Published: 4 April 2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Three-time WWE Diva’s Champion A.J. Brooks’ Crazy is My Superpower is a literary memoir chronicling her unlikely rise from 100-pound nerd growing up in extreme poverty and enduring years of abuse to international sex symbol and professional wrestling champion (known as A.J. Lee). A.J. fought against stereotypes, forced the men in her industry to view her with respect, and inspired a huge fan base of over 2 million Twitter followers with her fierce independent streak.
Rating: 5 Stars
I knew nothing about AJ Mendez Brooks when I picked up this book. I hadn’t watched wrestling since the days of The Rock and Triple H. However, when I read the description and noticed that AJ had made her name with a Gamer Girl persona, I thought that this might be a book worth taking a look at.
I did not expect to like it as much as I did. AJ had a very real voice; her writing never veered toward the pretentious, both because I’m sure that’s not her style and mostly because I think she’d kick her own ass if she did.
Reading her story of growing up in a difficult household, one where the roof over her head was never guaranteed to be the same from night to night and food could sometimes be uncertain as well, was uncomfortable in it’s realness. It reminded me of how close to poverty a lot of families can trend and the line between poverty and safety can be a thin line.
AJ’s wrestling career was chock full of excitement, not only by fighting against the mold that people wanted to stuff her into, but with the status of superstar she attained before retiring. If her bold fight in the wrestling world were not enough to make me like her and get me interested, then learning about all the good work she’s done since leaving would. A frequent ASPCA adopter, she takes on the most severe of cases, a noble effort because how many of us can say we have what it takes to save these pups?
I learned a lot about this woman, not only about her career and what it was like to work in an industry where women are seen as eye candy, but about her personal life, what kinds of things we had in common and what she was able to accomplish in spite of constant evictions, injuries from siblings, etc. AJ Mendez Brooks makes me wish I’d been able to see her perform in the WWE because if it was anything like she described on the page, it must have been a sight to behold.
I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books for this review.