Saturday, 6 July 2013

Melanie Jo Moore

Letters to Young Chong


It's hard to review a memoir  They are personal, so it's like criticizing a diary. Nevertheless . . . 

I didn't like the cover and ordinarily I'd have overlooked this book because of it. There seemed to be no effort in producing it at all: a photo of two young people and a shot of urine on a brown background - ugh. The title was too small and in even smaller writing the name of the author. It doesn't look like a professional book. It looks like someone has thrown it together at the last minute--maybe they had a plane to catch? 

The blurb sounds promising. I like the chatty style of the author as she explains the book in a concise way: Booze, sex, and good times. What more could you ask for from a memoir? Sounds fun, and the book is vindicated but normally I'd not have got this far.

Look inside started very slowly with introductions from Melanie Jo Moore and how she discovered another girl in her class called Melissa Moore, but the style was chatty and like the blurb promised, fun, and I must admit, even before I'd finished the sample read, I'd forgotten I was reading a non-fiction memoir.

In all, the book is about two girls with similar names. They meet at school, and hate one another. Then they become best friends. As adults they go on their separate journey through the trials of love, bad men, tears and happiness. Some things in the book aren't pretty, but the relationship between the two women stays strong. I love their bond, which is there through thick and thin. I'd describe this book as contemporary - it's a little too 'gritty' to be classed as chick lit in my opinion  It's funny, shocking at times, with plenty of 'aw' moments.

The writing was strong, and the storyline, even though a little slow in places, managed to hold my wandering attention. I would recommend for those who like a bit of real life 'grit' in their stories.


Booze, sex, and good times. What more could you ask for from a memoir? Letters To Young Chong is much like the pickled ginger on a sushi plate. As a reader, sometimes you need something spicy to cleanse your palate between complex books. That is what you will find here.

Letters To Young Chong is based on the friendship that developed between Melissa Moore and myself. No relation at all. We were often confused as the same person or considered twins. It was a rough start having to share my name. I was sure I would hate that name stealing girl for all of time. Thank goodness I finally got over that. I could not imagine life without her.

Through the beginning chapters, you will read how our friendship was built. In our rural area, we weren’t provided with the luxuries of entertainment big city kids have. We learned how to keep ourselves occupied with fast cars, booze and each other.

The friendship survives years of separation and abusive relationships. When we finally meet up again, we fall right back into step. It is obvious though that time has taken its toll and the situations we have lived through change our outlook on the world forever.

So grab a stiff drink and join the Young Chong experience! Jump on the crazy train that readers are describing as an addicting, rowdy story that will make you bust out laughing and cry your eyes out. If you survive this ride, you’ll definitely want to stay tuned for the sequel!