‘Faking it’ pays off for McCarthy

By Kate MacDonald

Courtesy of USE

TV personality and model Jenny McCarthy continues her long string of bestselling books with her latest, “Love, Lust and Faking it: The Naked Truth about Sex, Lies and True Romance,” which hit shelves on Sept. 28, 2010.           

Known mostly for her stint as Playboy’s 1994 Playmate of the Year and for her more recent work as an activist for autism awareness – which her son Evan suffers from – McCarthy shines in her newest book as something she’s not always thought of as – a comedienne.            

Published by Harper, “Love, Lust & Faking it” is an insight into what most people don’t want others to know about – the most intimate, embarrassing and dirty details of their personal lives and relationships. In the book, currently number seven on its third week on the New York Times Bestsellers List (Hardcover Advice), McCarthy dishes on past boyfriends and crushes, as well as uncomfortable situations from her own past.           

It seems that she has a no-holds-barred stance on her past, and she is very comfortable embarrassing herself, as well as others. In a recent visit to “Access Hollywood,” McCarthy shared her beliefs that she is like Taylor Swift, in reference to Swift saying that anyone she dates or has dated can be material for her songs.           

Notably, however, “Love, Lust and Faking it” doesn’t feature anything about her high-profile relationship (and recent breakup) with funnyman Jim Carrey. The two split while McCarthy was writing the book, but, as she stated to “Access Hollywood,” “I have nothing but love and gratitude for that relationship.” Also, this book does not delve deep into her marriage, and subsequent divorce, to actor and director John Asher.           

Other past lovers, however, were not so lucky. The chapters that explore McCarthy’s relationship ‘firsts’ are ridiculously amusing. She talks about her first love, the revenge and the heartbreak that went along with it; her first drunken tattoo with a man she convinced herself – thanks to a few too many beers – that she loved; and her first relationship with a man who reminded her of a children’s TV character.           

A running theme in “Love, Lust & Faking it” involves McCarthy ending chapters by analyzing her actions. While many times authors dig too deep into psychology, McCarthy provides a “What was I thinking!?” – like commentary, keeping the reader’s attention humorous and insightful analysis.           

Unfortunately, the audience is not always interested. Numerous chapters take on a research-like tone. McCarthy writes a long chapter about speaking to doctors about neuroscience and why people are attracted to certain “types,” and interviews a self-help guru later in the book. These types of chapters usually come across as dull.           

In fact, many of the interviews she conducts in the course of “Love, Lust and Faking it” are easily skippable. The same can be said about other informative chapters, including one that charts out how each astrological sign should feel about love. It seems like these are just filler chapters, written so that the book can reach a certain length.           

Having said that, the hilarious chapters more than make up for the McCarthy’s few shortcomings. While perhaps not as consistently amusing as her other memoirs and her side-splitting autobiography, McCarthy is sure to keep her readers in stitches – at least the majority of the time – with tales of discount boob – jobs and a horrible experience with Botox.           

“Love, Lust & Faking it” is definitely a must-read for just about anyone, man or woman, who has ever experienced a horror story of a relationship, or simply wants to laugh along with McCarthy about her bad experiences. Though several parts are quite skimmable, fans of McCarthy should take her good friend Chelsea Handler’s advice, printed on the back of the publication: “Even though this book is not as funny as mine, you should still buy it.”           

Kate MacDonald can be reached at [email protected]