I was amazed by Geris' first book, Victoria's was great - so I couldn't wait to see what Scary Spice had to say. I was particularly interested on her perception on Geri's departure from the Spice Girls as Victoria's & Geri's book completely conflict each other.
Catch a fire begins with her childhood, a surprisingly detailed account of how her parents got together and their life before she's even born. The book is very well blocked out - childhood, teens, early Spice Girls, world Phenomenon, marriage, motherhood and life after. You would hope so, after all, she had two other spice girls give her the perfect template!
I was surprised by her honest portrayal of her difficult relationship with her strict father and was amazed by her very calm explanation of her overdose. I think she's dealt with it by writing as though it happened to someone else. Her teenage years and her dancing are very real, you can tell she's enjoyed putting it all down on paper and her personality shines through.
It goes on to explain her first professional work as a dancer with her summer seasons in Blackpool, her dance college, her beauty queen title and then her endless auditions. Being an ex dancer I immediately absorbed all this, but anyone interested in exactly how someone goes from being a nobody to a superstar will be fascinated also. I really liked the way she was honest - even though (sometimes) it made her sound selfish or bitchy. She really doesn't give a damn if people don't like her and has a fighter's spirit. You get a real sense of who Melanie B is.
Her account on the early Spice girls was also very interesting - unlike Geri & Victoria, she admits that she didn't immediately adore the other girls; she had her reservations and slowly sussed them out. The rest of the book charts their rise of fame, already covered in the other Spice autobiographies. I'm glad she's had a chance to give her side of the story on her marriage. It's easy to say it's not very 'girl power' to stay with an oppressive man but it's more complicated then that & she explains this very well.
She covers nearly everything that has been said about her in the papers except her suspected boob job. In her acknowledgements she says to Victoria "We made it through pregnancy...and many other things". A secret reference possibly?! I was extremely surprised she left a little acknowledgement to Geri and a very nice one too. Melanie doesn't really go into how she felt when Geri left which was a shame as they were best friends. Surely she felt more then her explanation of thinking it was a joke and then getting on with organising her fathers birthday and choreography changes? That was the only disappointment. In Victoria's' book you can almost hear her seething she was so furious at 'traitor' Geri.
This book is witty and honest - I especially loved her first period story - hilarious! All in all I think this book would do very well if she just damn well promoted it!