroes of our time, people I could barely relate to. Big mistake. Those people are important and so are their stories, bu ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sidibe's book is very good. This book is her memoir about her life before and after she became famous. I highly recommend it if you are looking for an interesting and funny book to read. I read the actual book, however, I wish I had read the audiobook version just to hear her say her asides and other remarks. Can't wait to see how the rest of her career will turn out. I hope she writes more books.
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reading Gabourey Sidibe's funny, introspective, and healing reflections on her life was a pleasure. On top of reaffirming how much I adore the memoir/autobiography genre (I've been reading a lot more fiction lately to open my perspective), I learned so much about this talented young woman. Reading through her low points, triumphs, and everything in between kept me captivated from cover to cover, shown in the speed with which I paged through it. As reflected in the For Colored Nerds podcast episo ...more
I enjoyed this book, and in a way that felt different than other celebrity autobiographies I have read.

For one, I felt like Sidibe is a lot different in real life than I expected...and also kind of not? Like, there were things she said and I would be like "oh man, that is SO me, YES!" and feel like I related to her so well. But overall, I can't say my life has been anything like hers. Which I think made this such a fascinating read.

Another thing that set her book apart from others is that it's
A funny, punchy read that will appeal to those readers who love Mindy Kaling's memoirs. Gabby's voice is fabulous and her storytelling is engaging. Loved her talk about working on a sex line as a talker, as well as her final chapter on NSYNC fan fiction. I found her body talk, especially the chapter on her weight loss surgery, to be really empowering and positive.

As the kids say, it's pretty #relatable. You can't help but want to hang out with her.
Sassy and serious! Sexism, eating disorders, phone sex workers, anxiety/depression, hair issues, psychics, twitter craziness, your dad's big secret...these are just some of the subjects that make an appearance, Gabourey discusses both the high and low moments in her life with raw honesty and a sassy wit that left me going 'No way' and then LOLing page after page.
This was fabulous and Gabourey Sidibe is fabulous. SO FUNNY, but also sad and vulnerable, with a side of WTF?! I just love her.
Kathy - Books & Munches
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-s, read-in-2018
Since this is a non-fiction novel, I don’t feel like I can divide this up in “good vs. bad” as I usually do. This is someone’s life we’re talking about. I’m not going to be the judge of that. We all make good decisions, bad ones and… sometimes we even run away from taking them in the first place. How can I possibly go “Oh, I didn’t like THAT” when it’s one of Gabourey’s own decisions? I can’t.

First off – if you hadn’t noticed yet – this is the story of a black, plus-sized woman who fought to ge
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-memoirs
Gabourey made me laugh out loud with her life, it is so amusing how she can take real situations and turn them into comedy. Aside from the movie she was in and a few interviews I watched of her,a lot of things that she been through was shocking to me. I knew that she was talked about regarding her weight loss and how looks, but I love how she remained positive throughout. Whether she was a size two or a size 14, she was comfortable in her own skin.

There were many highlights in this book, but my
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read the novel Push by Sapphire several years back, but wasn’t able to finish the film “Precious” because reliving that gut-wrenching story was too much. What I did experience of Sidibe’s performance was incredible. It turns out, she’s a brilliant storyteller and talented writer, too. In this honest and funny memoir, she lays bare her unique family history, career, body image, etc. Fantastic on audio!
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
Beyond having once seen the movie Precious and having watched the Freak Show season of AHS (the only one I've been able to get through), I knew nothing about Gabourey Sibide. Her life isn't UNinteresting (I very much enjoyed reading about her father's Sengalese culture and how it affected their home life), but in a similar vein to other young actresses' memoirs, I finished this book feeling like she just hasn't reached an age of introspection enough to write a particularly compelling memoir. Her ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: booktini-2017
In This Is Just My Face, Gabourey Sidibe discusses her very unusual life: parents who married only for her father's American citizenship; a father who was a polygamist; a mother who is a well-known subway singer; her battles with severe depression and eating disorders; being a phone sex operator; and the remarkable steps leading to her role in "Precious".

Sounds heavy but she keeps it lite and interesting with humor and wit along the way. The saddest part is the amount of ridicule and bullying sh
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have nothing profound to say about this memoir. Gabourey is very entertaining and transparent.
After reading her story, I still dont feel any connection to her. I dont feel like I will follow her career more closely. The reason behind the four stars is due to the collection of memories that she chose to share. Some were interesting, funny, and some down right ridiculous. This memoir is definitely a page turner.
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really interesting memoir. I love Gabby as an actress, but this peek into her real life shines a little light on how she became famous. If you love nonfiction, I'd recommend giving this a go.
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked this book but I didn't love it. I was a little disappointed about the flow of the book, but enjoyed hearing about her life.
Sarah Clark
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A biography or memoir of a celebrity, especially and actor, is not the kind of book I tend to pick up, but after reading an essay by Gabourey Sidibe in the book Well-Read Black Girl, I was hooked on her voice and style and sense of humor.

By the end of this book, you want to be Gabby’s best friend. Which I think would mean hanging out until she pushes you out of the door so she can take a breather from people, remove her pants, and love on her cats.

She talks about her bicultural upbringing (Amer
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is often difficult to write a review of a memoir, because you want to avoid passing judgment on a person's life. So, I try to focus on what about someone's life story can be helpful and inspiring to others and how much is the memoirist willing to share with the public. By this measurement Gabourey has done a great job. As she acknowledges, there is probably some stuff in here that her family may be embarrassed by, but she just "wrote the truth, and it made me feel better." So, it has the feel ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Not a fan
St. Gerard Expectant Mothers
"And she's telling you she's not going...."

Dreamgirls' Effie White character can best sum up who actress Gabourey Sidibe is. Smart, talented, and beautiful, she is well aware of her plus size status and is unapologetic about it. She just doesn't need you to be rude about it.

From her star making debut as Precious Jones in the film Precious, Gabourey has dealt with issues of her body image, eating disorders, and fair share of bullying from her classmates. However, that hasn't deterred her from emb
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Relatable, funny and an enjoyable quick read. I liked the sound bites from her social media which really give you a sense of the author's sense of humor.
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Yes, yes, yes, yes yes.
First, memoirs should always be listened to in audio with the author reading them. Audio format at its best. And Gabourey (rhymes with cabaret) is perfect at this. She talks to "you" the reader and at first it is formal, but after sharing her innermost thoughts and secrets she gets comfortable and starts treating you (the reader) like a dear, old friend. She tells you secrets and begs you not to tell her mother.

The book is hella-honest, and doesn't claim to be anything i
It was very interesting reading this book right after reading Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. The differences are stark and led me to one conclusion - Sidibe wrote this book too soon. Both she and Gay have issues, traumas, histories - stuff. The difference is the perspective on the stuff. Gay writes from a place of understanding, having done some serious self-analysis work to see the root of her issues, the ways she contributes and belays them, and the reasons for the feelings she has about her s ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a quick, entertaining read, mostly fluffy but with some strong moments. I like Sidibe's voice, but I felt like she still had a lot of things to process before publishing her memoir (she said the book was cathartic for her, and helped her forgive her father, which I thought was beautiful). Even the lessons she seemed to say she learned about herself are muddled. Not a bad book, but I think it suffers from MWY syndrome (memoiring while young).

I liked this bit though, "How many psychics d
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In This is Just My Face, Gabourey Sidibe is very candid and owns not only her amazing moments but also her less flattering and embarrassing moments as well. I don't think you need to be a fan of her work to appreciate what she writes. The book is written like you are speaking to one of your best girlfriends, similar to Leah Remini's Troublemaker. I found myself identifying Sidibe's story with aspects of my own life and those of other females around me, I think this is a great book to add to my " ...more
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Gabourey Sidibe is an award-winning actress who is best known for the title role of Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire. She has since starred as Queenie in FX’s American Horror Story: Coven and Denise in Difficult People, and can currently be seen as Becky on Fox’s smash-hit sensation Empire. Sidibe recently made her directorial debut with the short film, The Tale of Four. This Is Just ...more

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