As a child of the 90's, I really only knew Vanessa Williams as a pop star. She sang hits like "Save the Best for Last"and the pop version of "Colors of the Wind", but I was way more interested in singing along to the original cast recordings for "Les Mis" and "Phantom of the Opera." (Nerd alert!) Little did I know, that's what Vanessa would rather have been doing, too. I loved getting to know Vannessa as a more well-rounded person through her autobiography, "You Have No Idea."
"You Have No Idea," written by Vanessa and her mother, Helen, is not only a vivid re-telling of Vanessa’s life, but an interesting take on the form of autobiography. Each chapter begins with Vanessa's recollections and stories, and ends with her mother commenting in the same events. Sprinkled along the way are little comments and anecdotes from Vanessa and he mother. The format really lends itself to Vanessa's story. Yes, there are stories if broadway and Hollywood, but the core of Vanessa's story lies in her family. Her strong familial relationships really shine, and it's clear how she was able to make a successful career - the support, warmth, and sometimes challenges of a strong family.