Book Review| We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

Updated: Jun 19




Hi guys, welcome back. Today we are going to do another fun color with me and book chat. So, grab your coloring book and let’s get started.

This color with me is going to be much shorter than the last one. I recorded this video with the time-lapse feature on iphone for about 3 hours and it condensed it down to less than 1 min, so I had to slow it down a lot. In the comment section below, let me know if you prefer the longer or shorter video type. As always, I’ll post the completed version of the pages we color together on the ReadingOnTheRun blog.

The author of the book we are going to discuss today, Gabrielle Union is probably currently best known for being the wife of Dwayne Wade, a skillful, popular American basketball player. However, Gabrielle Union in her own right rose as a popular American actress during the 1990s. Some of her most popular roles include movies such as the Bring it On series, Bad Boys II and Daddy’s Little Girls.

In Union’s first book entitled: We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True, Welcome to the Party, she outlines her life in a memoir fashion centering her stories around the topic of colorism. In about 20 chapters Union discusses her struggle to fit in and find her identity while growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood, being a rape survivor, divorcee, Hollywood actress, stepmother and so much more.

What's surprising, a least to me, is that the Union we are most accustomed to seeing on screen is indeed the same Union in real-life. The sassy, saucy, never-give-up without a fight vibe that she gives off on screen (in every role) shows up in her personal stories over and over again. For example, as a teenager she managed to get away from her rapist, grab the gun and shoot at him in close range. That took major kahunas! Another example is, at an even younger age she yelled an explicative at her dad from the soccer field for teasing her about losing a game.

Union gets real during the book about not always being a team player and using the misfortune of others to her own gain. She talks about dating guys that only the “light-skinned” girls should have because she was cute enough as a “dark-skinned” girl to do so. Knowing that they didn’t have him because she did, gave her joy. She also mentions doing things she isn’t proud of to survive in Hollywood such as wishing ill-will on others so she may get the job or committing to Not mentoring/helping others, so she always has a leg up in auditions.

The book is entertaining enough, and I did enjoy learning more about Union and her plight. I respect her hard work, struggle and hustle that lead her to the self-described success outlined in the book. Often at times throughout the book, I felt like Union was defending herself or her past choices to the reader. Explaining how things happened to her which made her make undesired decisions which lead to undesired outcomes. I would have instead liked to have felt drawn into the stories and connected to Union in ways we don't get from watching her films. The collection of stories really didn’t climax and drive home a lasting inspiring message. This could be a result of writing style instead of the actual content of the book in my opinion.

Union uses a good portion of the book to describe her role as a stepmother in raising black males in American society. This message is very relevant today as we have watched recent protests erupt in multiple major cities over the unlawful death of yet another African American man at the hands of Police. Union describes making sure she teaches her sons the reality outside of their privilege. If anything, we can take away from this book the awareness of disparities and outdated hurtful social constructs that we as a society have the responsibility of improving. For that Gabrielle, thank you for having the courage to speak up, speak out and personally take action.

Have you read this book or would like to read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.


Happy Reading Friends!

xoxoxoxox,

ROTR