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Pale Girl Speaks: A Year Uncovered Paperback – September 25, 2012


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Pale Girl Speaks: A Year Uncovered + A Melanoma Patient's Survival Guide: Lemons Really Do Make Lemonade: You Just Have to Add a Little Sugar + Beating Melanoma: A Five-Step Survival Guide (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This entertaining memoir by a melanoma survivor should appeal to many others with skin cancer. Unfortunately, Fogelson laces far too many sentences with expletives, and not just when she is describing her diagnosis. Even at the end, when she gives her 10-years-after epilogue, she calls her two young daughters “fun-fucking-tastic kids.” Her crude sense of humor can come off as offensive. For example, she says, “I don’t really smell; it’s just that I’d like a chance to shave my armpits before my pit hair is long enough to French braid.” (Far funnier is her reminder to self, “Find a hat that doesn’t make me look like a deck umbrella.”) The book weaves script-style dialogue (fore-attributed to “Me:” and “Dad:”) and conventional narrative. Did she tape record the ostensibly decades-old conversations? Doubtful. Despite these flaws, the book gives important information about melanoma. Fogelson follows an “a-b-c-d” rule to check her moles for asymmetry, irregular border, variation in color, and diameter larger than a pencil eraser’s. And her father also gets diagnosed, illustrating how melanoma can run in families. The happily-ever-after ending (at least so far) for dad and daughter should give hope to others dealing with the disease. --Karen Springen

Review

This brave, irreverent, and brutally honest account has helped me better understand what my patients go through, and will change how I practice dermatology. -Dr. Jessica Wu, Hollywood dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face

Composed as a screenplay with truncated chapters, very little exposition, and lots of punchy dialog, L.A. blogger Fogelson's memoir mines the panic and fear she felt when diagnosed with skin cancer just as she and her husband were thinking of having children. In her mid-20s, fair-complexioned, and a veteran sun worshiper, Fogelson had to make an about-face when her dermatologist revealed that a malignant melanoma required immediate surgery. She got strong support from family members including her clean-freak mother, laconic father, and TV-producer husband, Adam. And there were numerous, attentive doctors, all of whose quirky personalities are revealed via the book's dialogue. Fogelson renders her terrified, in-the-moment impressions as laugh-out-loud scenes. Trying to be admirably "proactive" as a cancer patient, she grew obsessively controlling about treatment and staying informed, calling her doctor repeatedly to find out test results, questioning whether surgery had removed the right mole, and applying vats of sunscreen. The experience was certainly bracing, but Fogelson's snappy account proves energetic and wonderfully accessible. —Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580054447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580054447
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hillary Fogelson is a writer, blogger, tweeter, sun protection activist and sunscreen guru. She's also a three-time melanoma survivor and has spent over a decade helping families find simple, practical ways to live sun safe. Hillary lives in the shadows of the Hollywood sign with her husband, two daughters and Alvin the dog.

For sun safe tips and Pale Girl product recommendations visit palegirlspeaks.com.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 38 customer reviews
A funny, page turner of a read.
Kristin Louise Duncombe
Hilary has a great sense of humor, she writes great dialogue and she has an amazing talent to describe situations exactly how they happened.
Andrea D.
To say that a book changes you is a pretty big statement but I can say in 100% honesty, it changed my life.
Lauren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Delheim on December 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Insightful, funny, and hits the mark I believe for anyone who has been touched by serious illness. A quick read and hard to put down.
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By Maeve Payne on September 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
I typically avoid memoirs about illnesses, particularly if there is even a slim chance that I, too, could someday develop the illness...say breast cancer, brain cancer or the like. I'm neurotic enough to know that in these cases, I choose ignorance over adding to the ever-growing list of Things To Worry About. That said, I succumbed to Hillary Fogelson's memoir over her struggles with melanoma by getting hooked with her first sentence, then the one after, and the one after that until the book was, well, read. All I can really say is that I thoroughly enjoyed it, LOVED her singular, very funny voice, and was motivated by the end to...see a dermatologist. Two pre-cancerous moles later and I can now say that Pale Girl Speaks is not just a great read, it is potentially life saving! Take that, ignorance! Get educated and read this fabulous book.
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Format: Paperback
A page-turner about cancer? Not quite. A page-turner about Hillary Fogelson with cancer - Absolutely! This Pale Girl - articulate, witty, raw, sexy, sarcastic, loving, and deeply honest - has somehow managed to make her experience with melanoma into an hysterically funny and emotionally touching narrative that makes you feel guilty about wanting more. Cancer or no cancer, male or female, husband or wife, mother or daughter,..., Hillary will have you laughing and crying and Googling as fast as you can turn the pages!

Julie and Nicole, Mother and Daughter
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By Andrea D. on October 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is very entertaining. Hilary does a great job at informing but entertaining at the same time. As a woman, I can truly relate to her internal struggles. I love reading about other people's lives and their journeys. This book is much better than just an ordinary biography. Hilary has a great sense of humor, she writes great dialogue and she has an amazing talent to describe situations exactly how they happened. She also stays true to each character and keep them consistent throughout the book. The book is well edited and it is easy to read. Great job.
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By Lori L. on September 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book had me at the very first sentence and never let go. It was funny, smart and above all, brutally honest. Now that I am a mother, I find it harder to find time to read books let alone finish one, but I found myself reading this book every free minute I had and was done in 3 days!! Even though our lives are very different, I felt I could totally relate to the author. I laughed and cried with her and I have to say, I learned a ton about protecting my kids and myself from harmful sun exposure. I feel forever changed by this book...all for the better!
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Format: Paperback
I smiled, I laughed and I was moved through out. The courage and strength that Hillary shares is an inspiration to us all. It made me re-think the way I live my life.

To say that a book changes you is a pretty big statement but I can say in 100% honesty, it changed my life. The way that I protect both my kids and myself. It has made me think in a new light. I am grateful to Hillary for sharing with the world the face of a true survivor. She is vibrant, beautiful, funny and a true pillar of bravery, spirit, and fortitude.

Soleil
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By Timna Understein on September 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found Pale Girl Speaks to be the perfect combination of truth, humor, and openness. I dove into this book and could not put it down. Right away, I felt a connection to the author; I felt understood. And feeling understood while on this cancer journey is very important. I loved reading about all of the "crazy" thoughts/actions/words brought on by melanoma, and feeling like, "It's good to know I am not the only one who does that!!!". I recommend this book to anyone touched by this disease. Hillary Fogelson is a brilliant and witty writer.
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Format: Paperback
WHAT A WAY TO APPROACH A DIRE SUBJECT, TO SHOW FEELINGS, TO GUIDE AND EDUCATE, AND TO CULTURE A REALIZATION OF THE TRUE LOVE OF A HEALTHY LIFE. THIS BOOK MADE ME LAUGH AND CRY. I NOW METER MY LOVE OF THE SUN WITH GREAT CARE BECAUSE OF HILLARY FOGELSON, DESPITE IGNORING YEARS OF WARNINGS FROM ELSEWHERE. READING THIS BOOK IS LIKE BEING THE FLY ON THE WALL OF VERY PRIVATE FEELINGS. I DIDN'T WANT IT TO END.... IN FACT, I ALMOST GAVE IT A 4 BECAUSE IT ENDED TO SOON. LOOKING FORWARD TO HER NEXT BOOK .... WHATEVER IT'S ABOUT!
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