More Memoir Than Investigative Expose. At least for me, the current description as I write this review nearly three months before the book’s scheduled publication reads more that this book would have been an investigative expose similar to Maxine Bedat’s 2021 book Unraveled. And while many similar issues are discussed – from the rampant sex abuse in sweatshops to the mass markets in Africa where fast fashion castoffs that don’t wind up in landfills ultimately wind up, among others – this is still mostly a memoir based narrative with some interviews to back up Hardy’s own observations from her career in fashion. A career Hardy mentions a few times she left, and which becomes clear she is still processing her time within. Still, as a bit of an “insider’s look” rather than active investigative journalism, this tale largely works and it does show a lot of the perils of the modern fast fashion industry. Indeed, the book really only suffers from two flaws: One is that it discusses COVID frequently, and I am on a one-man crusade against any book that mentions COVID for any reason at all. My only real tool in this crusade is a one-star deduction, and therefore it applies here. The second star deduction comes from the dearth of a bibliography. Even for similar memoir-based narratives and even with my extensive experience working with these narratives in advance reader copy form, the bibliography here is quite small, clocking in at just 2% or so of the text – when 10% is more normal even for this particular type of narrative, and 20-30% is more normal for nonfiction more generally. Still, for what it is and what it discusses, this book is well written and engaging (and a fairly quick read, for those looking for that), and is reasonably solid given the caveats above. Very much recommended.
Raw. Brutal. Not A Name-Dropping Hollywood Story. Like so many others, I first “met” Haynes when he showed up on my TV screen as Roy Harper in CW’s Arrow. A show which I didn’t want to like at first because it came *so* close to Smallville and Justin Hartley’s own excellent portrayal of the same (now titular) character, but whose grit and realism shined through and made me a fan (at least of its earlier seasons). But I never knew too much of the actual Colton Haynes other than knowing that he seemed to be friends with his female cast mates in particular and that he had previously been on the MTV version of Teen Wolf.
And while both of these shows are mentioned here (with more details about Teen Wolf than Arrow, though not a Hollywood-gossip type entry on either of them), the focus of this book is more about Haynes’ upbringing, from his earliest memories to his first sexual abuse at age six to his later sexual abuse throughout his teenage years, and his life as all of this was happening. Even when we get into the areas where he came into the public eye, beginning with modeling in New York and LA (after h