The Telling Tales of Tori Spelling

As promised…the Tori Spelling entry!

New York Times Best Selling Author Victoria Davey Spelling, better known to you and me as Tori Spelling (or Donna Martin or “Screech’s nerdy girlfriend”) has two literary masterpieces to her name: sTORI Telling (2008) and Mommywood (2009) A third book, Uncharted TerriTORI is due in June, with her children’s book, Presenting…Tallulah due in October.

We’ll begin with sTORI Telling, where Tori tries to convince us that, despite her ultra fabulous upbringing, she is an average joe, just like you and me. Guess what? She succeeds. Although I did find myself rolling my eyes at her boo-hooing over things like how she didn’t get to choose the color of her first B.M.W. when she turned sixteen, take away the minor details like being on one of the biggest television shows of the nineties and having uber-producer Aaron Spelling for a father, and you have a regular girl fighting her way through adolescence and her twenties, which is something everyone can relate to on a certain level. That being said, there are two rather infamous sections–Tori discussing her affair with Mind Over Murder co-star Dean McDermott and her relationship with her mother. The one that got to me the most was not the latter (frankly, I feel a lot of the drama was sensationalized to sell books and keep the Spelling family in the press. I’ll dig into this a bit more when I review Tales From Candy Land , which will be when the Mid-Hudson or Westchester Library System gets it in.) but the former.

Tori should have been more upfront about her extramarital affair and not trying to write a romance novel. (I’m not joking, on page 185 she talks about her last night shooting a movie with Dean. Apparently, they sat next to each other writing lines like “I want to go to Paris with you” and “I want to marry you.” In the book, this written as  nasuseous-making line by line He wrote/I wrote exchange.) She’s trying to redeem her actions, but Tori, sweetie darling, guess what? You cheated. You’re a celebrity and you got caught cheating. You bet it’s going to get blown up in the media. (Although her actions were small potatoes compared to those of Tiger Woods and Jesse James.)

I’m in the middle about Mommywood, which is a collection of essays about Tori’s experiences as a mother of two trying to juggle her career and the want to be a stay-at-home mother. I really liked the book at first–Tori’s voice was more mature, less self-pitying, and her stories were actually cute. Then I tuned in to Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood.

While watching, it hit me that perhaps Tori wasn’t writing from the perspective of Tori the girl from sTORI Telling, but Tori the girl from that show on Oxygen. “Oxygen Tori” is always “on.” Even when she’s not wearing make-up, even when she’s fighting with her husband, she is “on.” (of course, when you know you’re going to be filmed, you put on an act because you’re aware that other people are going to be watching.) It’s as if her handlers didn’t like the reputation she had gotten from sTORI Telling, and decided to rebrand her as real-life Donna Martin. Okay, that’s an odd metaphor, but I can’t really describe it. If you read the book first and then watch the fourth season, you’ll see what I’m talking about…I hope.

Have any of you read Tori Spellings works? Or would you prefer to think of her as the girl who played Donna Martin on 90210?  Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Next week: The Marvelous Marie Osmond!

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