…[this] mostly sunny sort-of memoir…is pure delight. If until now you merely liked Barrymore…you'll adore her once you read this series of personal essays…Laugh if you want: The moving lyricism of Barrymore's writing…defines her as anything but a flake. She's a blithe spirit who, at a not inconsiderable cost, has carved out a place of warmth in a pretty cold world.
The New York Times Book Review - Stephanie Zacharek
For those seeking gory details of film star Barrymore’s misspent youth, there’s not much to be found in this low-key memoir. Instead, she brings honesty, sweetness, and humor to the tale of how she fought to earn the hard-won wisdom that steered her from being a 12-year-old former child star to becoming a beloved actor. When Barrymore wisely gets emancipated at 14—her father was homeless and her mother didn’t even know enough to pack a lunch for her on school days—she’s a high school dropout who lacks basic survival skills. Mastering doing her own laundry truly gives the defeated Barrymore a new lease on life: she gains confidence and purpose while also educating herself, devouring book after book at the laundromat. Of course her trademark goofy oddball humor is present as she recalls teenage loves, but there’s also growth and a blossoming realization that she can turn her love of work and her desires to do something meaningful into a career. After being welcomed back as an actor and then a producer, Barrymore has shifted to a life that’s less Hollywood-driven, focusing on her cosmetics company, Flower Beauty, and her home life. In the end, Barrymore has written a warm and inviting narrative. Agent: Simon Green, CAA. (Oct.)
In her new collection of essays, actress Barrymore cautiously avoids the idea that these vignettes collectively compose a memoir. She hopes that readers will "dip into when you need to or when you like to," and the stories work well in that way. Brief segments of the 40-year-old performer's life provide a small window into her enviably giddy attitude. Turning her emancipation at the age of 14 into a tale of learning to live as a strong, independent woman and bouncing through her film career and motherhood, each story becomes a little more relatable. At one point she describes rowdily crashing her car through a fence because she felt young and invincible; however ill-conceived the idea, this may cause readers to recall their own youthful idiotic mistakes. VERDICT This is not a collection for those looking to remain negative and dour. At times, Barrymore's recollections seem unbelievable—is it really possible that she has memories of being 11 months old? Still, they are heartwarming. Fans of the actress, her production company, makeup line, or girl-next-door demeanor, or anyone looking for a companion in book form, will enjoy. [See Prepub Alert, 4/27/15.]—Kaitlin Connors, Virginia Beach P.L.
An endearing, earnest, lightly cultivated garden of stories from the actress. The voice of the woman who captured hearts as a child in E.T. is instantly recognizable in this sweet work. In her preface, Barrymore (Find It in Everything: Photographs by Drew Barrymore, 2014, etc.) shares hesitation at calling her book a memoir, a term that "seemed heavy to me, and I want this to be light." What follows lives up to her intention. It's a time-hopping assemblage of, among other things, sky diving with friend Cameron Diaz, exploring religion in India, and creating Flower Films, a girl-powered production company. We learn of her deep need for approval and a cycle of worry and relief pervading her professional life, but Barrymore has found happiness (the exclamation points prove it!), and there's no place for dirt in this garden. Barrymore perfunctorily addresses her unstable parents, wild child years, and famous relatives, an approach that creates unresolved questions. The few stories from her younger years that she does share are humble ("I really am so sorry and remorseful"), and readers get the sense that she is writing in full knowledge that her two daughters will be reading this someday. Accordingly, it's writing to and about her daughters and motherhood where Barrymore shines. She allows herself to be vulnerable and overcome with wonder, just like the girl America fell in love with decades ago. Although she is a flower child, free and thriving, in several instances, the book would have benefited from a heavier editorial hand—e.g., an office that's described as "warm and truly lived in" is again called "warm and utterly organized" two sentences later. It's easy to like Barrymore, and even if her life isn't quite an open book, we get an often funny, occasionally tear-jerking picture of a woman who has replaced past darkness with love and light and who just wants everyone to be happy.
Praise for Wildflower "Pure delight. . . . If until now you merely liked Barrymore . . . you’ll adore her once you read this series of personal essays.” —The New York Times Book Review “The book is a deeply thoughtful and fun page-turner—like a rich dessert that also happens to be good for you.” —InStyle “[Barrymore] brings honesty, sweetness, and humor to the tale of how she fought to earn the hard-won wisdom that steered her from being a twelve-year-old former child star to becoming a beloved actor. . . . A warm and inviting narrative.”— Publishers Weekly "Barrymore’s book is a cheerful and happy examination of some of the ups and downs in her life."— Booklist "Heartwarming. Fans of the actress, her production company, makeup line, or girl-next-door demeanor, or anyone looking for a companion in book form, will enjoy."— Library Journal “An endearing, earnest, lightly cultivated garden of stories from the actress.”— Kirkus Reviews