Among my secret love of true crime stories, I also have a secret love for wrestler biographies. They are often filled with some of the funniest and/or heartbreaking stories you will ever read. Several, including Crazy is My Superpower by AJ Mendez Brooks, are about overcoming a difficult life to chase a childhood dream. They are inspirational and heartwarming.
Most of the world would know AJ Brooks as AJ Lee who was a WWE superstar. She was part of the main shows and many of the main storylines in wrestling. Some may also know her as CM Punk's wife aka Phil Brooks.
AJ though tells a very interesting and funny story about growing up poor. She writes about having to move on a regular basis because her family couldn't afford rent. Her family even had to sleep in a car for a period because they had tapped their other family members enough that no one was willing to help any longer.
She also tells her story through the eyes of a tom boy who loves video games, comics, and other nerdy activities, but is forced into a role and a persona that didn't represent her.
The meat of her origin story though comes with her relationship with her mother once AJ and her siblings leave the house. While her mother and father fought often, she wouldn't realize the extent of her mother's mental illness until they all left the house. Her mother would tear her own hair out and have a constant need to be in contact with the children. AJ talks about living with her mother during this time and the heartbreak it caused her to see her mother like this.
The back half of the book is about her wrestling life and what it was like being a tomboy in the midst of model like women wrestlers and in a career dominated by men. She wasn't the typical size or build for a wrestler, so she tells of her struggle just being accepted. It is her chapter/s on being a female in a male's world that I found the most interesting. At one point her bosses say to her, "people like you, but they just don't want to f**k you." She also writes about what it was like with fan interaction and male fans who feel they knew her and therefore can do what they want to her. She writes about getting felt up by a dad while posing for a picture with the father's child, for example. Her chapters on being a woman in the wrestling were pretty powerful.
The great thing about the book is it is naturally funny. It doesn't go to the well too often for jokes and it reads as if AJ were telling her story right to you. It is filled with self depreciating humor, deep honesty, and some very cool stories. I would even recommend it to the non-wrestling fan.
I gave this one 4 stars.
Here is your Amazon link- Crazy is My Superpower by AJ Mendez Brooks