One for the Books “I’ll Never Change My Name”


Caroline Dew

Kaitlyn Craig, Columnist and Human Interest Coordinator

Recently, I finished reading the book, “I’ll Never Change My Name” by Valentin Chmerkovskiy. This book is very different from most of the books I review here because it is a memoir instead of a novel. Val Chmerkovskiy is a pro dancer on the hit competition reality show, “Dancing with the Stars”. Which, if you know me at all, you know that it is easily one of my favorite shows ever. But that is beside the point.

Val wrote this book to mainly tell his life story of moving from Odessa, Ukraine to the United States with his family when he was 8 years old in order to find a better life in the land of dreams. It also follows his personal life journey, his professional ballroom dance journey, and his journey on “Dancing with the Stars”. He wrote this book to tell that, though it would be easier for success in Hollywood to change his name to something easier to pronounce, he is too proud of himself and of his heritage to change his name.

He talks a lot of his likes and dislikes, his love for family, his passion for dance, and throws in a lot of funny stories from his childhood and from his recent years. This book was definitely one of the best books that I’ve ever read. It was so real and honest, and that was incredibly refreshing. I feel like someone who had never even watched “Dancing with the Stars” or knew who Val was would thoroughly enjoy this memoir. He puts himself on the pages so you truly get to know who he is as a person. Everyone knows that Valentin Chmerkovskiy can tell beautiful stories through dance, but we now know that he can tell beautiful stories with words too. I would give this book a 4.5/5.