Oracle After Hours: All I Want for Christmas is not Mariah Carey’s memoir

Carey’s new book proves the singer should stick to songwriting


Violet Guzman-Robles, columnist

Mariah Carey’s memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, has been a long anticipated release. Carey has been teasing her fans for years, and finally, it is tangible. Her inspiring story of coming up from a biracial family to becoming the only solo artist with 19 number 1’s on the Billboard Hot 100, behind only the Beatles, is one most people don’t know. 

I was excited for this book. Two of my favorite things—books and Mariah Carey—in one? Sign me up. The day of its release I went to Target during lunch and forced a poor worker to get it for me from the backroom. 

After years of being silenced by her ex-husband and overshadowed by her manipulative family, she never had an outlet to tell her truth, until now.  Whether or not she did spoke her truth in a fashion that was captivating to the reader, eh that’s debatable.

 It certainly was a fun read, and I empathize for her, but I was not captivated by her words. Her story, yes. But, her execution -falls  flat. I believe this is in part due to the two colliding worlds that wrote this book. Mariah Carey, the amazingly talented singer, songwriter, producer, and Michaela Angela Davis, her co-writer.

Carey is a songstress. Her words are meant to melodically rhyme and tell a story through the way they sound. An author should construct their story by the way the words feel and evoke emotion. This is where Davis should have come into play but instead let the world renowned diva take the wheel, much to the dissatisfaction of their readers.

She tells the story of her life in four parts, the first being “Wayward Child”. The chapters within this section were by far the most captivating. She recounts her tumultuous childhood with her estranged siblings and inattentive parents. The stories told were outrageous but not difficult to believe. I mean, just take one listen to her discography and you’ll hear the pain in her songs.

Listen, Carey’s story is heart-wrenching and devastating, but her delivery in retelling these experiences was mediocre. The pace was quick at times and at others it dragged. There were also sentences that you could just tell took hours to perfect followed by simple filler. This book was an incoherent mess. 

As a Mariah Carey superfan, her childhood was the one part of her life I lacked the most knowledge in, which is why I believe it was so interesting to me compared to the rest of the novel. Her marriages and divorces? Old news. Songs about secret flings being unveiled at last? Pft, I was the person constructing conspiracy theories about the true meanings of these songs. (If you’ve ever heard me play “The Roof”, spoiler alert it’s about Derek Jeter…which I already knew.)

If you’re just looking for a little insight into the mind of the “All I Want for Christmas” writer’s life, go ahead and pick this book up. If you wanna read song lyrics instead of listening to them, this book is perfect for you because most of this book’s word count is just that. If you’re looking for a pretty addition for your bookshelf, I’d pass since the cover looks kinda weird.

More than anything, this book was a treat for her fans. And while sweet, it was mostly dissatisfying. I am sure this was a cathartic experience for Carey but, let’s just face it, celebrities’ lives are just so much more interesting (and cheaper) from the tabloids.