Unlike many of my generation, I did not follow the 90210 frenzy. I’m not a fan of reality television in general, and so I really had no idea what to expect from Tori Spelling’s first book sTORI Telling when I picked it up at Repeat Boutique yesterday. Other than it was a 50c book (most books there are 25c) and I have a (now not so) secret love of celebrity books.

I loved just about everything about it. The style, the pace – and the bold awareness of having (and in many ways continuing to be) the poor little rich girl.

I’ve long abhorred the paparazzi. I stopped buying Teen Beat as soon as I realized how utterly demeaning it was to the people who were featured in it (and magazines like it). It’s not one of those things I even bothered talking to friends about though. I just sensed that most of them wouldn’t get it. I related too well to Tori’s description of gauging what a guy wanted and expected and molding herself to that. That’s one of my coping mechanisms too. Or at least it has been. It’s one of those things I’ve identified and am working on.

I love how she’s open about therapy – and how it was her best friend that gave her the gift certificate for her first session (or sessions…she wasn’t clear on how big the certificate was – just that he’d given it to her).

I love how’s she’s straightforward about the crap things, but grateful for the good.

In the final page she writes

We are not defined by the family into which we’re born, but the one we choose and create. We are not born, we become.

That really resonated with me – as did the story of her boyfriend Nick, her abusive boyfriend. Only going to prove again – that it can happen to ANYONE! Money, social status – none of that matters when it comes to abuse.

Even while she was being beamed into living rooms across the country and around the world, at home she was made to feel ugly – as pseudo fans tore her apart in magazines and people throughout her life cashed in on her fame reporting her whereabouts and selling pictures to the tabloids.

I certainly didn’t have that kind of pressure to face as I endured the years with my soon to be ex husband (yes, it’s still a work in progress, and yes, it is my fault!) – at least I wasn’t in the public eye, being picked apart by vultures poking at things that are none of our business. Why should I care that she had a nose job? I’m vain in different ways, so I hesitate to judge.

Ultimately, I am kicking myself that I didn’t pick up the other book she wrote that was on the shelf. I seldom buy more than one book by an author I’m new to. I’ve been burned with styles and topics that I haven’t like before.

Overall, I think this is a great book to read as a survivor of intimate partner violence though I wish she hadn’t glossed over the hard work that she must have done through her therapy work. I wish she had included more of that – given glimpses of what kind of tools increased her awareness – that built her confidence – that cranked up her faith when times got tough.

She admits to being a drama queen, but she also comes across as a hard working, genuine individual – who like so many of us has had to grow up with little guidance from parents with their own issues – who fall into dangerous and damaging relationships and find the power and faith to break free and find peace (and love)

I have to admit a wee bit of jealousy that she was able to figure it out so much sooner than I did, grateful for her sake that she didn’t have babies until she found true love (even if she found it in a way that many would disapprove – I do like that she was candid and honest about the way she found husband number two while they were both married to spouse number oneat the same time…no judgement, ya know.)

It’s an easy read, enjoyable and ultimately heartwarming.

I will be peeking to see what she’s up to these days and following a bit more closely now. If you want to keep up with what she’s up to as well, check out her official website.

 

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