Review & Giveaway – Brat by Andrew McCarthy

Posted May 21, 2021 by Carole in Reviews / 8 Comments

I received this book for free from the Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review & Giveaway –  Brat by Andrew McCarthyBrat: An '80s Story by Andrew McCarthy
ISBN: 9781538754276
Published by Grand Central Publishing on May 11, 2021
Genres: Acting & Auditioning, Biography & Autobiography, Entertainment & Performing Arts, Performing Arts, Personal Memoirs
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo |

Fans of Patti Smith's Just Kids and Rob Lowe's StoriesI Only Tell My Friends will love this beautifully written, entertaining, and emotionally honest memoir by an actor, director, and author who found his start as an 80s Brat pack member.

Most people know Andrew McCarthy from his movie roles in Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo's Fire, Weekend at Bernie's, and Less than Zero, and as a charter member of Hollywood's Brat Pack. That iconic group of ingenues and heartthrobs included Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, and Demi Moore, and has come to represent both a genre of film and an era of pop culture.

In his memoir Brat: An '80s Story, McCarthy focuses his gaze on that singular moment in time. The result is a revealing look at coming of age in a maelstrom, reckoning with conflicted ambition, innocence, addiction, and masculinity. New York City of the 1980s is brought to vivid life in these pages, from scoring loose joints in Washington Square Park to skipping school in favor of the dark revival houses of the Village where he fell in love with the movies that would change his life.

Filled with personal revelations of innocence lost to heady days in Hollywood with John Hughes and an iconic cast of characters, Brat is a surprising and intimate story of an outsider caught up in a most unwitting success.

I enjoyed this book! I don’t usually read celebrity memoirs. In fact, this is the first celebrity memoir that I can remember reading even though I do occasionally pick up memoirs written by people who are not famous. I am not even sure why I was drawn to this one. I like Andrew McCarthy well enough but I wouldn’t call myself a big fan or anything. I am glad that I went with my instinct and gave this book a try.

This is a relatively short book so it was a very quick read for me. The book starts during Andrew’s childhood focusing on his journey to becoming an actor. There were photos scattered throughout the book which helped to tell this story. I felt like we really get to know him during this book while we see his acting develop. There were some lucky breaks on his path to stardom but there was also a lot of work. Andrew wasn’t always confident and was often very hard on himself.

Once he landed his first movie, extraordinary things started to happen. Some of the stories that he tells in this book were just amazing. It is kind of amazing just how lucky he was in some situations. There is no doubt that he worked incredibly hard to get where he was and it could be hard to read some of passages about the things he did that were essentially self-sabotage. I went into the book knowing next to nothing about Andrew McCarthy and learned a lot about him in these pages.

I would recommend this book to others. I think that anyone that has seen any of his films will enjoy some of the background information presented in this book. Even if you are new to his work, I think that there is something to take away from this book. Who knows maybe I will open my mind to reading more celebrity memoirs moving forward.

I received a copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing.


I am thrilled to have the opportunity to give away a copy of Brat to one lucky reader of this blog, courtesy of Grand Central Publishing. The Publisher reserves the right to disqualify any winner that has already claimed an identical prize. The contest is open to US or Canada residents only.

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About Andrew McCarthy

Since starring in the movies he recounts throughout Brat, Andrew McCarthy has become a director, an award-winning travel writer, and a bestselling author. He has directed more than eighty hours of television, including Orange in the New Black, The Blacklist, Gossip Girl, and many others. For a dozen years he served as editor at large at National Geographic Traveler, and his award-winning travel writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, TIME, and elsewhere. He is the author a travel memoir, The Longest Way Home, and a young-adult novel, Just Fly Away—both New York Times bestsellers.

8 responses to “Review & Giveaway – Brat by Andrew McCarthy

  1. Coincidentally, I was just listening to a sample of this on Audible the other day. Even though he narrates it himself, I just wasn’t pulled in, so maybe I’ll check out the ebook version.

  2. I remember him from some of the 80’s movies, but I don’t know much about his personal life. I don’t read many memoirs either, but I just got a copy of Colin Jost’s, A Very Punchable Face. I like his Weekend Update feature on SNL. We’ll see how it goes.