Becky's Reviews > Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology

Troublemaker by Leah Remini
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it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2016

Something about Scientology has long fascinated me. Not in a "I have to learn more and get involved" kind of way, but more like a questioning of how on earth people can follow this "religion." A few years ago, I read Jefferson Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams, and, while it was a fascinating look inside Scientology, it wasn't at all about the celebrity experience in Scientology. A big part of my interest stems from the celebrity component—practically everyone knows that Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley are Scientologists, and it's always big news when a celeb leaves the church ... like Leah Remini did in 2013.

While I enjoyed Remini on The King of Queens, her brash personality off the show grated on me. However, I've been watching her show Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and it is fascinating. I really respect her drive to expose the truth about Scientology and bring change. Watching the show is what caused me to pick up her book.

Remini's Troublemaker provides the insider look at the celebrity side of Scientology I'd been hoping for. Remini's experience in Scientology was different than most as she began as a Sea Org member (church worker) but then later became a regular parishioner and then a celebrity parishioner. (The portion of the book spent on her days in Sea Org isn't nearly as enthralling as the rest of the book.) Remini isn't afraid to name names as she tells her story. She talks about Tom Cruise a lot—apparently, she and her husband Angelo were part of Cruise's "inner circle" for a while. And it's when Remini starts talking about her interactions with Cruise that things really get interesting...and her relationship with the church starts faltering.

I listened to Troublemaker on audiobook, read by Remini, and hearing the story told in Remini's own voice really lent an authenticity to it. Hers is a fascinating story, and I highly recommend it. 4-1/2 stars.

Note: The Remini in Troublemaker is exactly what you'd expect her to be—brash, vulgar, and frank. There is lots of swearing, so keep that in mind if you're sensitive to that type of thing.
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Reading Progress

December 22, 2016 – Started Reading
December 23, 2016 – Finished Reading
December 29, 2016 – Shelved
December 29, 2016 – Shelved as: read-in-2016

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