Not everyone is lucky enough to have a happy childhood. Some children are forced to grow up far too quickly; AJ Mendez Brooks was one of those children. Her autobiography, Crazy is my Superpower, tells this story. She grew up with young parents who found it difficult to hold down a job. As a result she and her three siblings were often left to fend for themselves. After moving from apartment to apartment the family found themselves homeless. They lived in their car for a while before moving into a motel in New Jersey.

Throughout this challenging time AJ found comfort in comic books, video games and wrestling. These were all passions that would stay with her throughout her life. Her time in high school was also challenging for her but she knew that college would be her escape out of New Jersey and was ultimately accepted to NYU where she hoped to follow her dream of becoming a writer.

Her time in college wasn’t as ideal as she thought it would be. She had to make frequent trips back home to care for her mother who had been diagnosed with a mental illness. AJ soon started to struggle; the workload of college and the pressures of caring for her parents soon became too much for her and she ultimately dropped out and moved back home. Her time in college may have ended prematurely but it may also have saved her life ‚Äî while at NYU she sought help for issues that she was having and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

After moving home, she began training to be a wrestler. After working three jobs, she saved enough to try out for WWE where she would go on to have an incredibly successful career. In an industry dominated by men she became one of the possible Superstars during her time with the company.

Throughout the book, AJ is incredibly open about her family’s struggle with mental illness as well as her own. She also writes candidly about the abuse that she suffered at the hands of her mother and the complicated relationship that they have today. Regardless of if you’re a fan of WWE or not, I would recommend this book to anyone. It proves that no matter how difficult your childhood was or if you struggle with mental illness, you can still fulfil your dreams with enough hard work and dedication.

-Michelle O’Brien
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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