Year of the Bookwormz: 2011

52 weeks. 2 friends. 1 challenge.

Book #23: Fabookulous & Book #36: LibraryLove July 11, 2010

uncharted terriTORI by Tori Spelling

Book description: It’s not every Hollywood starlet whose name greets you on a Virgin Airways flight into la-la land. But Tori Spelling has come to accept that her life is a spectacle. Her name is her brand, and business is booming. Too bad when your job is to be yourself, you can’t exactly take a break.

Tori finally has everything she thought she wanted- a loving family and a successful career- but trying to live a normal life in Hollywood is a little weird. With the irresistible wit, attitude, and humor that fans have come to love, the New York Times best selling author of sTORI telling and Mommywood is back with more hilarious, heartwarming, and candid stories of juggling work, marriage, motherhood, and reality television cameras.

Tori comes clean about doing her time on jury duty, stalking herself on Twitter, discovering her former 90210 castmates’ “I Hate Tori” club, contracting swine flu, and contacting Farrah Fawcett from the dead. Like many mothers, she struggles to find balance (Stars, they’re just like us!)- only most women don’t have to battle it out with the paparazzi at the grocery store. She talks openly about the darker side of life in the spotlight: media scrutiny over her weight and her marriage to Dean McDermott, her controversial relationship with Dean’s ex-wife, and her unfolding reconciliation with her mother.

Having it all isn’t always easy- especially when you’re a perfectionist- but with the help of her unconventional family and friends, an underwear-clad spiritual cleansing or two, and faith in herself, she’s learning to find her happy ending. Because when you’re Tori Spelling, every day brings uncharted terriTORI.


It took me a while to hop on the Tori Spelling bandwagon. I was never a fan of hers during 90210 and didn’t care to see her movies or give her a second thought, really. Then her reality show came out and two of my girlfriends (LibraryLove being one of them) talked about how much they loved her and how funny she was on her show with her family. So I sighed heavily and watched an episode of the show. I was surprised to find I actually liked her! Tori’s wit and humor cracked me up and her sweet relationship with Dean was endearing and cute to watch.

So naturally I stayed on the bandwagon and read (and loved) both of her first two books, sTORI telling and Mommywood. I loved how candid she was and how much she shared. My mouth dropped while reading of her mothers’ neuroses at her first wedding, and I couldn’t imagine having a mother as neurotic as Candy Spelling.

While the show has fallen down my favorite list, I still wanted to read the newest Tori book. But I was so disappointed with this one. More than one chapter detailed events that have aired on the show (stale material, anyone?) and I felt like the book makes Tori Spelling look like a freak-show. I mean, really. The woman is afraid of EVERYTHING and quite frankly, that’s exhausting to read about over and over. She (admittedly) lives her life in fear of anything and everything that could happen in a given day. I rolled my eyes more than once, thinking “Get a hold of yourself, woman.”

Tori’s obsession with other world mediums is out there. She consults psychics (even gifting visits with them for loved ones) and has voodoos performed in her home and on her person. Feeling she had an evil spirit within her, “Mama Lola…combined cornmeal, dried beans, vegetables, and chopped-up yams. She added gin and Florida water, a cologne from the nineteenth century that’s still popular in South American and Caribbean cultures…chanted…slashed my clothing into strips.” She goes on for an entire chapter about this experience and it leaves me (the reader) wondering why this wasn’t a “private” event that she refrained from publishing?

Reading about her going to her mother’s for a Christmas party convinced me she is JUST like her mother. Once portrayed to be a loony tune, Candy Spelling raised a daughter just like her. Communicating through Candy’s assistant, Tori plans to attend a Christmas party at “The Manor”, the obscene Spelling private residence. Reading about Tori getting ready for this was unreal. She went to Papyrus to get their fanciest gift wrap paper for the hostess gift she was giving her mother.  When curling her hair, she writes, “How would my mother react? Would she think I was too old for long, loose curls? Would wearing it up be more lady-like?” While picking out her outfit, she writes “I started with red…but then I got nervous about wearing red because I didn’t want my mother or anyone else to think I was trying to steal the show. I must have tried on a total of eight dresses.” I mean, listen, I get that there are perfectionists out there, but this is exhausting. No wonder Tori winds up in the hospital, literally sick to her stomach with stress and migraines on more than one occasion. She drives herself crazy!

I am disappointed to post a negative review because I’ve been a fan for a while. But this book paints Tori Spelling as a self-obsessed, neurotic, spoiled and materialistic wack-a-doodle. Definitely not my favorite of her books. Though she was still funny in her writing, the craziness far outweighed the comedy. Maybe next time?

2.5/5 stars

Happy Reading,


Note: In order to properly review this book, I have not read Fabookulous’ review and will do so only after I hit ‘publish’. We’ve never done a simultaneous read/review before. One of my besties, Planet Books, is also reading this book as we speak. Can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts…here goes.

Driven, Type-A, quirky multitasker who loves her busy life and to entertain with flair while surrounded by family and friends. These are a few personality traits that Tori and I both share. She is so misunderstood and I wish more people would stop judging her solely on her role as Donna Martin on 90210. Despite the fact that we have VERY different views on a LOT of things, I’ve found common ground with her just in reading her 3 novels, let alone watching her show Tori & Dean which chronicles she and her husband’s lives. uncharted terriTORI is her best book so far, in my humble opinion. In uncharted terriTORI, Spelling’s 3rd and latest installment of her autobiography series, she continues to allow the public in to her life with no holds barred. Spelling’s most endearing quality? She is literally and figuratively an open book. You’d think after dealing with all the media scrutiny, failed marriage, unsuccessful pilots , movies and business ventures, she’d become a hermit and keep a life outside the public eye. But instead, she takes her reputation seriously and wanted a chance to show the public the real Tori, crazy VooDoo cleanses and all.

In her first novel, sTori Telling, Spelling opened up mostly about her childhood, family struggles, and about her show so noTORIous. Her second novel, Mommywood, was mostly about how to balance the ever-dynamic terrain of being a new mother, when she didn’t have a positive one to model her ‘motherliness’ after. In uncharted terriTORI, Spelling is learning how to juggle TWO children, a husband who wants her attention, more successful businesses than I can count on my hands and toes, AND executive producing a hugely successful reality show on the Oxygen network. I’ve been Team Tori from the beginning and couldn’t care less whether you like her or not. I couldn’t care less about who saw me reading this book at the pool and judging me thinking I’m shallow, vapid or any of the other words you may be thinking. If you know me, or have been following along with this blog, you know I have depth and I guarantee you if you read any one of her books, you will change your opinion of her. What makes uncharted terriTORI such a great ‘palette- cleansing’ read,  is that being a loyal Tori fan, I’ve watched Tori & Dean since the first season when she was pregnant with first son, Liam while The McDermott’s managed to open a Bed & Breakfast. I’ve watched her grow on so many levels right before my, and America’s, eyes.  Her books basically summarize her life events that unfold on the shows, but it’s like we’re getting to read her commentary from each episode in the book. I do think she has a serious anxiety disorder (cluster C) that she needs assistance and counseling to offer her better coping mechanisms, none of us are perfect. This past season, she really struggled to find a balance between all the hats she wears in her life and most of all, to keep the passion alive in her marriage, keeping Dean a priority which, to her credit, she is shockingly candid about. It’s refreshing to see how Tori’s communication style continues to grow and mature. She’s finally getting to a place where she can openly confront issues rather than harboring them and blowing a gasket…although she does that too QUITE a few times and sending herself straight into the hospital all year-long because of the stress during last season’s taping of Tori & Dean.

Bottom line, if you need a fun and quick read (I read this book in two days), I recommend you pick up uncharted terriTORI or at least one of her other books.

4/5 stars

36 down, 16 to go!

In progress-The Lost Girls and the Wander Year: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World.




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