I just finished Jewel’s book Never Broken and have been listening to her new album Picking Up the Pieces non-stop. I am having a total Jewel revival in my life and re-living my sophomore year of high school all over again, except without the butterfly clips.

Jewel - Never Broken - LRI Banner

Like most teenage girls of the late 90s, I loved Jewel. She gave words to all my inner angst and made it OK to be introspective, deep-thinking and feeling. She was not the in-your-face-overly-sexualized Spice Girls or Britney, who I looooved, but did not have the guts to emulate. I related to Jewel so much more and when she released her book of poetry, I became inspired to write my own tormented poems.

Recently, my mom moved out the house she has lived in for over the past decade. She found a box with some of my old books in it and a notebook full of my journal entries and poems. The notebook, of course, was Lisa Frank and I also found Jewel’s book Chasing Down the Dawn, that I bought on-sale with baby-sitting money and am currently re-reading.

angst We re-read my journal entries and poems and laughed at how big of a deal I made everything. However, I realized, I have not changed that much and I still need a sounding board (this blog, my spiritual sister, etc.) to share all my inner angst.

Luckily, Jewel realized I still needed her and released this new book and album to address my now 30ish year old issues.

Jewel has lived quite the life. Let me just first say my obsession with Jewel was kicked up a few notches once I realized she was actually a Kilcher, the family I had been obsessing over on Alaska: The Last Frontier. The Kilchers live on a homestead and are self-sufficient, living completely off their own land. They build their own homes, raise their own food and make everything themselves. I truly admire their way of living and respect for the earth. Once I found out Jewel was a Kilcher, I wanted to be a Kilcher.

Reading about her upbringing on a homestead and making her way on her own at such a young age was interesting. Jewel was pretty self-sufficient early on. She raised enough money by throwing a benefit concert for herself to attend a private arts high school out of state. After graduating, she hitch-hiked around, singing songs for money and eventually, lived in her car for a bit while trying to figure her life out.

I really admire how down to the earth she remained, even after she became famous and the candid sense of story-telling that she brings to her music. Jewel comes across as incredibly honest in this book and talks about many of the issues that influences her music. She reveals childhood abuse, feelings of abandonment, issues with anxiety, low self-esteem and the struggle to find her voice. I could definitely relate to many of those issues and truly connected with how fearful she felt at times, yet how brave she came across in her choices.

The book was probably a little longer than it needed to be and Jewel did tend to ramble sometimes. However, she still keeps readers engaged and connected to her story through her uncanny ability to connect with her fans with candid analysis of her own choices.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Jewel or is interested in a unconventional life that led to fame.