Monday, August 10, 2009

Book Review: "MOMMYWOOD" by Tori Spelling

If you thought Tinseltown was tough...

Tori Spelling might have grown up with everything a girl could wish for, but these days she's just another suburban working mom...whose toddler regularly recognizes her in the pages of Us Weekly. Welcome to Mommywood, where the stars are two feet tall and your neighbors know who you are before you move in.

Like most parents, Tori wants her children to have the one thing she didn't have as a kid — a normal family. On their hit Oxygen reality show, Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, the starlet and her husband Dean McDermott regularly wrestle dirty diapers, host the neighborhood block party, and tackle temper tantrums on the red carpet. But when the cameras aren't rolling, Tori's still having awkward run-ins with a former 90210 costar at a laser tag birthday party, scooping rogue poo out of the kiddie pool on a resort vacation, and racing to win back her pre-baby body before the media starts calling her fat. For all her suburban fantasies, Tori Spelling is no June Cleaver.

With the same down-to-earth wit that made her entertaining memoir sTORI telling a #1 New York Times bestseller, Tori tells the hilarious and humbling stories of life as a mom in the limelight. From learning to be the kind of parent her own mother never was to revealing what it's like to raise a family while everyone is watching,Mommywood is an irresistible snapshot of celebrity parenthood that you won't get from the paparazzi.


I am a fan of Tori Spelling ever since I was hooked on watching 90210 many years ago! I read her first book, Stori Telling, and I also watch her reality show on Oxygen. I was excited to read this book and wound up reading it in a little under two days- I could not put the book down! Mommywood is an easy read, it is a guilty pleasure book! Tori Spelling definitely has a way of being able to connect to her reader. She not only is a celebrity, but a very hands on mom and loving wife. She has two children, Liam a son who is a little under two, and Stella who is an infant, at the time she wrote this book. She is married to Dean McDermott who also has an additional son Jack from a previous marriage. Her work ethics are admirable. Even though it appears in the press that Tori has been handed everything in her life, that is far from the that life she lives. She is extremely hard working, having a jewelry line, clothing line for children, a reality show, and also appearing as her character Donna Martin in the new episodes of 90210.

Mommywood, the title of the book, is Tori's term for being a mom in Hollywood. She has many celebrity friends and attends red carpet events to promote the projects that she is working on. I enjoyed reading about many of these encounters. One example was when Tori was invited to P. Diddy's twin daughter's birthday party. She frankly writes how she was surprised to receive the invitation because they don't really know each other. Then, she was stressed out because she had to get them a gift, and was at a loss of what to buy. Tori then realized she did not even know their gender! She confessed to searching the internet to get the answer. There are other encounters with other celebrities Tori discusses as well that were just as exciting to know.

A surprising read was her brush with her former costar Luke Perry. Dean's son Jack was a classmate of Luke's son also named Jack, and he invited him to a laser tag party for Jack McDermott. Tori was excited to see Luke, they had not seen each other in years. At the party, Luke, to Tori's shock, gave her the cold shoulder and completely ignored her. As I read the book, I felt so sorry for Tori. She had no idea why he was upset with her, and she is clearly hurt by Luke's behavior. To top it all of, the only time he spoke to Tori was when Luke asked her where the bathroom was. Tori did not know, and Luke rolled his eyes at her. She was too afraid to approach him to clear the air between them and did not resolve their issues.

Mommywood gives you an captivating glimpse inside the world of a celebrity mom. While many celebrities may read the book, I am sure the major readers are everyday mothers who enjoy reading Tori's day to day challenges and experiences as a mom who balances parenting and a career. There was one experience Tori wrote about when she first moved into her new neighborhood. This was a dream of hers to have a suburban family life style. She was so excited to have the home with the white picket fence, and the friendly neighbors in the neighborhood. Tori had longed to have a "normal" life and desperatly wanted that now. She tried to fit in, and even was thrilled to be apart of the annual block party. Tori baked a cake (which failed) and quickly encountered the preconceived notions the neighbors had of her. Needless to say, she was upset at the end of the day.

I am so impressed that she is undoubtedly a hands on mom. Her family is always present on the red carpet with her. She brings her family wherever she goes, even if a tantrum may occur! Both Tori and Dean are the main caretakers of Liam and Stella. She writes about how feeding her children is not such an easy task. Tori decided one day that she would make all of Stella's baby food from scratch. She realized that rather than feeding her the vegetables from a jar, not only was the fresh blended route healthier for them, they enjoyed the flavor too. It is one thing to talk about being a great mother, but to follow through and change those small details is very admirable in my book.

Tori is very candid throughout this book about her relationships, especially her mother. It appears as though the relationship was never perfect. But, as a daughter, you can tell that Tori has some resentment towards her mother for not always being there to support her. Now that she is a mother, I feel as though Tori is realizing it more, and wishes the situation was different. Tori had a nanny growing up who she felt was more of a mother to her. I can relate to Tori's strained relationship, and appreciate her candid experiences she has included in the book. Tori always writes that now, having a daughter, her biggest fear is to not repeat the relationship that she has with her mother, both in the past and in the present. In life, you can either repeat history, or learn from the mistakes and challenges you have been accustom to and change them. Tori has made the decision to change, and I applaud her for this. She is very sad that her mother isn't involved with her children, and the fact that she is able to express the pain and sadness that she has experienced proves that Tori is human, and like all of us she can be hurt and disappointed in life.

I obviously enjoyed reading this book. It was a humorous and light reading that contained Tori's embarrassing moments, challenges, and joys. You definitely want to see Tori succeed after reading this.



  1. Mara,
    I just stopped by to "browse" through the site and when scrolling down, I caught your review of Tori's book. Great! I have actually read both of her books and (ugghh) her mom's also. I am fan of their show and I wish her mom treated her better. Tori and her family are so nice, I don't know what's wrong with her mom. Anyway, very nice review and I will look forward to reading more reviews from you. I love your site, as I'm starting to feel like its a "one stop shop" and that is unique. Keep it up! When your lovely daughters (they are beautiful, thank you for putting up a picture) post some more, I am going to have my kids look at your site. And Sami, don't worry about which book to review (I saw your latest post) as whatever book you review, I'm sure it will be great and you don't have to choose, review many books! Thank you all!
    Da Book Mom