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Showing 1-10 of 33 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 42 reviews
VINE VOICEon February 9, 2014
There's a frequent admonition on Tom and Lorenzo's wonderfully entertaining blog: "Girl, That's Not Your Dress." After reading this book, I can't help but think they, too, made a mistake.

Girl, This Isn't Your Book.

It's so condescending, among other things, to say, "I wanted to like this"--but I really did. I am a super fan of their eponymous blog. But the point of this book confused me. This book lacks generosity, wit, the cleverness fans have come to expect. I don't think I smiled, let alone laughed, at one single sentence in this book -- a surprise for someone who gets his RDA of biting, yet inciteful humor from them.

Ostensibly, the point of this book is to deconstruct the modern celebrity, but this book -- page after page -- only reminded me that Cintra Wilson, the author of A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Reexamined as a Grotesque, Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations, already wrote that book, 15 years ago, and it's a brilliant, choke-on-your-own-snot kind of funny. Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me is the humorless, bitter step-sister who aspires to her own reality show on TLC.

T-Lo refer to themselves frequently as "bitchy fashion bloggers," but if you are a regular reader you know that they're way more charming than bitchy. The only bitchy behavior I've ever witnessed are aggressive smack-downs when someone veers off topic in the comments section. Bitchy, it turns out, is unbecoming on them.

What makes them interesting, and what I suspect keeps the fans coming back, is the fact that they write about TV shows as superfans and write about celebrity fashion from a common-sense point of view; which is to say, they're not "experts," but they have an interesting point of view. They charm and entertain as bloggers who are complete outsiders peering into a rarified world of incestuous insanity that we all take part in. They knock the celebrity machine down a few notches.

But the book is another story.

Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me spends too much time stating what most people already know -- that the whole celebrity thing is one big facade -- while using a truly bitchy and bitter voice that just doesn't seem to suit them. These two guys are great writers when they're writing about something they love -- nerdy TV shows, one-liners about the motivation behind a red carpet dress. On their blog, their fashion commentary is typically pithy, sometimes hilarious. This book is neither of those things.

Which is a long-winded way of saying I do not recommend this book.
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on March 29, 2014
I have read T and Lo's web site for a number of years and thought I would enjoy this book, but I have to say that it is a major disappointment. The catty tone is probably their most common voice on the blog, but reads better as a few paragraphs between screen caps than it does at chapter-length. Not a penetrating or particularly witty book written about the narcissism and artificiality of celebrity culture, and the cattiness becomes tediously one-note after a few chapters. Indeed, for people who make a living off celebrity, this book seemed to be written irony-free and with quite a bit of unearned superiority. Fortunately this is a quick read or I would have become too bored to finish it. It also needed further editing to catch typos and could have caught a few quirks of writing.

The sad thing is that T and Lo are very much capable of thoughtful and insightful analysis and have published extremely entertaining and thoughtful pieces. Hopefully they will become more confident if they attempt other book-length projects and will present more than this shallow and limited attempt at satire.

Really disappointing.
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on February 5, 2014
It really pains me to say this, since Tom & Lorenzo's blog is probably my favorite site on the entire internet, but, oh man, this here was just not the ticket. Seriously, I'd pre-ordered this in July, 2013, to give you an idea of just how much I want to support these guys, and how hard it is for me to write the review I'm about to write.

The writing's clever, just like their site, don't get me wrong. For me, though, the entire concept of this project was ill-advised. What appeals to me about their site is their criticism, both their (always thoughtful!) analysis of film and television, as well as their critiques of the effectiveness (or not) of the way stars deploy fashion on the red carpet. That really isn't what they're doing here, and I guess, for me, that's where things sort of go off the rails.

The book purports to be a guide to celebrity life and style, but reads instead as a bitchy, cynical-to-a-fault take-down of the entire PR and media machine that perpetuates celebrity culture, and a dismissal (evisceration?) of the stars themselves. While they concede as much in the introduction, and I get that this is all supposed to be tongue in cheek, I just don't really see the point of this type of project.

Entertainers, although none are named or positively identified, are portrayed at their best as out-of-touch and hopelessly delusional narcissists; at their worst, they're vapid whores, self-obsessed to a sociopathic fault. "Stars: They're Nothing Like Us, They're Despicable Monsters Operating in a Grotesque, Nightmare Horror Show!"

It's not lost on me that there are some people whose view of celebrity is so colored by schadenfreude that they legit get off on seeing stars muddied and humiliated: Perez Hilton's entire place in pop culture is a testament to this idea. Plus, TLo's primary job on their site is to criticize, in that au courant, meanly-funny way of the internet age, red carpet fashion, so maybe they need to have this view of stars to have the cognitive dissonance necessary to do their work without feeling shitty about it?

Not to sound like Zooey Deschanel or whatever, but I just can't get behind being nasty about people who, delusional and out-of-touch though they may be, are still living, breathing actual human beings at the end of the day. (Again, they do this in the abstract, but still.) If this is how T Lo feel about celebrity, why have they made an entire career writing about one aspect of fame?

I really wish I could endorse this, but, sadly, the whole concept and tone of this work really put me off. Sorry, TLo: longtime fan of your site, but this was clearly written for an entirely different portion of your readership than me. Again, their writing is smart and very clever; I just wish they had a long-form project that was worthy of their talents. Hopefully, in a future work, they will.
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on November 17, 2014
To me, this book is a great capper to the (so-far) career of TLo. Why? Because it reflects perfectly the slow evolution of their online writing over the past several years. I used to get a lot of joy from their thoughts on Project Runway and fashion in general. Their site was a delight. But, the quality of the site has declined until it is mostly just a bitter mishmash of negativity and shallow television recaps. A few bright spots remain (Mad Men posts, mostly) just as there were a few bright spots in this book. But, there were not enough of those for me to recommend you buy or even read this book. Chapter after chapter of unrelieved cynical bitchery gets to be wearing after a while.

This book has its highlights about celebrity culture, and can be interesting at times. But, again, I can't say there are enough of those present for it to be worth your time to slog through the rest. It makes me sad, I've been a huge TLo fan and I preordered this book as soon as it was available. I definitely wish I hadn't.

Tom & Lorenzo, if you're reading this: can we just have our favorite gay uncles back?
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on February 19, 2014
I've read their blogs since they began. Loved their witty style, captioned photos from Project Runway, and watching them be "discovered". Soon they were on the real runways, rubbing shoulders with the Names, yet their down to earth charm didn't change. So a book by these two had to be a hit, right? My heart broke a little more with each turn of the page, for all this book is about is the folly of becoming a celebrity. I will confess that after a dozen pages I was bored, and flipping through the remainder of the book brought no hope of redemption. It's in a bag to go to the book resale store.
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on March 1, 2014
I adore Tom and Lorenzo's blog and have been a faithful reader for years.

And the only reason I am contributing a review of this book is that I think its problems could have been so easily avoided - and that I think some of the other negative reviews are missing the mark when they say the book is full of venom.

The book is not full of venom. I think that TLo decided not to name names precisely in order to avoid being nasty. Unfortunately, without actual case studies, all you're left with is a spewing of unfocused criticism, which ends up leaving a worse taste in the reader's mouth than picking apart a few actual red carpet looks.

This approach also depriving the authors of one of the main tools in their arsenal: their ability to make pithy observations about real people, which is why so many of us follow their blog in the first place.

There's an adage in college writing classes that to write effectively you should focus on showing, rather than telling: find ways to illustrate what is happening rather than telling the reader what is happening. By depriving themselves of actual people and clothes as subject matter, TLo have left themselves with nothing to do but tell, tell, tell, which is not even much fun to read.

I think their editor is an idiot, because TLo are fiercely smart cookies and a quality product, and it should not have been hard to nudge them in the right direction and help them write a terrific book. This, unfortunately, wasn't it.
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on February 7, 2014
I start my mornings with a visit to Tom and Lorenzo's blog - they are funny, sharp, and knowledgeable, and yes opinionated (and fabulous). You haven't lived until you've read their impressions of the Miss Universe country costumes or their surprisingly scholarly critiques of Mad Men or Downton Abbey. I was thrilled to learn they were writing a book, but I didn't really think about how they would translate their blog into book form. And apparently, neither did they. I have been flipping through my copy tonight hoping to land on a chapter that would offer the same clever commentary that they are so famous for. But to no avail. The problem, in a nutshell, is that the blog is based VISUALS with pithy, on-point critiques. Which means the currency of each blog is about 2-7 days, max. A book needs a considerably longer shelf-life, and to achieve this, they have removed the visuals and the specific commentary on hair, makeup, clothes, and accessories, and substituted generic discussions of celebrity pitfalls (breakups, scandals, plastic surgery, etc). I don't doubt the accuracy of the book, but it is oddly soulless and dull. I'm so sorry to have to say this, but I cannot recommend this book.
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on February 4, 2014
Having long ago wandered onto the witty and outrageously funny page called ProjectRungay in 2007, I had the misfortune to watch the slow evolution of the site into the sad state it is now but I still harbored good feelings about the old site and its authors. But that site is now gone. And that is reflected in this book. Sadly what you have instead are two insecure people who are jealous of celebrity culture because they realize they are never even going to be D list stars. Oh well, at least they can continue to delete comments due to their thin skins.

But this is a review of their book and not their site. In this short and bitter take on celebrity life and style, the two authors succinctly (only 250 pages or so in this book - a quick read over a few hours) take down celebrity culture, rip it apart, and then create a travesty. Of course they also appear to be too cynical as well. So, in essence, it's like these two poledancers are on an episode of Project Runway! And they must 'make it work'. Sadly they didn't and now must sashay away.

You'll notice I haven't said too much about the details of celebritydom, despite this book being heavy on it. Why, despite an awesome chapter on attention whoring? Well I can't really recommend this book. It doesn't quite stink but it is just too negative. If this were written a few years ago, it would probably have been better. As it stands now? I deleted it after finishing it because I don't want its negativity on my iPad. It's clear that the book is a reflection of the website that started out as a good idea but has just become too overloaded with negativity without enough substance to back it up.
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on March 11, 2014
I love TLo's website--it's my favorite, and usually the first one I visit every day. Their fashion advice and critiques are usually spot-on and, while snarky (which I love), not gratuitously nasty. Their 'Mad Style' entries about color analysis of Mad Men episodes take my breath away with their level of detail and analysis. Why didn't I love this book? I sure expected to. I think it's because the book isn't even close to the same tone as the blog. The blog speaks specifically to a particular fashion or celebrity, where the book is all generalities. I understand the rationale for this, because how quickly would the book become dated if they included styles and celebrities? This book is about how stars are made in Hollywood, and how they stay where they are in the stratosphere. Not so interesting, really. I'm hoping (and I'm pretty sure) I'm in the minority on my viewpoint, and I want TLo to do well, because they seem like great guys and wonderful bloggers. I guess this is my penance for getting to read the blog for free. I'm willing to pay it!
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on August 8, 2015
I'm bored by this book, now that I've finally gotten around to reading it. If only TLo had stuck to fashion, but this sad book about sad celebrities is just pointless. It's definitely not a keeper and will be going into the Salvation Army bag.

I wish TLo had done a book about fashion instead of celebrities. I don't think I would care overmuch what aspect of fashion they chose; I just think it would have been a better book.
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