Hear Me Out by Sarah Harding

Following hearing the terrible news of Sarah Harding’s terminal cancer diagnosis I was eager to read her autobiography. It might sound morbid but I think it’s a good idea for celebrities to get their own words out before somebody writes them for them.

Through the book we hear about Sarah’s difficult childhood moving from school to school; including some boarding schools. And how she went from being academically brilliant enough to attend difficult to get into schools to having no interest in completing her GCSEs. However, she left school and made an honest living following moving out to live on her own.

Like lots of people who were successful on reality tv talent shows, she almost didn’t audition. And even when she did and won her place in the band; Girls Aloud, she continued to feel unworthy and the media played the story that it was fixed so she would win. This played a big part in Sarah’s life in the band, as did the media’s portrayal that she was a party girl. Although she admits it’s true she was a party girl, she describes that it became her Girls Aloud persona.

Throughout the book, Sarah updates us on how she is as she is writing it. It’s so sad and the fact that she put off her MRI because of COVID is probably the reality of hundreds of people throughout the UK; if not the world. Then to keep it a secret from so many people she loved must have been so hard; although I do understand why she didn’t want the media to know.

I’m glad I read this book. Although if I’m honest I feel that a lot of the turmoil from the group was glossed over. I’m pretty sure we know they weren’t all getting on by the end of the girls aloud era and let’s be honest, everybody reads an autobiography for the gossip! I also felt that although she admits to her wild party nights and drug taking that is very briefly mentioned when it was a key part of who she was portrayed as to the world.

I understand that she doesn’t want to leave the world with this damaged image of her, but I felt like it wasn’t a truly honest account; except for her cancer reality that was clearly honest and harrowing.

I’ve also got to say that the structure of the book just didn’t seem right, it sort of jumped back and forwards a lot; and I don’t mean from her current day extracts. I felt that it is something that would have been edited and rearranged if there was more time. I might be wrong but it makes me feel bad about pointing it out, but as a reader I was frustrated.

I feel like I’ve been quite negative about this book and I don’t mean to be. It was an interesting read and I have the most sympathy for what Sarah, her friends and family are going through right now. I think I just had high expectations.

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