Review: Valleywood by Lateysha Grace

Monday, 23 March 2015
Title: Valleywood
Author: Lateysha Grace
Publisher: John Blake
Publication Date: 12th March 2015
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781784182694
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Since exploding on to our screens as part of the MTV show The Valleys, diva Lateysha Grace has caused quite a stir with her kick-offs, cat-fights and confident Beyonce-like behaviour.

But before all the glamour, Lateysha had a bleak childhood; born into a single parent family where her mother Debbie struggled to make ends meet, plunging the family into the depths of abject poverty. All Lateysha craved was a normal family life and when her mum met a new man, she was happy to finally have a father figure. Her dream soon turned into her worst nightmare though when her new dad became addicted to heroin - the man she thought was her knight in shining armour had turned out to be the 'devil incarnate'. Lateysha could do nothing but watch as he physically abused her, her mother and her siblings.

Lateysha's story is shocking, upsetting and often heart-breaking and she holds no bars when it comes to speaking about her turbulent childhood, wild behaviour and emotional despair. The devastating effects of her traumatic youth came to the surface when, as a teenager, Lateysha attempted to take her own life twice and found solace in drugs, alcohol and casual sex as a way of dealing with her problems. Even her time on The Valleys almost never happened after Lateysha was charged with assault on a girl in a local nightclub. Eventually, the Welsh beauty was found not guilty, but this drama just added to the long list of harrowing events in her young life.

With deep valleys of heartache and peaks of joy, Lateysha's bonk-busting autobiography will have you scrambling to turn the page.

I have only ever watched The Valleys on and off so didn't know all that much about Lateysha Grace before reading Valleywood but having finished it she has definitely gained a new fan in me, and I am absolutely full of admiration and respect for Lateysha. There's always the brigade that come out and ask what a 22-year-old girl could possibly have to write about, yet those are the ones that will never read the book to find out just what she can write about. As always if a story like this can help just one person, then it's a story worth telling.

Lateysha has lived a crazy life for one so young, and in places it is actually quite shocking. Being kicked out of school for giving a lap dance, being physically abused by her heroin-addicted stepfather, attempting suicide, the list goes on and yet Lateysha never holds back when talking about these issues and does attempt to send out positive messages along the way, especially to teenage girls who might be experiencing some of the same problems that Lateysha did, whether it's with sex, body image, trouble at home, whatever. Some might say she's not the best role model, but read the book before you judge and get to know the real Lateysha, yes we are reading what Lateysha want us to read but at the same time it's an honest, warts and all account rather than a woe is me I've done nothing wrong tale.

There were similarities reading about Lateysha auditioning and joining The Valleys to the Geordie Shore autobiographies of Holly, Vicky and Gaz, given that it's a similar show yet it was still interesting to get that insight into the world. I love how honest Lateysha is, and you can tell that she's not afraid to tell it like it is, but she also wears her heart on her sleeve, holds her hands up to all of her mistakes and also sends out a positive message to young girls in what not to do, not to make some of the same mistakes that she has made (one of the final chapters had me cringing!). She also has a way with words as well. The book is ghostwritten by the same writer of Holly Hagan's book, but the bits which are obviously Lateysha talking are obvious. I loved reading about certain celebrities she has been linked to, the word celebrity probably not being the right word to use for one of the men at least.

Lateysha might only be 22, but she definitely has a story to tell, and it's one that I have no hesitation in recommending. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll finish the book perhaps seeing a young girl who all too easily got caught up in the reality TV game, in a whole new light.

4.5/5

2 comments:

  1. I expected better of you, Shaun - my only conclusion is that you think she's hot. Can't believe you think she can write - sorry, the ghost writer - better books than Louise Phillips! If you like an autobiography, you should try David Niven's The Moon's A Balloon. I'm sorry, but I'm sick of all these nobody TV stars, whose shows I've never seen, telling us - no, the ghost writer, what a shitty life they've had. Join the queue! You can read so much better books than this! I'd love to see you review some good US crime like Pelecanos or Ellroy. Don't demean yourself with this tripe! Read better books - you so can (and please, lovely Shaun, don't think I'm having a go at you - it's books like this I can't abide! You're still fantabulous!)


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    1. Haha, I love you Linda thanks for making me smile as I was getting ready for work this morning! What can I say, I am a sucker for a reality TV show unfortunately! Plus need something to balance out the crime!

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