By Maryam Henein
the world, Hillary Carlip appears to be a tough-talking,
gum-chomping, trendsetting gal. But inside, she's
continually judging herself. Slowly, though, thanks
to a series of fantastically unusual experiences,
this Queen of the Oddballs starts a revolution within.
creator of the acclaimed literary website Fresh Yarn,
Carlip begins her memoir in 1968 Los Angeles, when,
at age 10, she gets in trouble for smoking on the
playground, paying homage to Holly Golightly. Adopting
different personas becomes a habit that takes her
into adulthood, and though psychotherapy sessions
help, she still goes on to stalk Carole King (in a
good way), befriend and bake for Carly Simon, juggle
and eat fire like a pro, become a contestant on The
Gong Show, and dance in Olivia Newton John's movie
Xanadu, just to name a few of her escapades.
string of failed relationships with women, the death
of her dad, and her Zen-like outlook on life spur
Carlip to maturity and self-acceptance, but not without
a fight. The adventure eventually comes to a close
with Carlip thinking back to 1995 when she appeared
on Oprah to promote Girl Power, a book
she wrote on youth empowerment, and ended up wanting
to bitch-slap the daytime hostess.
historical events and visual aids to ground us in
time -- like pictures of her band, Angel and the Reruns
-- Carlip brings her story to life. And what a story
it is! Funny, endearing, and sweet for the soul, this
is a lovable memoir.