I first encountered Hillary Carlip in A La Cart: The Secret Lives of Grocery Shoppers, I reviewed it and Hillary herself contacted me to let me know she liked my video. The premise of that book was that she would find shopping lists and then have a photo shoot as that person–I recommend that book if you’re looking for a fun time.

The West Coast’s answer to Amy Sedaris, Hillary Carlip has done it wall–from dancing in the Olivia Newton John spectacular Xanadu to winning The Gong Show (and a kiss from host Chuck Barris). Carlip has protested and persevered–and with The Queen of the Oddballs and other TRUE stories from a life unaccording to plan, she’s dishing all the details.

Carlip’s conversational style, along with the memorabilia she has reproduced at the end of each chapter (or essay) that gives additional support to her wild and crazy stories–offering the ‘proof’ that the unsure reader is craving.

At the beginning of each chapter, Carlip outlines major events taking place in that particular year–a frame of reference, as it relates to major world events and events closer to Carlip’s heart.

If this is a life unaccording to plan, planning your life is overrated. Carlip makes the best out of things–giving an unsure reader trying to find themselves the confidence to live their life the way they feel it best–and making the best (and most) out of the natural course of things, just as long as they’ve given their all.

Published April 2006, by Harper Publishing. 288 pages. Available in ebook format and hardcover at Barnes and Noble.

Rating: 9/10:: Once I picked up this book from my Mt. TBR, it was really hard for me to put it down. I received this copy from Bookcrossing.