My opinion of the book mentioned above is that it is extremely well written and inhibits several unique characteristics. The typical biography or autobiography is written in a sober manner, such that the reader is completely bored by the events of the life of the subject. The author Kristen Kemp, wrote this book so that the audience is excited and anxious to discover what happens in the next chapter in the life of the specified individual. An example of the authors exciting style of writing is evident in this quote referring to Jewel’s acceptance to Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan; “Just like that, Jewel set out for, possible, her most life changing journey of all.” That statement could have been written so that it simply stated that Jewel was going to attend that academy, however, due to Kristen Kemp’s writing style, the statement kept me excited to read another chapter.
I think that Jewel’s life was full of outstanding events that were interesting to read about. I’m glad that I chose this book as compared to other biographies based upon a less eventful life. There were extreme high points in her life, “It was like overnight that Jewel discovered happiness while riding around in a VW van.” These times incorporated happiness into the reading, while the low ones “Despite her efforts to make herself feel better, she couldn’t escape some of her problems” established sympathy. A variety of mixed emotions are the key ingredient in making a making a reader become involved in the story line.
Jewel Kilcher was born on May 23, 1974, and grew up in Homer, Alaska. She lived with her parents and two brothers in a house on an extremely large plot of land. Their house had no TV or running water. Having no running water meant no shower and no indoor plumbing, just an outhouse in the yard. Growing up, Jewel helped take care of the horses that her family raised. She also hayed and worked in the family’s garden with her father. Both, her father and mother, were extremely musically inclined and performed all over Alaska. When Jewel was six, she was singing and traveling with them. She acquired an amazing ability to yodel at this age, and soon this became a regular accompaniment with her parents.
A few years later, Jewel’s parents divorced. She still traveled with her father every once in a while for seven more years. They sang in bars and restaurants, or wherever they could get a gig. Jewel still kept ties open with her mother also. Her mother taught her to write poetry. Jewel found this to be an effective way of releasing her anger towards her parents’ divorce.
Jewel then, after earning some money, headed to Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan for her junior and senior years of high school. She won a singing scholarship to go there, but it didn’t pay for all of the tuition. Most of the other money was raised at a solo concert she put on, and by donations from people that lived in Homer, Alaska. After finishing school, Jewel moved to San Diego where her mother now lived. She didn’t want to go to college, and she wasn’t happy just surfing or traveling around, so she took several jobs to make a little extra money. She didn’t like them though, so she decided to live in her van and strive for her goal of a singing career.
Pretty soon, she landed a regular Thursday-night gig at the Innerchange Coffeehouse in Pacific Beach. It was there that she became well known and liked. Word of her singing ability spread to other big cities, and in March, Jewel signed a deal with Atlantic Records. During the last half of 1994, she did small tours to a few other cities, in hopes of spreading her popularity. In February of 1995, her first CD was composed. It was thought to be a very popular style of music, however it did not bring in a lot of profit, Despite this appearing to be a failure, Atlantic Records kept trying. The first CD, “Who Will Save Your Soul,” was released again and in late 1996, it was then that Jewel begin receiving an increasingly higher profit. She even appeared on some of the nations most known talk shows such as, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Tonight show with Jay Leno.
Jewel’s CD, “Who Will Save Your Soul” was an extremely large building block for her career in music. Her popularity began to grow and 1997, she received two Grammy Award nominations. They were for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal. This was the point in which she finally acknowledged that she had made it. She had achieved her dream of a singing career, but like most things in life, the fame and merriment that she had found would soon prove to vanish as quickly as it arrived.