Friday, February 24, 2017

Zayn: The Official Autobiography ~ Zayn review

Zayn: The Official Autobiography
Penguin
November -1, 2016
288 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The first and only official book from ZAYN. Global superstar ZAYN shares a photographic journey of his life since leaving One Direction.

ZAYN opens up with this collection of thoughts, inspiration, and never-before-seen personal photographs. After five years of massive success with One Direction, ZAYN launched his career as a solo artist with Mind of Mine, becoming one of the most successful artists in the world. Now, for the first time ever, ZAYN is going to tell and show all in this intimate and raw scrapbook of his life. Never-before-released photos give readers insight to ZAYN, no-holds-barred. Gorgeously designed with hundreds of full-color photographs and Zayn's notes, drawings, song lyrics, and personal stories, the book captures Zayn's most private moments and his candid feelings on fame, success, music, and life. The next chapter of ZAYN'S evolution into global superstar, told by the artist who is living it.

The title of this book is very misleading; this is really not an autobiography since it covers only a few years and not his whole life. It does feel more than a bit like a PR move: here's why I left, here's what I'm doing, here's why it's good (for him, in general) and what I'm doing now.

I should admit that I don't really have any feelings one way or the other about One Direction or any of its current or former members, so I'm really not the target audience for this book but I wanted to give it a shot, anyway. (And I was not a little bit curious about it being by 'ZAYN' and if he was really doing the Madonna/Prince/Cher/Adele mononymous name thing.)

The book did do a good job laying out why he left One Direction, why he felt he needed to, what happened afterward, how he started working on his solo music, how the album came together and what's next. He does a nice job touching on his anxiety, how it's affected him and why he didn't want to keep it a secret.

The photographs were also different than I was expecting. Part of why I did read the book was because I was curious about the 'photographic journey of his life' aspect. I thought that would be more candid photos or those taken by him, but the vast majority are from photoshoots (with three or four photos from several of them). That element was less personal than I would have liked. (There were some polaroids or images of his graffiti, too but not to the extent I wanted.)

I don't know if it was to make it sound more 'written by Zayn' but there seemed to be a lot of swearing in the book. (Like 'shit' and 'fuck' each used at least 25 times in not a whole lot of writing.)

I know I'm not who they were trying to get to read this book, but I was disappointed that it wasn't the 'intimate and raw scrapbook of his life' it ascribed itself to be. If you are a fan of Zayn Malik and/or One Direction and want to know more about why he left the group, what his album's songs mean, how he worked with a specific producer, or the shed he's turned into a bar then this probably is worth a read. If you're not, then, probably not?




(And a link because I kept hoping the wonky capitalization in song titles would addressed in the book, but it wasn't.)


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