Title: Crazy is My Superpower
Author: AJ Mendez Brooks
Genre: Autobiography, Wrestling
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pub Date: April 4, 2017
My Copy: Hardcover that I bought
Recently retired WWE superstar AJ Brooks is a powerhouse strong, quirky, and totally confident. But that wasn't always the case. Growing up, AJ was a quiet girl trying to act normal when she felt anything but. As her family struggled with drug addiction, poverty, and mental illness, she found escape through comic books and video games, inspired by the tough and unconventional female characters. It wasn't until she discovered the WWE that she learned superheroes could be real.
Determined to become the superhero she d always needed, AJ trained and sacrificed for years to finally achieve her dream. Yet, she quickly faced industry pressure to play the role of the damsel in distress and dress more provocatively to cater to male fans. But she fought back and created an ass-kicking alter ego that was a genuine representation of herself: nerdy, enthusiastic, and a little bit crazy.
With humor and tremendous heart, AJ opens up for the first time about her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and gain control over her life. What most people view as a hardship, AJ embraced as inspiration for her superhero persona.
A totally unique look at one of the most interesting World Wrestling Entertainment female superstars. AJ Lee, was one of those people who you wouldn’t expect to be a wrestler, given all the things she had to overcome.
One of the things I like is how we get to hear her tell the story of her upbringing an it was quite a chaotic, but filled with love as she talks about her family. She grew up as one of three children who had parents that were very young when they got married and always seem to struggle. There was a lot about her upbringing in this book and how chaotic it was, but there was a sense that they were a family and had to stick together. Having two siblings made things even more interesting.
Also really like how she explains how she and her parents were like gypsies moving around. Her parents were always struggling to find work and keep steady jobs as they were trying to find a place to live. Things would get bad as well. Plus the way she grew up was chaotic. Her relationship with her siblings was interesting as all siblings love each other, but fight. I also like how she describes certain events as when she is young, how the relationships were and how even getting along with her classmates at different schools was.
I like the fact that we do get to talk about things such as mental health and how sometimes we don’t talk about it, because we don’t view it as something is wrong. Plus she also talks about how one day her and her brother Robbie were watching WWF at the time, now WWE and how she said that she wanted to be a superstar and her mother said “That’s a not a real job”. I thought that this was an interesting book. Also the fact that AJ was a real trouble maker, not really but got into some fights. So things were not always easy. We also get to see some of her up and downs along with her parents.
Also at one point, they were in Puerto Rico, living with their father’s parents. I thought that this seemed like a period of two years that they were in a pretty good situation. They got to have some sort of stability and then they suddenly decided to go back to the states where things got a little bit more chaotic. I like how we seem to be right back where they were. Also, there was an incident where AJ and her sister Erica got into a fight and AJ’s head got split open and her mother just said to put a towel on it. AJ could have died because head injuries are something you don’t mess with. Her mother was not in the right state of mind at the time.
We learn about what happened during high school and how she was working a job along with her brother and sister. Also when her brother graduated High School, he went into the Armed Forces. So that made things very different as the family dynamic changed. Now it was Erica, AJ and their parents. AJ was also an excellent student and had straight A’s. So she had her dream of going to NYU and we all know that school is really expensive as she uses in really colorful language. Also things happen that put her going to her dream school in danger, but she manages to get the money to afford the tuition. I thought it was a great thing that her classmates did after her mother used the money to pay the rent.
Also when she gets into NYU, she starts to realize that something might be off, and starts seeing a shrink. Right about this time her mother also starts to feel like she needs help as well and overdoses and it’s a scary thing when your life feels like just when you are dealing with your own issues, someone else also is needing your help. So of course after she gets the medicine and some help, she realizes that her mother needs her and drops out of NYU and also starts to seriously think about pursuing professional wrestling.
I really found the last part of this book about her wrestling to be really interesting and much more dynamic. She is pursuing her dreams. Working towards a goal makes her feel really good. Not to mention, getting your body to take bumps and being told that you are too tiny and demure looking to compete. Yet she does it. It takes her a few years before she reaches WWE and we get to hear how she met her friends and co-workers. She talks about Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, real name Phil Brooks, (who ironically is now her husband). These stories were interesting. I like how she talks about how wrestling went for. There were a lot of stories and people she met.
This autobiography was excellent. It dealt with a lot of issues. One of the things this book talks about is mental illness and doesn’t sugar coat it. I think if you ever feel overwhelmed or something is wrong, talk to somebody, because chances are, you are not alone and sometimes getting help can save your life.