It's difficult to avoid feeling bittersweet after reading actress Anna Faris's Unqualified, since it's mostly a Valentine to her recently estranged husband, actor Chris Pratt. The glowing foreword from him, her effusive thanks to him and "wish we had more words for love" in the final acknowledgments, and all the mentions in between of how great a husband he is (there's a whole section devoted to this, in which she advises "you can just skip this chapter if it makes you hate me or want to puke")--it makes one wonder: How much of the rosy picture was true or sugarcoated?

Aside from that, Faris is an amiable storyteller. The book, based on her podcast, is intended to give relationship advice, so that others can avoid the mistakes she's made and discover their own strength and independence. The actress is known for playing women who are spacy or stoned, but she's sharper than her characters, having graduated from the University of Washington with an English degree. She recognizes that as a white person and as a Hollywood star, she has advantages, but she is determined to remain humble (perhaps too determined, since she repeatedly insists she's not qualified to give any advice). The main takeaway is that she has a genuine desire to provide best friend-type encouragement and spread positivity. It's sad that her dreams of growing old with Pratt won't materialize, but Faris's positive attitude--and fans rooting for her--will likely help her find fulfilment wherever she ends up. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

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