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October 20th, 2010
The moment it was announced that Justin Bieber was preparing his autobiography, the general consensus for anyone who doesn’t consider themselves a “Belieber” was an eye roll, a tweeted “WTF?!?” or a defeated “I quit.” It was justified. How could a 16-year-old kid find enough life experience to fill an actual book? Well, to answer the question: this is JUSTIN BIEBER we’re talking about here.
Six million Twitter followers. Multiple riots caused by public appearances. A line of action figures (really, it’s a “Biebie doll”). A bedding collection. A nail polish line. A haircut. Did we mention he has his own shower curtain? A mysterious plague known as Bieber Fever. Oh and there’s also millions in record sales, over a billion YouTube views, a $300,000 concert fee, and Usher as his BFF. All in a year’s work.
First Step 2 Forever: My Story (HarperCollins, $24.99) is part photo book, part autobiography and part poster (check the dust jacket, yo!). It’s true. While he can justify his life story in 240 pages, he needs a lot of help from full page photographs, which he offsets with large font pull quotes and reprinted tweets to give the illusion that there is substance to be found here. Of course, the substance being his ability to put his deep thoughts to pen and paper, “I really like… Girls… Girls… Girls… Girls… Girls… Girls… Girls” (this takes up one entire page) and “There are lots of things I really like besides girls. Like pizza. And pranking. And CHUCK NORRIS.”
Bieber’s first-person narrative tells how everything happened. From being born when Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love” was solid on the Billboard Hot 100 and learning to “lay down a sick beat” using pots and pans at the age of two, to experiencing the longest three minutes of his life when he broke his leg on stage opening for Taylor Swift and experiencing a “CHUCK NORRIS moment” at this year’s MuchMusic Video Music Awards (yeah, it’s a shameless plug, what’s it to you?). If it’s not abundantly clear, he likes CHUCK NORRIS – A LOT.
In case you have any doubts, First Step 2 Forever: My Story is “100% Official.” That’s not just the dust jacket talking, it’s the truth. Take the first page for example. In a DM (that means “direct message” y’know) to his fans, he addresses them by saying, “Every one of you is ‘My Favourite Girl’ for a different reason, because each of you is special in your own way” and then signing off “Luv yah, Justin.” Those aren’t the words of a ghost writer, I tell ya.
First Step 2 Forever is many things, but what it is not is the poignant, wordy, thought provoking literary study on one of today’s most fascinating individuals we were promised. It comes up shooting blanks in all of those departments. Hell, it’s hardly even passable for English in some parts.
But let’s not lose focus here on what it’s not. What First Step 2 Forever is, is everything a Belieber could want from their shaggy-haired, 5 feet 3½ inch, lesbian lookalike, Canadian singing sensation. He speaks to his audience and what this 32-year-old thinks of his 16-year-old musings is pretty much irrelevant. It is endearing that he admits to crying over failing his driver’s test and compares “making it” to driving a zamboni. Hell, even all of the CHUCK NORRIS-isms evoke some kind of “aww shucks” reaction from even the coldest of hearts.
The only thing it’s missing is a first-hand account of what went down at the Planet Lazer Entertainment Centre in Richmond on October 15th. But something tells me that’s currently being planned for the sequel First Step 2 Forever Part 2: My Revenge.
And now, Canadian acting institution Gordon Pinsent reads excerpts from First Step 2 Forever: My Story.Tweet