cover image Under Construction: Because Living My Best Life Took a Little Work

Under Construction: Because Living My Best Life Took a Little Work

Chrishell Stause. Gallery, $27.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-982186-25-8

“Every remodel begins with a mess, and I’m certainly no exception,” writes Stause, of Netflix’s Selling Sunset, in this bubbly debut about her bumpy road to success. While some may think of the former soap actor as a “high-maintenance girl who wouldn’t last five minutes on a camping trip,” Stause reveals she actually spent a year in middle school homeless and living in a tent with her family in Missouri. Despite her “scrappy” upbringing, Stause reframes her adversities in a positive light. In an unflaggingly upbeat tone, Stause recalls the several jobs she juggled (Dairy Queen manager, hand model, promotional Walmart Barbie) before landing her dream role on All My Children in 2005—sharing the takeaways she learned from each one (like perfecting her ice cream “curlicue”). She also discusses choosing a “more stable” career in real estate—a fortuitous move that led to her being cast on Selling Sunset—and opens up about her much-publicized 2019 divorce from actor Justin Hartley, wringing from her grief the lesson that “it was definitely not meant to be.” Though the sunny optimism and surfeit of motivational tips—“Your everyday job should be practicing self-advocacy”—borders on excessive, Stause’s sincerity brings things down to earth. This inspiring story is sure to charm fans. Agent: Brandi Bowles, United Talent Agency. (Feb.)