Book Review

WILL by Will Smith

I received a complimentary advanced listener copy of WILL by Will Smith with Mark Manson from Penguin Random House Audio!

Rating: 4.5 / 5

WILL follows the author’s life from childhood up to his more present day life. He takes a look at his early fears, imagination and issues with self-confidence (possibly both lack and over confidence at times). From his early years breaking into rap music and becoming a quick sensation to his cross into TV then film which, his life has made him into one of the biggest stars we have today. Still, behind all of that, his early insecurities still have plagued and the later half of the book really delves into how he’s had to overcome his inner fears to find happiness.

I thought that this book was a great mix of a memoir with a lot of self-deprecating humor and honesty when things really just lined up perfectly to make use of his talents and make him into a star. I particularly loved the insights into his childhood and the at times quirky and always imaginative boy he was growing up. His family was not perfect and he’s open about some of those struggles, but he also had fantastic relationships. In his marriage and family life in more recent years, he again recognizes mistakes made and the struggles he went through to find a way back to happiness.

I went to a church in Bel Air growing up, so I of course had to keep up on Fresh Prince so hearing how that show came to be was a highlight for me. (I got the question ‘do you know the fresh prince?’ often back when the show was on the air). There isn’t a lot of focus on his film career beyond a discussion of the rapid string of box office hits.

I appreciated his honesty about some of the mistakes he made along the way as he gained almost instant success, but also managed to let some of it slip through his fingers. I thought this book overall was a great balance of humor and thoughtful material and he did a fantastic job (of course) narrating it himself!

I definitely recommend WILL and suggest you pick up the audiobook to hear it in his own words and his own voice!

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