Admission to the Human Zoo: Standing Strong by Teresa Giudice
First off, I am starting this post off by explaining the plot to a tv show episode that will allow this headline to make sense. Yes, I know, it’s a sad day when I have to explain myself, but this will all make sense shortly.
Seth McFarlane (who I am not a huge fan of to begin with) has a show on right now called The Orville. Think of it like a funny, light version of Star Trek. And while they tackle some social issues, it’s really just about light-hearted space travel in a universe with a laugh track. Enter the Human Zoo. One of the episodes has a plotline where creatures are brought to a place and are fodder for a race that thinks they are smarter and better than everyone else (including the Orville’s captain). While they cannot escape, some of the members of the crew are able to negotiate the release of the Orville crewmembers by providing them with some amazing historic records–namely every episode of Real Housewives and the Bachelor. I don’t watch the latter, but the former has the New Jersey table flipping episode that they actually show ON THE SHOW!
So when I watched that, I was laughing hysterically and telling my husband that my tv addiction looks like it is lasting compared to his tv show. When they actually refer to the series as a human zoo on the episode, my husband decided to take that and use it occasionally when I mull over things about the RH franchise.
However, as a fan of the franchise, who has read more than a few of the memoirs these ladies put out, I feel like Standing Strong by Teresa Giudice (out today!) is really the only ticket to that of a human zoo, and I want the money I paid for admission BACK, please.
Judging a book by its cover
The cover is positioned as such to show that she has taken up yoga, that she’s the busy mom of four daughters and that she still knows how to be dressy and fabulous (I can only imagine the bottle of wine in the lower right hand corner is some derivative of Fabellini beverage). And there’s pasta because Teresa always makes her own recipes and no one else knows how to make her parents recipes like she can. The fonts are nice, and it looks to be a mix between what she is doing to stay strong and possibly a way to use yoga to clean your house?
The Whole Story
Teresa fills in everyone about the events happening after her last memoir (Turning the Tables) in Standing Strong. She begins by talking about how anti Joe Giudice she is–that’s the husband she’s stood by, and gone to prison for trusting. Teresa states that she would not have gone to prison had Joe not dropped the ball–that she would have been able to stay at home with her daughters and parents had he just kept up with the laws and their taxes.
She also talks about having sick parents, and caring for said parents…and sadly the process of losing one of those parents. She speaks of family–both repairing the bond with her brother (and his wife) as well as the relationship she has with each of her talented and busy daughters. She talks about meeting up with Danielle Staub (the woman she called a ‘prostituion whore’ and flipped a table at) for yoga and reconciling. She additionally talks about her warm friendship and support she has received from the entire Trump family.
Those who finish the book will be rewarded with pictures that she’s probably shared on Instagram, or that you can see on the better RHONJ gossip sites. The basic theme of this book is: ‘Single Momma has to make BANK.’
I was really looking forward to this book. I’d heard that there was some trouble, because Teresa didn’t want to pay for any advanced press. She felt like she could not afford it, and also that the book would be advantageous for anyone who wanted to pony up their resources. I feel like this is more of the old Teresa and not the evolved Yoga-touting Teresa we’ve been promised.
As in previous iterations, she blames others (mostly Joe and a tiny bit Jacqueline) for her own issues and at no point does she take ownership of her part–she thinks that you should believe your husband and that Jacqueline spearheaded a really long battle to bring Teresa down. She is downright nasty to her sister in law, Melissa (as per usual) in regards to a cake purchased for her birthday, Melissa’s not getting a gift for Teresa for said birthday and for not visiting Joe in prison.
There are additionally a few odd choices Giudice (and her coauthor Emily Liebert) make in the course of this book. There are a LOT of posts copied from Instagram, that she mentions ARE from Instagram, but are not pictured. Since Instagram is usually a picture based app, I would expect those pictures to be shown. I also wonder if all the places she name drops are sponsors of her brand or her Instagram (like when she posts about some health box she gets for free). She also makes sure to talk about her philanthropy, almost as if she’s compiling a character-trait based resume. She quotes 65-75% of an alphabet her youngest daughter created for a Mother’s day gift, espousing all of her amazing traits. It’s cute, but why would you want to post almost all of it, especially if it is so special? It feels like space-filler.
Teresa also adds a lot of poetry from unknown sources, and quotes Ave Maria, which, while lovely, is just a little odd. Having read other pieces of her work, it feels like its not cohesive. The pictures in the back of the book ARE from Social media, but do not match up with the pointed social media posts referenced earlier. It makes no sense.
The book released today, and is available from your favorite retailer. But I’d say wait until you can find this at the library–or on a kindle deal for $0.99 if you’re a HUGE fan. Otherwise, this is totally skippable. This had a lot of potential, but ended up falling flatter than a housewives hair after an appointment at Chateau…