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Entertainment Weekly Gives C- To Jenni Rivera's Autobiography!!!

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When Jenni's plane crashed on Dec. 9, 2012, it was a genuine tragedy that cut down a star in her prime, the 43-year-old singer was ready to make her big crossover move with a sitcom. Rivera had dealt with years of personal and professional trauma before emerging as the definitive 21st-century star of the brassy banda style of traditional Mexican music. A number of biographies have already been published in the wake of her passing, though all were woefully incomplete given the depth of Rivera's experience.

Rivera's autobiography does little to help her legacy in print. Unbreakable was begun as a series of diarylike confessionals in 2011, and apparently finished after the singer's death. It lays out her personal history as a painfully vivid, but ultimately numbing, series of episodes in which she's raped, abused, and wronged by men and exploited by business partners and industry colleagues. Her personal problems compound one another with alarming frequency — so much so that Unbreakable sometimes reads like the transcript from a trashy daytime talk show.

Frustratingly, there's very little insight into Rivera's music in Unbreakable. For all the personal drama, her professional arc is treated perfunctorily: Though she got a late start, Rivera hustled her independently produced albums, eventually chipping away at radio stations and larger venues. Her agonizing relationships with her three husbands are recounted in extreme detail.

The men in Rivera's life undoubtedly treated her terribly — the father of her first three children went to prison for molesting those kids— but that's not the only troubling undercurrent here. The singer repeatedly gave abusive men a second chance. That, coupled with her accounts of her own temper, makes for a strange situation: Rivera is not an entirely sympathetic character in her own autobiography. It's a remarkable feat, especially considering the heartbreaking event that cuts the book short. Think of Unbreakable as another bit of fallout from Rivera's tragic end. C-

THE OPENING LINES
''The night began at El Farallon, a popular nightclub in Lynwood, California. El Farallon was where you went to hang out with your friends and get lost in the music, forgetting everything else for just a few hours.''


EW

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