Some of you may have followed the saga of me trying to get my hands on a free copy of Sliding Into Home by Kendra Wilkinson with Jon Warech, a real professional writer who I hope got paid a LOT of money to put up with Kendra’s giggle). You can read all the letters I wrote to her agent and publisher and book publicists here. They are all hilarious if I do say so myself.
Sadly, the same cannot be said of Kendra’s book.
Instead the book is a straightforward reminiscence of a short life (I think she’s about 25) filled with bad choices, odd choices, and nudity. Lots and lots of nudity. Written with small words.
Kendra rose to reality super-stardom as one of the three original Girls Next Door on the E! series chronicling the lives of Hugh “Playboy” Hefner’s girlfriends. Kendra was the sporty one. Also the dumb one, the young one and the one I always suspected of being gay underneath it all. Dunno why. Maybe all the times she commented about how other women looked? And not just in a Playboy-centerfold-comparing-herself-to-other-centerfolds way. In a locker room sort of way.
After she left Hef for a football player, she got her own spin-off series that showed her trying to live on her own, getting married and getting knocked up. At least I think that’s what it’s about. I never watched it because I always found Kendra the least compelling of the three girls. Which sort of begs the question why I wanted to read the book at all. But isn’t that obvious? I wanted to know about Playboy mansion orgies! Duh! The sex situation was always left kind of ambiguous on the show and I wanted to know the real scoop. I also want to know about the production behind a reality show. I’m very curious about how much of a show is staged, how much is storyboarded about, how much is manipulated by the producers.
Kendra, unfortunately, didn’t really get into the parts about the production of a reality show though she did let slip that certain things were arranged specifically for filming like when the girls all got scuba certified. But she didn’t go any further than that.
As for the rest, WELL! She did dish. The first part of the book was the story of Kendra’s rebellious young years. She was basically a shit. She partied, did drugs, skipped school, drove her mother to tears, and tried her best to fuck up her life six ways to Sunday. She alludes to the problem being rooted in her father leaving when she was very young and that probably factored in but she rings totally false when she says people didn’t care about her – her mother and grandmother were doing their damndest to care for her and she was blowing them off and doing meth and coke instead. She also claims repeatedly not to care what people think but I think she cares a whole lot and it’s the root of everything she does: classic approval seeking, by any means necessary,
After her high school years of bad behavior, a stint in a pysch ward, and other misadventures, she started stripping and getting photographed at car shows. Through the car show shots, her photo got in front of Hef as a possible “painted girl” for one of his parties. He apparently called her, never having met her in person, to ask her to be his girlfriend. Whereas a normal person with self-esteem might have said “Ew! Perv!”, she moved right in to the Playboy Mansion. Where no one liked her. So she spent all night in the kitchen with the butlers eating junk food. Except for Saturday nights when she would go out with Hef and a lot of other girls and then head back to his room. There they all took turns servicing him. Holly would go first then all the other women in the room would follow. Hef just lay there, on his back while different girls did their thing to him for about a minute then made room for the next girl.
I’ll give you a moment to stop dry-heaving. Because that whole scene sounded perfectly foul when Kendra wrote it and I have not been able to make it sound less foul.
After a while of this, E! came calling and made the show. They pigeon-holed her as sporty and kind of a party girl and she didn’t really know how to change that. So she didn’t change it: she just did it. The show finally made her friends with Bridget and Holly, a situation aided because sometime during the series, Hef stopped the weekend orgies. Thank goodness. I imagine it’s a lot easier to like you’re co-workers when you don’t have to sit naked in a hot-tub with them while waiting your turn to…well, you know.
It was during some Playboy event that she met Hank Baskett who she dated in secret, fell in love with over the phone, and eventually left Hef to marry. Now they have a cute kid. That’s the least interesting part of the story, except for how she describes her position on motherhood being one of not making too many rules because her mom made too many rules and all she wanted to do was break them. Nice. Way to make your mom feel even worse about all the damn drugs you did. Blame her for it. Classy move.
So, in a nutshell, the most interesting parts of Kendra’s life were televised, she sheds only a little light on what went on behind the scenes of her shows, and the poor dear did have to nail Hef.
Now, I KNOW someone else out there is dying to read this book. So, I am giving my copy away to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment and I’ll enter you into a drawing to win my copy of Sliding Into Home. Which may or may not have an ice cream stain on one of the pages.