Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
All Is Not LOST: How I Friended Failure on the Island and Found a Way Home by Shannon Kenny Carbonell is a deep and honest memoir that will resonate with anyone who's ever felt lost and looking for a way back home and to self. Shannon Kenny Carbonell, married to LOST, The Morning Show, and Bates Motel actor Nestor Carbonell, candidly shares her unique journey, which is sometimes a little sad, sometimes a little funny, but completely bare and real. Like so many other women, she gave up her own dream to focus on her children, uprooted her own life, and set it aside for others, moving to Hawaii during Nestor's filming of LOST, thinking that it was all okay. But it wasn't okay, and the sacrifices eventually caught up with her. She was triggered to express her stifled creativity and yearned to live her dream and recover her sense of identity. The lower she sank, the more she found that she was buoyed up by the people around her. If you've ever felt that you needed fame or recognition to be whole or valued, struggled with body image issues, are starved for attention, and are trying to sort out who you are, this book is for you.
Carbonell offers an honesty that readers will appreciate. So many people think that successful working actors and actresses don't have the same set of problems, but Shannon's memoir shows that they do. I admire her willingness to share her vulnerability and experiences. Although writing this must have surely been cathartic for her, it serves another purpose, and that is to show others that they aren't alone in their situations and that there is a time, place, and way to get back to yourself and come to terms with your identity. I like the author's personal, lovely style of writing; it's very inviting and expressive. I also liked the inside view of Nestor and the acting environment, and the way she describes being torn between family and career. If you're into the arts, have a creative nature that's bursting at the seams, or have ever put your children above all else, you will connect with Shannon and her story. One of my favorite parts is where she sees and feels God in a beautiful sunset while bike riding and another is when she explains how her boys put together a care package for Haitian earthquake victims. Overall, you will fall in love with this author and her writing--this may be one of her BEST gifts and talents--and her story of family, friendship, and self-rediscovery. All Is Not LOST: How I Friended Failure on the Island and Found a Way Home by Shannon Kenny Carbonell is the next memoir you should read.