A Review of Shana Mangatal’s book Michael and Me by Reva C. Thomas, CEO- Chalon Entertainment
Shana Mangatal’s book entitled “ Michael and Me” is one of the most poignant, well written, cohesive and carefully curated pieces of literature about Michael Jackson.
In her memoir, Shana chronicled through many years of meticulous , copious journaling , provides the reader with in depth, brutally honest,, candid portrayal of one of the most dynamic and greatest to have ever graced this planet- Mr. Michael Jackson.
Ms. Mangatal delicately captured the essence and many facets of a very talented , yet complicated and complex man.
“Michael and Me” present s a 360 degree, panoramic view of Michael Jackson, the man, the father, entertainer, and businessman.
“Michael and Me” takes you on a roller coaster journey of emotions , and gives you glimpse of what it was like to be within the inner cirle and world of Michael Jackson.
To say that Shana Mangatal was lucky on some levels would be an understatement.
Her descriptions of places, and settings are remarkably accurate, and as well as her presentation of Michael Jackson was astounding.
I can assure you that this not a book of fabricated stories, at least not in my opinion. This is not fan fiction created by a lustful Michael Jackson fan. This is the real McCoy.
I approached reading her book with an open mind and an objective spirit, which served me well and enabled me to immerse myself fully and to become one with her story.
I read “ Michael and Me” with multiple lens and not through rose colored tinted glasses.
This is not book for the faint – hearted MJ fan who believes in rainbows and unicorns or thought that Michael was not without flaws nor human. Because he was human, an extraordinary human being, nonetheless a human being with flaws, was not perfect as none of us are, but it does not take away from Michael’s gentle spirit and his genuis
Ms. Mangatals shared what it felt like to be in love and enamored with a man who captured our soul and our being.
Yes, Shana did not hesitate nor sugar coat her feelings for Michael and once you have read her book you will gain a full understanding of how that came to be. Most of us have been down that road before at some point of our lives, and you should be able to relate and understand.
“ Michael and Me" captured the humanistic side of Michael Jackson.
Michael the businessman, the entertainer, the sexual being.
Michael Jackson the man and person. A man who fought desperately to fight his inner demons, yet tried to maintained some sort of normalcy within his life.
Michael was indeed a man with a great sense of humor.
You will also read about the tumultuous seasons of his life and when so many of his so called friends turned their backs on him.
My review is honest and objective.
I strongly recommend and highly encouraged you not to make any rash judgement based upon what you may have from heard from critical fans, and simply reading excerpts, because I can assure you that you will be doing a great injustice to yourselves. You will need to step outside of yourself for a minute and look more closely .
There are many layers to this book as there are many layers to the enigmatic and elusive Michael Jackson.
Her story is credible and not fabricated. She was most certainly not a mistress contrary to popular belief.
Shana was blindsided and once you take the opportunity to read her book you will understand why I have made such a statement.
I cried, I laughed, I gasped and there were quite a few occasions when I gave Michael the proverbial side eye.
With that being said, I recommend this book I give Michael and Me book 5 out of five stars..
By SS on August 14, 2016
I loved Shana's book. She experienced so much of what he went through with all his famous UPS and DOWNS throughout his career. Michael was HUMAN with human insecurities and flaws, just like the rest of us. He was truly a gift for this world and his presence in this world was magic. This book is giving people the chance to know the human Michael behind the" Michael Jackson" who was sadly misunderstood for most of his Adult life. Reading though the book and how Shana saw him is exactly in my own heart how I saw and viewed him and one of his most endearing features was his childlike nature (as I also have a childlike nature) Thanks Shana for sharing your experience. Much love to you.
Literally got this book on Monday and I'm already almost finished reading it. It is so damn good lol. @shanamangatal thank you so much for writing this book it's not just an insight into who Michael was/is but it also gives us a glimpse at who you are and I truly appreciate that rawness. You are a true friend of Michaels and I love you for that. Thank you for being so open, I'm truly astonished by how much you reveal, it's your truth and I really admire you for it. Much love ❤️ p.s. I haven't read a book this fast since Moonwalker lol.
Before 'Moonwalk' was published, Michael Jackson worried that once something was in print, it was there for ever. Thankfully, this applies to Shana Mangatal's great book, 'Michael and Me', where he and his power is in there, pours off every page, and she has left him with us to never let him go. Michael For Ever. Totally committed, she has waited seven years, seven being Michael's favourite number, to show us the man beyond the 'This Is It' mantra, 'The Man You Never Knew', as very human, dealing with stressful impossible situations. She tells us in her own words how he impacted her life from her own personal standpoint, so you are there with her feelings, which is so effective. This is the sort of book his fans or anyone curious, will want to read again and again.
What an emotional rollercoaster when you could feel the whole gambit of her emotions; love, anger, jealousy, betrayal, maybe a tiny touch of bitterness. Yet despite all that, she is still deeply in love with him, never to have another, which is hard. She was very honest and held nothing back, going into great detail. I admire her for her spunk and courage. One chapter heading quote reads, 'When love is not madness, it is not love'. (Pedro Calderon de la Barca). She often raved at how handsome he was, his huge brown eyes and smile . When she saw him in 2003 after a long time, she wrote, 'There he was in all his glory'! I am happy that someone really loved him.
It took five years for them to have a real relationship, she says, and the at-first hesitant night of passion only takes up 5 pages out of 230. She does not go into too much graphic detail, just suggests it! Out of respect for him, no doubt. She was one lucky lady, though she may not agree! He used to flirt and phone her from all over the world, really cared for her and never forgot her. He was once told he should have married her and not Lisa Marie! but it seemed he was under so much pressure to keep up the 'Michael Jackson' act, image and lifestyle, and to create his art.
This book has deeply affected and moved me. I devoured it over two days! What is also astonishing is that after seven years, she cannot forget him, but neither can I, yet I never even knew him or had an affair with him! His spirit radiates from the book and is all around us.
However a few discrepancies surprised me, like him insisting being called the King of Pop, when the title was given to him by Elizabeth Taylor in 'Dancing the Dream; that he married Debbie Rowe to please people funding his show in Dubai, not his mother; that he was 5ft. 9 ins, not 5ft. 11ins; that he wrote some songs in collaboration with others, then took the credit. That is not what I have read elsewhere.
I was shocked at her saying we should be skeptical at what stars say, and believe the tabloids for the truth, the opposite of Michael's view, then later saying the opposite. I was puzzled at her remark, 'When you are in love there's not too much someone can tell you to make you fall out of love'? That makes no sense. I think, she meant there is too much that someone can tell you etc. and it was a typo. It was confusing at times.
Some of her actions seemed unlikely, but perhaps, such bold, daring and bravado can get you anywhere, and it certainly did!
I was shocked when she criticised and found fault with his behaviour at times, then later as 'kind and fun-loving', not a perfect human being, a complicated, not easily understood man, who could be whatever he chose. He could be demanding and difficult with directors, he chewed gum and he was messy! Human Nature!
But she still loves him, kids as friends, warts and all, and I am right there with her! Whatever he was, he was real, and definitely not sexually innocent; fascinating and mysterious, charming and charismatic, and an amazing lover, gentle and caring. His kisses were out of this world, as he was, she said. He could just be standing in front of you, not say a word, and you could feel his power.
This should definitely go a long way to dispel the myths about him flying around at the moment, which is what she intended., of course.
I read "Michael and Me" in less than 24 hours, following the anticipation of it's arrival, and I was not disappointed. Shana apparently had/has a pure Love for Michael, which was obvious by the length of time and patience she invested in being that "soft place to fall" for a man who led an extremely complex existence. At the risk of public ridicule and scrutiny, Shana tells her side of the story that many of us wish were in someway ours!
It was extremely refreshing to here about a side of Michael other than his talent and challenges with being in the spotlight....that of being a normal, Loving, passionate man. My heart raced, imagining his bright, brilliant eyes looking into Shana's as she innocently allowed Michael to take the lead as she trusted him and gave her heart to him.
I pray much success to Ms. Mangatal and I thank her for sharing such a special part of her life.
This is the best book I have read about Michael. For those of you who think it's an invasion of Michaels privacy, it's not. No where in the book is she sharing any of his personal information that shouldn't be shared. This book completely shows another side to Michael...the human side with flaws yet loving and caring. We all know the "King of Pop" but after reading this book we now know the man behind the King of Pop. I really wish everyone would read it because you would see that Michael was not a perfect angel but nobody is. Was he kind and loving? Of course he was but he also had a side to him that any one of us might have. Im so glad she kept a journal all these years of her experiences because everything was so accurate with dates, locations and conversations she's had with him and the people around him. She's truly blessed to have been apart of his life and experience the greatness up close. It may not have always been great but the fact that she have these special memories that can never be taken from her is a blessing. I definitely recommend that everyone get this book. It's refreshing and respectful. Give it a chance. It's the best book I've read about MJ. Thank you Shana for sharing a part of your life with us.
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book, Michael and Me. So, I received it yesterday and read it in 6 hours last night into the wee hours of this morning. I have taken the day to let it all sink in and settle in my mind before I write this review. Let me start by using 7 great words to some up you, your book and the relationship I think you had with Michael.
First word would be, LOYALTY !! You were truly loyal to Michael when everyone around him would sell him out for $5. Loyal for so many years. What a phenomenal friend he had in you !
The second word would be, LOVE!!! You loved Michael UNCONDITIONALLY even with all his human flaws that you personally witnessed from him for so many years. I am sure at times you were frustrated and wanted answers but you just accepted how it was going to be and went on with life with Love in your heart.
The third word would be PATIENT !!! The old saying, "Good things come to those who wait" is all I can say about the amount of patience you showed. But after reading your book, it wasn't about the romance and fairytale that we all have wished for.... (We all wished we were Michael's girlfriend or wife). No, for you it was about the journey and sometimes in this world we have to remember to embrace & enjoy the journey as it is happening. You, did that and WOW !!!
The fourth word that I can think of is BRAVE !!! You amaze me that at such a young age you knew what you wanted to do in life and you packed up and moved to California to follow that dream! You should be so proud (and no doubt your parents are) of all of your accomplishments in your life. Cheers to you !!
The fifth word that comes to mind is HONEST !! You laid it all out there for everyone to see. You were honest with us and yourself even when it came to the dependence on medication at times. You were honest about your beautiful relationship with Michael .... All of it !! The good and the frustrating parts !! By doing that and sharing with us the MAN your fell in love with, with all his human traits, you made us all fall deeper in love for this man we all adore.
The sixth word would be BEAUTIFUL !!! To begin with you are a beautiful person inside and out !! Your innocence in the book came shining through. I think, no, I know, that is what Michael loved about you (and your beautiful smile, too). I have heard that Michael loved to surround himself with people that would just treat him like a regular person. And you did that !!
The seventh and final word I would like to use is THANKFUL !! I can tell that you are so thankful for having this man in your life. As a lifetime, Michael Jackson fan, I am so thankful he had someone like you in his life. I am so thankful that you have written your book an shared with all of us this adult romance that we all hoped Michael would have in his life. Since the day we lost Michael, I just hoped and prayed that he knew true love in his lifetime and that he knew how much all of his fans loved him, too.
I am sure I can think of many more words that your book and time with Michael would inspire, but I will stop at 7 because we all know that was Michael's number 😄
Again, many thanks for sharing your experience with Michael with the world. I just noticed that you released your book 7 years after we lost him, I think that was very moving. You took your time to really think about all that happened and what the purpose of sharing such intimate details would be. You wanted to let the world to know the true man Michael really was. I so wish, like you and millions around the world, that we could turn back time and fix things in his life and hope for a longer life and happier outcome, but we can't because that was Michael's HIStory and now we all have to go forward with our own history, the one God has chosen for all of us. Blessings for a wonderful life and truly cherish all of those beautiful Michael memories.
Love, Donna ❤️😘
Shana Mangatal is a first time author and she has written an excellent book on pursuing one's dreams (no matter what our dreams may be, we can all apply that same determination to goals we set in our daily lives), love, heartbreak and the exciting world of entertainment in the decades of the 1980's and 1990's when superstars were at their absolute best and the quality of their work was unmatched. This is a story filled with nostalgia and it is also an eye opening look at Michael Jackson. Not only as the multi talented mega superstar he was but as a human being and as a man. I finished this book in one day as I couldn't put it down.
In "Michael and Me", Shana paints vivid pictures as she tells the story of the many years she spent with Michael- the good, the bad and the ugly. As I read her memories I was transported back to another time and space. I was right there in her world. This book doesn't bash Michael, rather it tells sides to him only people in his inner circle would know. You will not get the full picture by reading excerpts leaked online only and then coming to conclusions about the whole story. You have to read the entire thing in its context. Shana stresses in the book multiple times that she never believed he was capable of the horrible allegations he was accused of. She never insinuates nor does she call him a molester. She explains that he was terribly misunderstood and that his relationships with children were all completely innocent. He truly became one of them in their company and I think it was a very safe place for him to go. Some of the challenging aspects in Michael's life that are addressed in this book are all facts and are all public knowledge now. They are not secrets and they are part of the reason he is not on this earth anymore. Shana goes into further detail and explained things from her perspective, being on the inside.
Shana was raw and wrote about these events exactly as they unfolded without sugar coating anything. As magical and otherworldly as Michael appeared to be, at the end of the day he was a human being with flaws like every single one of us. Nobody is perfect. Painting Michael as a flawless person wouldn't be her truth. And as stated before Michael's battles are all public knowledge by now. "Michael and Me" doesn't vilify Michael instead it makes him seem like a regular guy.
Shana's life story, while still being written, has been really fascinating so far. I feel she has a right to share with people who truly are curious about it. She has done so respectfully. She has a deep love that still remains for Michael despite their roller coaster relationship. Michael is portrayed as a man with a big heart most importantly. A man who was extremely likable. A man who gave her some of her most precious memories. He was also a man who didn't always make the right choices and who happened to be battling inner demons that ultimately played a part in his demise.
I recommend this book for open minded Michael Jackson fans, both casual and hardcore, who are curious about the real man. I believe a lot of questions that fans have about the intimate nature of Shana and Michael's relationship are all answered in this book. It gets 5 stars from me. Congrats Shana!