Lea Michele of Glee fame dishes out health, beauty, fashion and career advice in her new lifestyle book Brunette Ambition. This book is a fun, quick magazine-style read, with lots of photographs and eye-catching graphics. Fans of Ms. Michele will enjoy learning more about the woman behind the Rachel Berry persona, and if you’re into a healthy lifestyle she’s got some great tips for you as well.
9 Noteworthy topics from Brunette Ambition:
Broadway Beginnings– Lea Michele landed her first role on Broadway at age eight in Les Misérables and always wanted to be a diva. Her roles on Broadway in Ragtime, Fiddler on the Roof, and Spring Awakening prepared her for her breakout role on Glee.
You Make Me Feel Like (A Natural Woman) – Lea spends a lot of time on set in the hair and makeup department but likes to indulge in self-care at home by whipping up her own beauty treatments. The cucumber face masque sounds really refreshing – it has peppermint oil, chopped cucumber and ice, and it’s like the consistency of a slushy. There are lots of makeup tutorials for beauty buffs as well.
Healthy Choices – I like to cook so I was excited to see several recipes in this book. I can’t wait to make the vegan jalapeno grilled cheese sandwich, Mediterranean Nachos (with hummus!) and French-style lentil soup. Yum! Lea is a lapsed vegan, and though some of her recipes are plant-based she likes her eggs and fish now too, so there’s something for everyone.
Let’s Get Physical – There’s a ten-step workout tutorial with instructions and pictures to get red-carpet ready in your own backyard. Plus you can listen to Lea’s workout mix to keep your energy up.
With a Little Help from my Friends – Lea’s BFF is Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakenings, Glee, Looking, The Normal Heart) and she devotes a section in her book to him as a love letter to their friendship. She also talks about the friends that were there for her after Cory’s passing, girls’ night tips and friendship no-nos.
Fan Q&A – Lea answers fan questions about the business and Glee, from how to handle difficult coworkers, what would she do if she couldn’t act, to the most difficult song to sing on Glee (Beyonce’s I Was Here).
Vogue – Lea talks about her style icon Rachel Bilson, her prized wardrobe pieces, LA vs. NY style, and maximizing your wardrobe budget.
‘Glee’-ful– Lea always wanted to breakout on TV but was told she wasn’t pretty enough and should consider plastic surgery. Booking Glee was a dream come true though came with it paparazzi attention and accusations of being too difficult. Lea talks about the family vibe on set and how many of her costars became close friends. There are plenty of behind the scenes picture and a “Day in the Life” section. Here are Lea’s top 5 favorite Glee songs:
Cory – Brunette Ambition is dedicated to Cory Monteith and he’s thanked in the acknowledgements as her “biggest fan.” He read the book and gave his notes, and Lea says she made every one. His presence is felt throughout the book and she says some sweet things about him.
It was so interesting to learn more about Lea Michele and her life before Glee, and I’m sure I’ll refer back to her recipes and self-care tips. Readers interested in the biz will get a lot of practical advice in this book, and the health and beauty, fashion, and friendship tips should have appeal to fans of lifestyle books like Lauren Conrad or Alicia Silverstone’s books. The light, breezy tone, top-ten-list style and eye-catching photos make this a fast read for fans of advice lifestyle books or superfans of Lea Michele.
Thanks to Crown Archetype for the review copy! No promises of Broadway show tickets, Glee set visits, shopping sprees, or personal trainers were exchanged.