Monday, November 29, 2010

Book Review: Sliding Into Home by Kendra Wilkinson and Priceless by Nicole Richie

This week book theme is clearly books by people who are famous for being famous. This does not make them good authors. I learned this the hard way.

Sliding Into Home

Well, I think the statement that sums up this book is the question my husband posed to me when he saw I was reading it, “Is that by that idiot on TV? What is she famous for again?” Umm, yeah.

First, I don’t think Wilkinson is an idiot. She has parlayed her biggest assets into a fairly successful career and that does take a good head on a girl’s shoulders. Her time on reality TV also portrays her as a very kind girl with a good heart. Second, she is famous for being Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend and starring on the reality TV shows, “Girls Next Door” and “Kendra.”

However, that does not mean Sliding Into Home is a good book. It’s clear that the ghost writer tried his best, but it just wasn’t enough. The book is basically just the timeline of Wilkinson’s life. Missing from the book is any type of emotion or analysis of what happened to her. It was unfortunate that I read this book right after Diablo Cody’s Candy Girl because it made this omission all the more glaring. Wilkinson relates her time stripping as being crazy profitable and filled with sisterhood and rainbows and unicorns. I really have a hard time believing that. She recounts her time as a drug addict the same way. She could stop at any time, it’s just that she didn’t want to. Drugs magically appeared for free most of the time to maintain her habit. The violence and dirtiness that usually accompanies drug addict stories was suspiciously missing. And then she was able to just quit – again, magically avoiding withdrawal.

I’d give this book a pass unless you were a huge fan of the Girls Next Door. The strongest chapters of the book are where she provides the behind-the-scenes scoop on what was really going on at the Mansion during her time there. Otherwise – leave it on the shelf.

Priceless: A Novel

Priceless: A Novel by Nicole Richie is as good as you'd expect. I had high hopes for this book because I have really enjoyed Lauren Conrad's series of young adult fiction novels. Conrad's use of behind-the-scenes knowledge really elevates the book. In Priceless, Richie is just not bold enough. She has an okay plot and her writing style is adequate. She just doesn't take the risk and really delve into what it means to be privileged due to no doing of your own and the crossroads that many spoiled rich kids reach when they have to decide who they are going to be. She skirts around the edges of that discussion entirely. If she had really dove in, this piece of fiction would have actually been pretty good.

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