I’ve never read a celebrity autobiography before, but I started watching Tori Spelling’s reality show Home Sweet Hollywood on Oxygen where she is constantly alluding to troubles with her mother. I got so curious that I had to buy the book and see what she was talking about. I don’t normally review a book if I’m going to bash it, but every other review I have read has been so positive, I just had to put my opinion out there for a little balance. Most of the book revolves around her feelings about her mother. The childhood gifts Tori got from her mother that she never wanted, her mother’s comments about Tori’s original nose, her mother’s unwanted interference in Tori’s first wedding reception, and her mother’s reactions to Tori’s divorce and father’s death. In the book, Tori repeats over and over again that she is not “complaining”. However, it is basically one complaint after another. She complains that she never gets privacy from paparazzi, yet she invites People Magazine to her “private” second wedding in Fiji (p. 238). She claims that she wants to keep her son, Liam, safe from the paparazzi, yet he was born and spent his entire first year on a reality show! She complains that she is bothered by the media as much as Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston, but, poor Tori, she doesn’t have the money they have for security guards and gates, nor does she have access to the free designer fashions (p. 231). She constantly complains that her career has been permanently damaged by her father’s nepotism and her ten years of portraying “Donna” on Beverly Hills 90210. She complains that she and her mother are not close, yet she seems to only contact her by email. Would you email your mother you were getting a divorce? According to Tori, her mother’s resentment of her all started when she overheard her husband and Tori’s father, the famous T.V. producer Aaron Spelling, tell Tori that he “loved her more than Mommy” (p. 264). Tori seems to be totally clueless about her part in conflicts. She misses her mother’s 60th birthday bash and wonders why her mother says things like, “Everyone who cares about me was there.” Hey Tori, that’s just good old-fashioned Jewish guilt talk for, “You weren’t there, you should have been, and my feelings are really hurt.” Yes, someone really needs to spell this out for her.
She claims to be “Daddy’s little girl,” but, toward the end of his life, she didn’t bother to see him for nine months (p. 258). She mentions that when she talked to him on Father’s Day, he “sounded like he’d had a stroke, but nobody told me anything” (p. 249). Um, suggestion for you Tori, if you think someone you love is very ill, ask someone about it. Your brother was there, your mom was there, pick up the phone (she was on set in Canada) and find out if your dad really had a stroke, or if he wants you to come home. She complains that she wasn’t with him when he died because no one told her about it.
Some of the book reveals a really creepy side of Tori. She brought the “biggest kitchen knife of of the knife block,” to a meeting with Dean’s first wife (p. 220). She wants food such as beans and potatoes to have a “friend” such as another bean or potato on the plate. She feels “sorry” for the food and doesn’t want it to be alone (p. 208).
Overall, the book is boring and repetitive. She alludes to so many great stories, but never gets to the meat of them. For example, she had her breasts done, but doesn’t explain why and whether she would do it again. Her feelings about this would have been helpful to other women and girls with poor body image. Similarly, she mentions that she lost a baby before Liam. Did she have a miscarriage? How did she deal with it? By the way, if you are looking for great gossip about Beverly Hills 90210, you won’t find it here. She says everyone “pretty much” slept with everyone else, and leaves it at that. The big insider gossip about Shannen Doherty: she was late a lot and tried to manipulate the staff to make herself look good. Come on! There had to be better stuff to tell than that!
Clearly, Tori has a lot to say to her mother, and, as Tori would probably admit, this book is her own passive-aggressive way of telling her mother all the things she should have told her years ago. Putting her homewrecker adultress status aside, Tori seems like a genuinely good person. The very fact that there is no juicy gossip about her friends and family is testament to that. Based on the book alone, it seems like most of her unhappiness is self-created and self-perpetuated (Just like in her show when she complains that the paparazzi ruined “private family time” registering for her baby shower. Tori, what kind of “private” time do you expect to have when you invite your own cameras from your own reality show along for these allegedly private moments?) Even though I’m annoyed with her for giving out ridiculously incorrect information about breastfeeding on The View (hey, she never went to college after all), I still find Tori’s show very entertaining, even if her book was not. If you have any curiosity about Tori’s talent, check out the music video she made with her current husband, Dean McDermott. It is super cute, and I can’t get the catchy tune out of my head. Sorry about the review Tori, I really hope you work things out with your mom. Clearly she loves you in her own way, and you love her in yours.