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Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time Paperback – July 1, 2014

4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It’s a celebrity-obsessed culture we live in, and trying to look like, act like—even cook like—our favorite stars is time-consuming work. Here, on a quest for self-improvement, Bertsche ups the ante, deciding to emulate the lives of her favorite celebrities (“I’m wondering, if I do what they do, will I feel as fabulous and put together as they seem to be?”). After a brief introduction, Bertsche (her previous memoir, MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend, came out in 2011) gets down to business; first up is everyone’s imaginary BFF, Jennifer Aniston. Will exercise and a salmon-based diet give her Aniston’s to-die-for legs? Then there’s cooking according to Gwyneth; marriage à la Jen and Ben; and so on. Bertsche doesn’t have a celebrity’s resources, and that makes the whole experiment much, much harder. The well-researched information on celebrity culture provides food for thought, but Bertsche’s regular-person pursuits don’t always make for the most scintillating of reads. Fortunately, Bertsche’s efforts are not for nothing, and she comes to a realization that eludes many women: Who’s perfect anyway? --Ann Kelley

Review

Praise for Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me
 
“If you’ve ever had a celebrity girl crush, stick Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me in your beach bag. [Rachel] Bertsche is your people.”—Associated Press
 
“[A] super-fun social experiment.”PureWow
 
“Bertsche ups the ante. . . . The well-researched information on celebrity culture provides food for thought.”Booklist
 
“What makes Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me work is Bertsche’s honesty. . . . [She] is funny, creative and, more importantly, manages to stay sane.”Boston Herald
 
“An entertaining memoir about a woman’s attempt to model her life on those of stars.”Tampa Bay Times
 
“A worthy narrative.”The Boston Globe
 
“Bertsche blends elements reminiscent of Julie & Julia and The Happiness Project in this ‘self-improvement journey.’ . . . The process not only provides Bertsche with fruitful writing fodder but also prompts readers to examine their outlook on perfection, self-acceptance, and aspiring to be one’s very best self.”Publishers Weekly

Praise for Rachel Bertsche’s MWF Seeking BFF
 
“Written with verve, insight, and humor . . . Bertsche writes cleverly, but not glibly, about the challenges young women face today.”Chicago Tribune
 
“[A] charming, funny chronicle.”People
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (July 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034554322X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345543226
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
The book began by recounting a scene from Friends which I remembered in great detail myself, right down to the color and design of the dress Jennifer Anniston was wearing. Maybe the fact that I could recount the exact same scene and outfit from the top of my head the same way the author can is the reason that I felt connected to her, and almost like I knew her in real life. Just as when I read Bertsche's first book, I felt like I knew her personally and I wanted her to be my friend. That's part of what made this book so darn enjoyable for me.

This book is pretty self-explanatory. We follow Rachel as she strives to perfection by trying on the various lifestyles of the celebs she admires most. Each chapter focuses on one celeb, which was pretty much the perfect amount. If I didn't care for the celeb, I didn't have to suffer through the whole book. But for the most part, I liked most of the celebs she was trying to emulate. This book also served as a great look into the celebrity-obsessed culture. Plus, Rachel intersperses her attempts with actual research into the life of a celebrity, along with glimpses into her own personal life, especially in her quest to become pregnant.

Overall, I loved the book. Just as I did when I read her first book, I felt like I actually knew Rachel. Throughout the entire book, she comes across as approachable and likable, unless I just feel that way because we have similar neuroses. Either way, I had fun reading about her year trying on various celeb lifestyles.

Note: I received this book for free by winning a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. This in no way influenced my opinion of the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Although most of the book served as good mindless reading for the subway rides to/from work, Bertsche turns the book into a chronicle of her quest to get pregnant. Not just a bit here and there. It's a pretty big theme. I did not pick up this book to read about Bertsche's intense longing for a baby. At first, the fertility talk is fairly easy to skip over, but by the Julia Roberts chapter, I gave up on this book entirely. It's just page after page of IVF this and fertility that... Truly disappointing, since I really enjoyed her first book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"Jennifer, Gwyneth, and Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time": authored by popular journalist/editor (Oprah Magazine) Rachel Bertsche, is a highly entertaining and charming celebrity genre themed book.

In NYC, (2006) Bertsche spotted Aniston before her guest appearance on "The Late Show". Celebrity sightings are unforgettable highlights in the lives of ordinary people. Many fans follow/blog about celebrity culture available on media newsfeeds 24 hours a day. Twitter makes the celebrities seem more accessible publically; and as long as the fans/fame junkies keep their interest in check/perspective, (meaning no delusional obsessions/stalking) Bertsche explains these "Para-Social" relationships are not harmful to anyone. According to research, fans can be helped in real life, to feel more connected, less isolated, and more confident. Other studies by evolutionary biologists state that it's normal for others to identify/emulate popular successful people, according to Bertsche.

Although Bertsche enjoyed a happy fulfilling marriage with her husband Matt, she was concerned about the 17 lbs. she had gained since their wedding, her general disorganization, and messy house. To attain a higher level of happiness, organization, and personal satisfaction she began "Project Aniston", with "Jen related research", that included the study of Vanity Fair, Vogue, In Style, Marie Claire, People Magazine, and Good Housekeeping. Bertsche signed up for a $195.00 monthly gym membership to work out, and followed Aniston's dietary recommendations to eat well. Admiring Aniston's trim, youthful, glowing appearance she wondered if a "Jen Body" for herself was possible, or if they would be friends in real life.
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By KKookie on September 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nothing terrific.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is extremely boring. I was looking for a funny, lighthearted read. This is more like somebody's star-struck thesis.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was interesting, fun and entertaining.
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By T. Boldry on September 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amusing and easy read. If you like celebs and celebrity lifestyles this is a great book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this fun read about a woman who decided to take those "They're just like us" and "How to have arms just like Jennifer" articles and see if they're telling the truth.

With clear goals and a sense of humor this was a fun and surprisingly though provoking read.

http://iwishilivedinalibrary.blogspot.com/2014/06/jennifer-gwyneth-and-me-review.html
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