GRIN AND BEAR IT by Jenni Pulos


How to Be Happy No Matter What Reality Throws Your Way
Email this review


Frank memoir by debut author Pulos, a regular on the Bravo reality TV shows Flipping Out and Interior Therapy.

Known for her seemingly endless patience and sweet nature as the calm assistant to her obsessive, hot-tempered boss, realtor Jeff Lewis, on Flipping Out, Pulos pulls no punches in her autobiography-cum–self-help guide. Hers, she declares, is a “ ‘don't give up’/‘hang in there’/‘you can learn to be happy’/‘keep going’/‘own your own flaws’/‘succeed anyway’ book,” and her first tenet is to “tell the truth about yourself.” To that end, with the assistance of veteran co-author Morton (co-author, with Al Roker: Never Goin' Back: Winning the Weight-Loss Battle For Good, 2012, etc.), Pulos lays out the personal lows and highs from her life, including her then-husband ending their marriage on national TV. She also looks back at her successful career in entertainment, which followed being told that she was destined for Hollywood failure. Pulos' confessions and insights possess a disposition that's simultaneously sunny side up and self-deprecating. Her talent for revealing herself and laughing about her mistakes is endearing; her candid sharing of her foibles and embarrassments makes her triumphs, in love and work, feel earned. Her overarching story is one of self-transformation, specifically how she changed from playing small in order to please people, including those who underestimated her, into a woman who takes ownership of her life and happiness. Having embraced imperfections and mistakes dating back to her childhood (embarrassing photos included), Pulos laughs easily. Despite her insistence that this is not a how-to book, the author includes numerous lists, tips, sidebars and inspirational quotes from historical figures.

Though the writing isn’t notable, the author comes across as genuine, and some of her vignettes are genuinely entertaining.

Pub Date: March 11th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-250-02819-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2014


NonfictionBEEN THERE, DONE THAT by Al Roker
by Al Roker
NonfictionHAD I KNOWN by Joan Lunden
by Joan Lunden
NonfictionI'M JUST SAYIN'! by Kim Zimmer
by Kim Zimmer


NonfictionDRINKING AND TWEETING by Brandi Glanville
by Brandi Glanville
NonfictionMOST TALKATIVE by Andy Cohen
by Andy Cohen
FictionOUT TO LUNCH by Stacey Ballis
by Stacey Ballis