My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen review – sex, self-loathing and growing up in the limelight

No detail is deemed too personal in the singer’s affecting account of her rise to fame and being constantly under scrutiny

Anyone familiar with Lily Allen’s songs will know all about her capacity for bluntness. In 2009’s “Not Fair” she grumbled about rubbish sex and being left lying in the wet patch, while in “As Long As I Got You”, an ode to new love, she sang: “Staying in with you is better than sticking things up my nose.” So it’s not surprising to find that her first memoir has a tendency towards oversharing. In recalling her childhood, her rise to fame and her travails as a pop star, daughter, wife and mother, no detail is deemed too personal.

In the introduction, Allen, 33, says she’s too young to write her entire life story; instead she’s interested in “the things in my life that changed events, upended things, upset the cart”. Her father, the actor Keith Allen, is the first to turn things upside down, leaving his wife and children when his daughter was four. On the rare weekends that he saw his children, he would plonk them in a room at the Groucho Club while he got smashed in the bar downstairs. “I’ve learned over the years that everything is about him, so fine, that’s the deal,” Allen says. “I’ve stopped trying to fight or bustle about trying to find a spare slot in his universe.”

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