Nonfiction Book Review: Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress by Vicky Nolan

I love when a book cover matches the title, and this scrapbook style cover is gorgeous!

Book Description

You’re a 15-year-old schoolgirl who has big dreams of becoming a pop star, and then one day you get your lucky break. Polydor records sends you to Copenhagen to make pop music – to make you a recording artist. You get back home and your future is looking brighter than ever – until the High Court writ hits the door mat – you’ve fallen out with your management and they have decided to sue. No, this isn’t a dream, this is now Vicky Nolan’s reality and fast becoming a nightmare, and all while still at school at the sweet age of sixteen.

Read about the trial, the family, Hollywood, London town, the glamour, the dog (eh?) and most importantly, the music. Curiouser and curiouser?

We always talk about ‘making it’ and fulfilling your dreams. The question is, what if you don’t? What happens next? Ultimately, this book speaks about life and family; its hopes and disappointments, its ups and downs. Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress is in some way a story that speaks to us all, because in the end, the best stories are always true.

“I’m living my life as consequence of yesterday.
And all of my choices compliment my life today.
There may have been times I could have gone and lost my way,
I could have, I would have, I should have, I don’t care – I’m here now.”

See the stories and hear the music
@YouTube ‘Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress

My Thoughts

“I had very little faith in my own being – I was still testing the waters, constantly reshaping my personality and demeanour. It’s hard to know how to act when, deep down, you know you really shouldn’t be acting at all.”

Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress may not be winning any literary awards anytime soon, but you’re guaranteed a raw and honest account, a coming-of-age tale of someone who visited the stars, but chose to stay down to earth.

Nolan chose a unique format for this book, and it is evident in the title, this book is told in the form of a scrapbook. As Nolan details her journey, you’ll find scatterings of song lyrics, script excerpts, journal entries – when considering the title, and what the author wanted to achieve with this book (re. synopsis), I think it worked really well. However, these entries are non-linear and run the risk of throwing readers off track, initially anyway, you’ll soon get use to them as you settle into the read.

The most interesting aspect of the story for me was Nolan being sued by her manager and the trial that followed – while this is covered, the coverage isn’t as deep and detailed as it could have been. In fact, that was my main issue with this book, wanting a little bit more, for Nolan to take us a little bit deeper into all that occurred. However, it wouldn’t be fair to document that as a shortcoming of the book as this is a ‘scrapbook’ so one could argue that was the point, a brief journey through all that occurred – a whistle-stop tour. I guess it’s just personal preferences coming into play. 

At under 200 pages, this book can be read in one sitting; I think it would be an ideal read for young people looking to break into the industry, a reminder that the road may get dark and it may get tough, and you need to decide how much you really want it. This memoir is ‘light’, in the sense that no dark themes are explored making it suitable for younger readers.

Equally, this book can be enjoyed by anyone who is curious about how a child’s dream became her waking nightmare. Don’t take the use of ‘waking nightmare’ to mean this book is all doom and gloom, it isn’t, there’s some real highlights, such as living your dream, recording studios, travelling to America. There’s also some funny moments, and some moments of real growth, particularly towards the end. The lovely thing about this book, was by the end of this read, you get this real sense that Nolan finally discovered who she is, and you’re left genuinely feeling happy for Vicky and wishing her the best.

All the music/lyrics featured in the book can be found on YouTube: Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress

This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK / Amazon US

*My thanks to the author (Vicky Nolan) for providing me with a copy of this book*

YouTube

When I finished this book, I visited Nolan’s YouTube account, and whether you enjoy this book or not, there’s no denying she can sing!! Not only did I visit the account showcasing the songs featured in the book, but I also visited Nolan’s ‘main’ YouTube account: ‘Vicky Nolan‘, and proceeded to listen to every song, here’s a few covers I enjoyed.

5 thoughts on “Nonfiction Book Review: Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress by Vicky Nolan

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