Friday, July 14, 2017

[Book Review] The Maddie Diaries: A Memoir by Maddie Ziegler

This is a memoir written by Maddie Ziegler, who you may know from the Lifetime show Dance Moms or Sia's music videos. She is also in a movie that was recently released titled The Book of Henry. Maddie is only fourteen years old and she already has so many achievements and stories of her life.

I am obviously not this book's focused demographic but I still really enjoyed reading bout Maddie's life through her writing. I started watching Dance Moms when it first began, my mom always has Lifetime playing in the background, and when we saw commercials for the first season we decided to give it a shot and we really liked it. It became a tradition for us to watch it together, and now that I am living away from my Mom, we still watch it at the same time and talk about it. Maddie easily became our favorite dancer to watch perform.

Maddie writes about her life experiences from being a child reality star, to her passions for dancing and acting, to being offered a role in Sia's music videos. She talks about her family and her interests. It's sweet, but it's obvious that the writer is fourteen years old, but in a good way.

When you watch Maddie in an interview she seems older than fourteen (I would easily think she was sixteen years old) and she seems more mature than you'd think for her age. I think that doesn't translate as well in her writing, because it's very choppy and simplistic. She writes the way I did at fourteen which sometimes could be cheesy or clichéd. It's both a bad and good thing. It's bad because older readers or writers will catch this pretty easily, but it's good because it will appeal to readers that are her age.

However, I wanted deeper moments. Everything was very surface level, events in her life were glossed over and I would have liked to know more. I wanted to know more about her relationship with her parents, with the other Dance Moms girls, or Dance Moms in general. I understand that it's in the past for her, but it's what most people know her from. I would have liked to know a little more about how it felt to be in the show being so young, especially since the show helped get her name out there. Maddie's experiences and achievements are really inspirational and impressive. When I read a autobiography I want to finish it knowing more about the person. It allows public figures share parts about themselves that you wouldn't get from interviews or even social media. But I don't think that was the case with this book. I would have preferred less makeup and hair tips and more details about her experiences. Also, I felt like the book was written so full of cheese at times, if someone told me that an adult wrote it the way they thought teenagers spoke, I'd believe it. It didn't feel very authentic at times.

I do recommend this book for any readers who love Maddie, especially young readers. I am not sure if I recommend it for anyone hoping for a lot of Dance Mom's behind the scenes, because you're not really going to get it. I don't regret reading it, but I am happy I borrowed it from the library. Although, I am interested to see if she does any more writing because it would be cool to see her progress and life grow and build.

Thanks for reading!

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