Acne: A Memoir (Hardcover)

Acne: A Memoir By Laura Chinn Cover Image
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From the creator and star of Florida Girls comes a hilarious and profound memoir about family, happiness, and really aggressive acne.

Despite having dirty-blonde hair and fair skin, Laura Chinn is mixed-race: the daughter of a Black father and a white mother, which on its own makes for some funny and insightful looks at identity. Laura’s parents were both Scientologists and nonconformists in myriad ways. They divorced early in Laura’s childhood, and she spent her teen years ping-ponging back and forth between Clearwater, Florida, and Los Angeles (with an extended stint in Tijuana for good measure).

Laura lived alone and raised herself for long periods of time, but don’t worry! Her mom’s alcoholic boyfriend was always nearby to supervise. She also lost family members to horrific tragedies, started drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes when she was eleven years old, and dropped out of school when she was fifteen, all the while completely obsessed with and scarred by her severe acne condition. 

This is not a sad story. There is Jell-O wrestling. There is an abnormal amount of dancing. There is information about whether you can drink gallons of sangria while taking unregulated Accutane acquired in Mexico. But mostly there is love, and ultimately there is redemption. Laura explores her trauma through anecdotes riddled with grit and humor, proving that in the face of unspeakable tragedy, it is possible to find success, love, and self-acceptance, zits and all.

About the Author

Laura Chinn has been writing television for a decade on several shows including The Mick and Children's Hospital. As an actor, she has appeared in a wide range of movies and TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy, My Name is Earl, Happy Endings and Warrior. She also created and starred in Florida Girls on Pop TV. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she performs improv and tries to learn how to surf every summer. 

Praise For…

“You know how people justify insane horrors by saying, ‘It was a different time’? Laura Chinn will transport you to that time. This book is funny and heartbreakingly honest.”—Tina Fey

"Brutally honest, hilarious and horrifying. Reading this book was like whispering late-night secrets with a long-lost best friend."—Jenny Lawson

“Chinn’s artistry, weaving the juxtaposition of devastating heartbreak and hilarious self-awareness, is masterful. If you are drawn to a sorrowful weep and snort laugh--this book is for you.”—Jessica Alba

"Acne feels like watching a gut-wrenching but hilarious show. Acne is really good, but it ain’t pretty."

Ilana Glazer

“Chinn shares deeply personal stories that will make you inappropriately laugh out loud until you are in tears. There also will be times when you will not be able to stop the real tears from flowing in this heart-touching story of self-love and perseverance.”
 —Kym Whitley

“As someone who’s known Laura and would beg for more stories of her adolescence, I knew her memoir would be wickedly hilarious. What I was not expecting was to burst into tears while reading it on a very quiet airplane. I laughed and wept my way through Acne as fast as I could to see what could possibly happen next. Laura’s unfathomably bizarre life is beautifully told in the most delightful and heart-wrenching way, ultimately leaving me full of gratitude and hope. And a much greater understanding of all of those Florida stereotypes.”
 —Kaitlin Olson

"Laura Chinn upholds the maxim 'the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom' in her refreshingly honest and incredibly funny autobiography. I couldn't put it down."—Woody Harrelson

"Laura Chinn is a modern-day Tennessee Williams but funnier and more dramatic. Acne is a consistently jaw-dropping, laugh out loud, 'wait hold on, let me reread that part again' book."
 —Paul Scheer

“Chinn imbues her painful experiences — of grief, loneliness, self-loathing, racism and substance abuse — with grace, compassion and whole-belly laughter."—New York Times Book Review

"A natural-born storyteller, Chinn writes with humor and heart about the emotional burden of living with a conspicuous skin condition, the challenges of being a mixed-race person who appears white, and the tragedies her family endures. Readers will be rooting for her to find clear skin and happiness."—Booklist Starred Review

"...rivals the likes of Samantha Irby and Casey Wilson... If tragedy plus time equals comedy, then this book has that formula perfected. Chinn’s memoir is surreal in its reality, offering a completely unique perspective of healing, both of the epidermis and the core. ...This off-the-wall, borderline manic romp through unstable relationships and warped priorities is unlike most any other memoir headed for the shelves."—Library Journal Starred Review

“Laura Chinn’s coming of age memoir begins with discovering her first zit, at age ten —typical kid stuff, right? Thing is, that’s around where Chinn’s average childhood ends.”—The Cut

“ engaging and touching journey that’s sure to resonate.”—Buzzfeed

“This hilarious memoir is by and about a woman who has suffered from a terrible case of self-esteem-crushing cystic acne her entire life. But it’s also about so much more than that. It’s about growing up mixed-race in a broken home where things just seem to get worse and worse. It’s about making it through each day in spite of multiple obstacles, and weathering the fallout from multiple tragedies. It’s about how, through it all, Chinn maintains her sense of humor, continuing to push forward until, by the end, she finds a sort of redemption.”—Bookriot

“A moving tale of childhood trauma, love, and determination”—Oprah Daily

"Through her very funny, very honest prose, she works her way away from cleansing, toning, and despairing, and toward living."—Glamour Magazine

“Chinn’s story, equal parts funny and poignant, explores how a young woman forges her identity and learns to accept herself – and others – in a world that tells her there’s nowhere she belongs.”—Orange County Register
Product Details
ISBN: 9780306828881
ISBN-10: 030682888X
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication Date: July 19th, 2022
Pages: 320
Language: English

How to read more
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


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