“This is a story of love. It started when love was lost and I felt as if my world had fallen apart. What followed was a transformative journey, through the process of developing my first world tour, where I faced some of my greatest challenges, overcame some of my greatest fears, and, with the help of my incredible children, emerged a stronger person than I’ve ever been.”
—Excerpted from the book jacket
It might be hard to believe that Jennifer Lopez hasn’t published a book before now. After all, the 45-year-old pop icon has been in the limelight for a couple decades, and her life has at times been splashed across the tabloids to the tune of some rather lurid headlines.
Besides brief marriages to waiter Ojani Noa and backup dancer Cris Judd, “Jenny from the Block” has been romantically linked to Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs and Ben Affleck. And she’s recently divorced salsa singer Marc Antony after a decade-long relationship that produced Max and Emme, the children to whom she dedicates her memoir.
True Love (Celebra, hardcover, 288 pages, illustrated) focuses on the two years since she and Marc Antony went their separate ways, a period of great spiritual rebirth for J-Lo. It is the author’s stated hope that the opus might serve as a source of inspiration for “anyone who has found themselves looking for a way to reconnect with their true selves… If I can help one woman really take a look in the mirror and accept her weaknesses and acknowledge her strengths with love and kindness, then I will consider this a success.”
Granted, I’m not exactly in the target demographic. Nevertheless, True Love strikes me as more of a coffee-table keepsake than a revealing tell-all for fans eager for an intimate peak at their idol. Designed with easy-to-please diehards in mind, about half its pages are devoted to glossy color shots of the photogenic Lopez ostensibly taken over the course of her recent, first-ever world tour.
Most of the snapshots are of her onstage, although some are of her with her adorable kids, too. As for the text, J-Lo doles out simplistic advice that reads like poster-speak that can’t but resonate with any reader.
For example, nobody’s going to argue with, “In the same way negative influences can bring you down, having positive people around can help lift you up.” Just as banal are trite obvious-isms like, “You have to be okay on your own before you can have a healthy relationship with another person” and “The only way you can be mistreated is by allowing yourself to be mistreated.”
Lots of space is also devoted to snippets of song lyrics from her hit songs, including “Hold It Don’t Drop It,” “Feelin’ So Good,” “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” and “I’m into You,” to name a few. Yes, J-Lo does reflect a bit betwixt and between all the fluff, but that’s essentially just journal entries about her kids and the concert tour.
This book is the literary equivalent of a soufflé-light fanzine, notwithstanding pretentious claims of being the culmination of “soul-searching, crying and laughing.”