Review of Crazy Is My Super Power By AJ Mendez Brooks
By: Kaitlin Baki

"Crazy Is My Super Power: How I Triumphed By Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts And Breaking The Rules" Is an autobiography written by and about the life of AJ Mendez Brooks who is better known to fans of professional wrestling by her stage name AJ Lee.

This is one of the few autobiographies of a professional wrestler that I would recommend anyone, even people who hate professional wrestling to read, as it has very little to do with the sport itself. The story is about how this tiny and timid girl ultimately overcame insurmountable odds to eventually become a success story in the land of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE is the biggest and most globally well known company within the wrestling industry). However like most good stories, it's not about her final destination but about her journey to get there.

For any outsider who is unaware of the difficulties or struggles any person would face making it into the WWE in the first place, think of what odds you have when you go into a casino, stop at one of a hundred different slot machines, stick a quarter in and pull the trigger. Imagine that quarter wins you the jackpot. Not likely, right? Now imagine having to work for years just to earn that quarter. Maybe there were times you had one saved up when you were younger, and you had to wait until you were of legal age to gamble it, but before your birthday your parents took it away from you to go out and buy themselves some beer, simply because they wanted to. Maybe you finally worked so hard to earn another quarter but in doing so realized that it made you extremely sick and so instead of getting to use it to play the slot machine you needed it to buy medicine or you would never be able to get out of bed and get to the casino at all. Maybe another time you had twenty-five cents in the form of two dimes and a nickel, but the slot machine only accepted quarters, and nobody would exchange your coins for you even though it should have been such a simple request. So despite having what you needed to play, essentially you weren't allowed to. That would not only suck but also be completely unfair right? This book hammers you from every direction with the harsh, unfair and cruel reality that AJ dealt with on a regular basis.

One of the themes of the book (and an important lesson for every person in general to know) is that life isn't fair. The sports entertainment industry certainly is no different. There are people from all kinds of companies in every possible position who lack any kind of skills it requires to be there and yet are handed opportunities on a silver platter for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they're related to someone who already has an in, so by default they get selected. We've all been that person who went to the job interview only to meet the bosses niece in the waiting room, and we know regardless of how good we look on paper or how qualified we are, we just don't stand a chance. Sometimes genetics play a role, whether in athleticism or even just physical attributes you have no control over.

For example, it's a lot easier to hire someone like Ashton Kutcher and convince people he can be a tough guy than it is to hire someone like John Reilly and convince people he's a handsome guy.

AJ does her best to try and navigate her way through the world battling with poverty, parents who she essentially babysits herself as well as her other siblings, and a hidden mental illness as the elephant in the room that nobody wants to acknowledge. Her struggles would be more then enough to justify a lifetime of failure and misery and I don't think any person would be able to blame her if that's how things turned out. The fact that she goes on to be successful in an industry that's nearly impossible for anyone not dealing with those circumstances to make it in, in the first place truly does make her a real life super hero.

The biggest ultimate lesson to this book isn't that life's not fair. It's that anyone from any walk of life can achieve absolutely anything they dream of, if they want to bust their asses enough to make it happen. There's no amount of awful circumstances to excuse you from making it if you refuse to give up on yourself. Most of us have goals and dreams but rarely are they a walk in the park. Most of us don't like to be challenged. So most of us eventually settle for something a little easier and learn to become content. AJ is not most people. It's completely motivating, going on this rollercoaster ride of a life alongside her from living in a car with her entire family and having nowhere to go, to walking out on the grandest stage in professional wrestling in front of over 75,000 screaming fans in Levi's Stadium at WrestleMania 31 for her final match.

AJ is a walking example of hard work paying off. Her desire to succeed will inspire you. Her charming and sarcastic wit shines through on every single page and her ability to make the best of a bad situation will leave you feeling stronger than you ever thought possible. She was seemingly destined to work a minimum wage job, collect food stamps and barely scrape by, but instead this ultimate underdog forged her own legacy and became larger than life.

If you don't fall in love with her story and with her, rush over to your doctor's office immediately because your heart may have stopped beating.