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Editor reviews

Editors Select, October 2017

In a series of revealing and often funny essays, TV and movie actress Gabrielle Union shares personal stories from her childhood, adolescence, and career that touch on some weighty themes. Union ties universal issues such as self-esteem, colorism, racial disparity in Hollywood, and more with the personal in a way that can be both entertaining and empowering. And hearing her throaty, inviting voice, full of self-awareness and good humor, narrating this book will only serve to endear her more to existing fans while gaining her new ones. —Abby, Audible Editor

Summary

In the spirit of Amy Poehler's Yes Please, Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl, and Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, a powerful collection of essays about gender, sexuality, race, beauty, Hollywood, and what it means to be a modern woman. 

One month before the release of the highly anticipated film The Birth of a Nation, actress Gabrielle Union shook the world with a vulnerable and impassioned editorial in which she urged our society to have compassion for victims of sexual violence. In the wake of rape allegations made against director and actor Nate Parker, Union - a 44-year-old actress who launched her career with roles in iconic '90s movies - instantly became the insightful, outspoken actress that Hollywood has been desperately awaiting. With honesty and heartbreaking wisdom, she revealed her own trauma as a victim of sexual assault: "It is for you that I am speaking. This is real. We are real." 

In this moving collection of thought-provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her Black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support. 

©2017 Gabrielle Union (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"As she treats listeners to her honest, soul-baring story, Union pauses during the tough moments and laughs out loud during the happy ones.... The actress's touching personal stories about race, fame, sexuality, feminism, and family leave a lasting impression." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about We're Going to Need More Wine

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Well yes,I'll take a scotch.

Straight out the gate this was excellent. The flow of each chapter felt like a steady conversation, where drinks and honesty are on the table, served with tissue breaks for laughter and pain,and head scratching moments for further back and forth discussions that will last a lifetime. The chapter titles along are worthy of essay and dissertation pieces,and I expect many book forums will be heading that way. I enjoyed the audio version,having the author read was a delight, Union did a marvellous run for her debut. Well worth buying in any format,but audio was the winner for me.

6 people found this helpful

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Brilliant Book

I really enjoyed this book. I’ve always been a fan of Gabrielle Union. However I’m a major fan now. This book is so relatable, funny, truthful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your stories they were so eye-opening. Once you start listening to this book you will not want to put it down. I would definitely recommend the audio version over print as it wouldn’t have been the same to hear Gabrielle Union’s stories in her own voice. Thoroughly enjoyed every chapter, hopefully there will be a second book in the pipeline.

4 people found this helpful

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First Audiobook

This is the first time I've completed an audiobook (I love the physical aspect of holding a book in my hands and hearing my own voice in my head!), however, this isn't the first time I've heard of Gabrielle Union growing up with films like Bring it On and I was intrigued to hear about what she had to say.

What I quickly realised was that even though her stories were her journey, I was also on that journey, too. From her memories of budding sexuality, first kisses and heartbreaks, to mental health, generational trauma and experiencing racism at a young age, I both sympathised, admired and related to her tales because in some way they were my own, too.

I think that's why I enjoyed the book so much because although it was heartbreaking at times and shocking to hear what she'd been through, it showed me a side to her that, otherwise, I would know nothing about. Hollywood seems so fantastical at times that you forget the people who inhabit it aren't actually 2D characters; that they too have emotional baggage of their own and are trying to make lemonade out of lemons, as Union explains with a John Lennon quote, 'life is what happens when you are busy making plans'.

Overall, it was so interesting that by the end of the book I'd realised I had binged 7 hours in 3 days (perks of quarantine), I couldn't even believe there were only 20 chapters. I wouldn't say it changed my life, it's not that kind of book at all, but it definitely gave me that comforting feeling when you realise that you aren't actually alone, that other women have gone through the same tears and laughs as you and that pain is always temporary. Miss Gabrielle has lived such an interesting and blessed life and I feel honoured and proud that she's shared her truth!

1 person found this helpful

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Appreciation for Gabrielles frank retelling.

Gabrielle holds no bars as she narrates through a very bare and introspective retelling of experiences terribly human. I admit I found her narrative very much in the tones of her Being Mary Jane character which was a challenge in appreciating the authenticity of her story... I'm glad I continued listening. Don't judge a book by it's cover resonates to perceptions towards such a beautiful person.

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Great read

Loved it! I usually struggle to get into books but this was a good one, I listened to it at every spare moment. I would definitely recommend it.

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Solid Red Wine!

Enjoyed the stories throughtout and felt the emotion of person who adore Gabbi.

looking forward to other Future audio books of this black queen

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Real and relatable !

Gabrielle Union is the type of woman you can't help but love and her personality really shines through here. I'm happy she went so deep, meaning readers can really experience the good and the bad of her life right along with her. Bravely and beautifully done.

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Thought-provoking journey

Gabrielle's story gives the reader an intimate insight into the highs and lows of her journey from her teenage years to now. This book will challenge perceptions and addresses some of the deep rooted social and economic factors that influence a young black woman's experience in entertainment.

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Honest, hilarious and inspiring

Finished this in a day!! I gind Gabrielle's very soothing, one of my favourite actirs ever.

However, I would like to know how she got started in the entertainment industry. Orher than her meeting with Prince after she was established there is not much in terms of career or relationship guidance... otherwise brilliant

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Heartwarming and terribly honest!

If I loved Gabrielle Union before this book, I now worship her! lol What a great story. Her authenticity and reflection on life through humour is what I loved the most. This book kept me company many a times while I was in the kitchen cooking - and I am honestly sad to have finished it! 👏🏾👏🏾❤

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  • Latoya
  • 16-11-17

Excellent

I’ve always been on the fence about Gabriel, this book changed my mind. She was raw and authentic and her insight and approach to life now based on her experiences are refreshing. Great read

23 people found this helpful

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  • Kenneisha T.
  • 22-11-17

👏🏾👏🏾 thank you. Thank You. THANK YOU!! #BRAVO

My Lord! Such an honest and open depiction of life. ALL OF IT. As an actress, recovering perfectionist, high school AP and National Honor Society student, and black girl growing up in the suburbs of Arlington, TX, myself — Gabrielle Union hits the nail on the head...in more ways than I could’ve imagined!!! Authenticity at its finest. Plus, hearing her tell her own story in her own words, is the icing on an already delicious cake. She made me feel like I’m not crazy.

In the words of Marianne Williamson, “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” Thank you for the OK to stand a bit taller and breathe a bit deeper in my own #BlackGirlMagic.

I like sweet wine. Virtual glass of Riesling raised to you, Gabrielle Union. CHEERS!

133 people found this helpful

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  • layllen
  • 04-11-17

One of the best books I️ have read in a long time!!!

This book made me laugh, cry and smile all the way through. I️ truly felt like I️ was sitting down with one of my girlfriends just talking. Gab was so vulnerable and open in so many ways. It had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It’s a must read/ listen!!!

36 people found this helpful

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  • Tayden Haile
  • 30-12-17

So relatable

I have PTSD too and to here what this brave woman goes through daily. As a veteran I connected with her struggle and her pain. She is amazing and brave. Beautiful transparency!

26 people found this helpful

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  • V. Y. Crawford
  • 23-10-17

For all little girls who grew up as the only chocolate chip

This book in an insightful and thoughtful memoir. In getting to know Nikki Union, I got to revisit myself, my life, and my judgments of myself and others. The reality of growing up in a white world no longer seem like a narrative shared by a small group of college friends, but a universal reality for all of us whose lives have always been a balancing act to claim our identity while being told we don’t belong in either world we seek a place.
This book is a must read and a must share. My hope is that it becomes a handbook for our white best friends. I believe it makes plain some truths that somehow remain misunderstood.
I’ve made a gift of it to several people already and suggested it to many others. I think Gabrielle’s honesty reads like a talk with a best friend about the stuff one never share with one’s family. She shared her soul. In doing so, she gave permission for readers to do the same. Thank you.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Momof2
  • 03-11-17

Fucking. Amazing.

Love. This. Fucking. Book.
Drank no wine while listening, I now regret that. Doing over.

91 people found this helpful

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  • Idalin Bobe
  • 16-11-17

Get prepared to talk to your bestie and girlie

Wow. Loved learning about Gabrielle Union's story and what made her who she is. She spills the tea on lots and makes you feel vulnerable with her as she has healed along her journey of becoming the woman you see today, a woman that is ready for so much more. She tells her story of how she learned to live, forgive, and be in the present. She holds herself accountable to fame and social justice, and why its important for her to be aware. Great listen for a long workday...Amazing.

57 people found this helpful

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  • Vinesha Wimberly
  • 24-10-17

Excellent

The fastest I got through a book ever because it was so raw and real. I now love her. I am her. I want more stories.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Pamela J
  • 04-01-18

She IS fierce and fearless

I would crawl across a bed of nails to share a bottle (or two) of wine with this woman. This is a raw yet refined memoir that not just told stories but taught lessons. Just an excellent adult book on growing up as a woman of color, growing up as a survivor, growing up as a famous person, and crawling your way to happy with all the compromises and mistakes that it takes to get there. Cheers, Gabrielle Union!

20 people found this helpful

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  • TravelnFam
  • 05-12-17

Interesting Anecdotes, but Some Sense of Hyperbole

Gabrielle's book did hold my interest...mostly. Some of the topics were relatable to me as a black woman in her age range, but much of it seemed to be a bit exaggerated. I didn't mind the hyperbole *too* much, but what started to get to me was her incessant references to her fame and celebrity. Yes, she is a celebrity. Yes, she has some fame. And while I think she does have some really cool stuff on her resume, I like to be able to see celebrities as relatable. It seemed to me that the more she tried to be relatable, the more she felt the need to be sure the reader not forget her fame and fortune. Telling us with pomposity how rich and famous you are at the beginning of the sentence is not negated by tacking on some sort of humble verbiage toward the end. Two-thirds of the way in I was too busy rolling my eyes distracted by her hubris to really appreciate what she had to say. And that's a shame.

99 people found this helpful