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Colton Haynes’ Miss Memory Lane: A Review

“A brutally honest and moving memoir of lust, abuse, addiction, stardom, and redemption from Arrow and Teen Wolf actor Colton Haynes”…

By Steven Bereznai

The new memoir Miss Memory Lane by out actor and heartthrob model Colton Haynes (Arrow, Teen Wolf, Scream Queens, American Horror Story) is full of the candid and salacious details any gossip girl might hope for—sex, addiction, and heartbreak, including a wedding soon followed by divorce. But is it well written? Spoiler alert—yes.

Promo interviews focus on the provocative, of which there is plenty—underage sex and abuse, a borderline pornographic photoshoot for a gay mag that had his publicity team working furiously to cover up, a turbulent family life and ensuing battle with booze and Adderall … But it’s also full of poignant innocence and honesty, written in a lyrical yet unpretentious style. Perfectly shaken like a martini in a Kansas tornado—this is a page-turner.

Haynes shares his childhood wish of being a girl as he recreated the dance moves he’d seen in music videos, all in Mom’s high-heeled boots. “Had I ever been more myself? Will I ever be again?”

As an underage go go boy, “If someone called me a slut, I thanked them and took it as a compliment. I wanted to gag them with my beauty.”

And when he moved to Hollywood to chase “a dream that would fade quicker than a spray tan … I was the new girl in town—fresh meat in a city of carnivores.”

I loved these turns of phrase, and my favourite remains about his mom, for whom this memoir is a love letter. She had a “style so effortless that you’d have no idea this devil wore Payless. A rare breed. Lassie, Cujo—that bitch.”

All that said, the highest praise comes from my own mom. She’s never heard of Haynes, asked “what’s Teen Wolf?,” and doesn’t care about Hollywood dish or model life. Yet, after perusing the jacket copy and flipping through a few pages, she asked, “Can I borrow this when you’re done?”

Steven Bereznai is the author of Gay and Single … Forever? 10 Things Every Gay Guy Looking for Love (and Not Finding It) Needs to Know, the LGBTQ teen superhero series Queeroes, and the forthcoming neurodivergent science fiction romp The Timematician.

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