Acne: A Memoir

Hachette. Jul. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780306828881. $29. MEMOIR
Chinn, a TV writer and actor, rivals the likes of Samantha Irby and Casey Wilson with her cringeworthy embarrassments, self-reflection, and self-deprecation while growing up a biracial Scientologist. If tragedy plus time equals comedy, then this book has that formula perfected. Chinn’s memoir is surreal in its reality, offering a completely unique perspective of healing, both of the epidermis and the core. From underage drinking, Jell-O wrestling, and watching her teenage brother battle a brain tumor, to—as Chinn describes it—suffering from something worse than famine and nuclear war: severe acne through adulthood. Chinn’s account of her formative years is as unique as it is tragic. This off-the-wall, borderline manic romp through unstable relationships and warped priorities is unlike most any other memoir headed for the shelves.
VERDICT It should be a welcome addition to any collection seeking uncommon admissions of all-too-common trauma, suffering, and lessons learned. This is sure to speak to those who struggled with personal tragedy, dysfunctional family, and hormones.
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