The Sunset Strip Diaries

The Sunset Strip Diaries

by Amy Asbury
4.8 5


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The Sunset Strip Diaries 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Hollybelle24 More than 1 year ago
This book was a very wild ride. It is a true story, first of all, which I could tell, because you can't make this stuff up. She starts trying out the bad girl persona, which is actually written in a very funny and self-deprecating way. If you have ever wondered what that "bad girl" at school was thinking, here is your chance. Her skimpy clothes and bold moves get her into a boatload of trouble, which was very difficult to read because I felt like it was happening to me. She gets involved with older guys who were cruising her high school, and, as other reviewers have said, it is not for the faint at heart. She was very brave to be so honest about it in a book. After those horrible events transpire, she ends up in a mental institution, which we are taken through as the reader. Pretty interesting stuff. Once she is out of the mental ward, she sets her sights on Hollywood, and does a lot of social research to figure out the best angle to get into the in-crowd on The Sunset Strip, something that she has been fascinated with since a younger girl watching MTV. I do not know a lot about this hair band stuff, but that didn't matter- the book was written for the regular middle American- you don't have to know any references, because it is all explained. She breaks down the social hierarchy, the cliques, the whole shebang. I found it very fresh and quite entertaining to read about. I laughed out loud several times- she has a way of writing scary things in a comical way to take some of the edge off. The rest of the story was a wonderful roller coaster ride. She tells how she entered the crowd; climbed to the top like she wanted to do, and then started screwing up- it was hilarious. You will then read about her demise, and the opening of her eyes. There is a sequel coming out called "Confetti Covered Quicksand", or so it says on the last page of the book- and I am going to have to get that because this book leaves you with a question: what became of this girl? I was dying to know by the end if she got out of the crowd (who had fast become into heroin due to the grunge scene overtaking the Strip). Very good read. I got the paperback off ama*zon!
Bookerella More than 1 year ago
Wow. I couldn't put this book down. Even if you aren't interested in the hair band scene of the early 90's, this is a really entertaining book. Cat fights, wild parties, blackmail, booze and drugs and lots of 80's celebs in the background. The first half is about a shy, Los Angeles private school girl and how she studied how to be a "babe": by watching tons of MTV videos and lots of Dynasty- it was very funny and cringe-worthy- she was very honest. After successfully transforming herself into a hot chick, she got into lots of trouble- it was more than she could handle. It was actually painful for me to read at that point- I felt so bad for her- very descriptive and terrible things happened to her. She went spiraling down a pretty horrible rabbit hole- this portion of the book reminded me of that movie "Thirteen" or the book "Go Ask Alice." Lots of violence, alcoholism, eating disorders- and trying to make sense of sexual abuse. It was written in a way that made me feel like I was there. The middle of the book details her stay in mental institutions and her struggles with mental illness and self-worth, all the while wishing she could go somewhere where she would fit in: The Sunset Strip in Hollywood. She decided she wanted to be there, but did lots of research before getting there. She studied the clothes, the in-crowd, and the places to be and then set out to get there. She tells the steps that broke her into the impossible to penetrate cool crowd (not what you would think- she didn't appear to have slept her way there.) After breaking in, she went about trying to stand out- that is when she studied the personalities and looks of the Hollywood strippers and re-vamped herself. She climbed to the top and was the new it-girl in Hollywood. She also detailed the lives of several of the people she met while there-many of who were drug addicts. Most interesting was a call girl named Willa- wow- the life some of these people led! The books talks in detail about several unsigned "hair" bands and details the nights of their crazy partying in Hollywood. I had never heard of these bands (Alleycat Scratch, Big Bang Babies, Swingin' Thing, Glamour Punks) but I googled them and many have CDs out now and have their performances on YouTube- I was curious about them after reading this and wonder if there will be a resurgence of their popularity. The third part of this book details her social downfall. It was fun to read even though I was cringing and embarrassed for her in several situations. All and all a great book. I love these sorts of books and I hadn't read one on this particular scene (early 1990's) so I am glad someone put this book out. I got mine off Ama*zon though.
Douglas Holm More than 1 year ago
I went through a phase a few months back where I was reading hair-metal autobiographies left and right. Books like Nikki Sixx's "The Heroin Diaries" or Slash's "Slash". They were such great reads for me because they cast so much light on a scene that I could only barely fathom before; I was elementary school-aged when I was listening to these bands and I lived a very happy, straight life in the suburbs that really gave me no understanding of the excess and debauchery that this music was rooted in. I loved it all the same, despite how much of it was over my head. After going through all those books though, I was craving more. It was one thing to be a junkie in Hollywood when your biggest problem is sneaking your heroin onto your jet to get to the next show. But that amounted to a handful of guys and it was obvious from the descriptions of packed nightclubs that there were a million stories on the Sunset Strip. Ashbury's book is one of them. Not only was Ashbury a total scenester at your classic Hollywood haunts like the Roxy and the Whisky, rubbing elbows with some of the great and some of the lesser bands at their own low-key gatherings, but she was also dedicated to her high school newspaper and kept an extremely lucid diary chronicling her exploits. I have to admit that I barely made it past the opening pages. The descriptions of her abuse and sexual assaults are vividly described, and that can be a hard thing to hear about. But child abuse and rape are ongoing problems in society that need our attention. We haven't solved them yet and we aren't going to solve them without familiarizing ourselves with them and understanding what the victims go though. I think Ashbury was courageous to speak out about this part of her life. To sum up: this little independent book makes the perfect companion to all those big rock star autobiographies I had been reading. It's the missing link.
Bookgirl089 More than 1 year ago
Felt like I was talking to a friend when reading this story- Very interesting, very entertaining, great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago