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The Real Girl Next Door Hardcover – July 26, 2011

3.3 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born outside of Chicago, Denise Richards began working as a fashion model and moved to L.A. after she graduated from high school. She landed parts in both TV and movies, and gave breakthrough performances in Starship Troopers (1997) with Casper Van Dien, Wild Things (1998) and The World Is Not Enough (1999), in which she plays a Bond Girl. She also was in Undercover Brother (2002) with Eddie Griffin and appeared in Scary Movie 3 (2003). She was the star of E!’s Denise Richards: It’s Complicated in 2008 and 2009 and will star in a film in December 2010 called Mother’s Little Helpers. She also has a recurring role in the second season of Spike TV’s Blue Mountain State in 2011.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451633211
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451633214
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,219,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm not the type to follow tabloids and reality shows, so my recollections of Denise are from her roles in movies. And as a James Bond fan, Dr. Christmas Jones is my second or third favorite Bond girl of all time. This is why I took a chance on her book.

The first third of the book was the most interesting. Detailing her childhood and her rise to stardom in Hollywood. You learn a lot about a person from the environment she grew up and the people that raised her. I found that part to be genuine and delightful.

As we entered into areas of her marriage, suddenly the book changed. Details became scarce and generalizations, abundant. And on the reasons of her divorce, there were no details. She writes, "These issues are so personal that I don't want to divulge exactly what changes, and if you've ever been through a similar situation, you know the details don't matter."

While I agree that whether or not Denise shares those details with us is her prerogative and hers alone, but from an autobiography standpoint, it works to her disadvantage. I have not been through a similar situation, and I don't even know what that situation is. Suddenly I'm finding myself unable to connect with her emotionally. Maybe those memories are so painful that she has learned to push them into dark corners of her heart and leave them there. Or maybe she's legally barred from revealing the truth. Or maybe she lacks the courage to expose the details for the fear of judgement of the things that she did wrong. Whatever the reason, we're only left with speculations and little else.

But a little color did return to the book when she talked about her mother's death, and the effect it had on her family. Details were always abundant when she writes of her parents, but never her relationships.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am about 30 pages away from being finished with this book but I think that entitles me to say a little something here about it thus far.

Fist, it's really a book more about Denise's relationship with her parents than anything else. How the core values her mother and father instilled in her ended up being the safety net she continually fell back on over and over during the rough patches in her life.

There is absolutely ZERO hollywood gossip here. She gives away only the facts we already know, with a few sweet moments with Charlie and Richie mixed in but no detail at all at what conflict lay at the heart of the matter to lead to the divorce with Charlie or the breakup with Richie. I understand she doesn't want to give away too much personal info but she could have shared diplomatically, *something* more than just the chronological time line of when things were good and "bumpy" as she puts it. No fun stories about making movies or other actors or anything. But by the end of the book you sort of get the vibe she really is a Girl Next Door. Simple and sadly....not very interesting. Not to be mean but she just has nothing to say about any of her hobbies or interests or real passion. She seems to take life as it comes and does well with what she gets and i understand she's not a writer, per se, but.......it was BORING. I kept waiting for a fun story or personal note or *real* information besides the advice dished out over and over about the same things.

I find this to be Denise's book about Denise. Which is fine if that's what you seek. I wanted more though. I wanted detail on her falling love with Charlie, some heart. There's some tender moments to be sure, but I had a lot of questions.
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Format: Hardcover
I wanted to read this book SO badly because I love Denise and have always found her interesting. This book, however, is not. Although some of it is very sweet and endearing, I was very disappointed to learn that she divulged NOTHING about her relationship with Charlie, why it went wrong, or what happened. She tells the reader NOTHING, which makes me wonder why she bothered to write a book at all. If it's too personal to talk about, then perhaps you shouldn't be writing a biography on yourself. It would have been nice to have some insight into what really happened behind the scenes. Boring, boring, boring. It had so much potential too
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've seen Denise Richards on the Howard Stern or other shows (her own reality series, perhaps?), you probably have a sense of her personality. The book doesn't veer much from that or as Denise herself explains it, "my life is more of an improvised two-step". She is definitely a woman who is comfortable moving at break neck speed, whether trying out for a television series, serving as a guest host on air or being a Bond girl on film (Denise admits to being less than a stellar Bond girl).

Be forewarned: if you're looking for gossip about life with Charlie Sheen, you won't find much about that...with the exception of the book's intro... until Part Four. But the book is still a fun, light read, even before the infamous marriage with Sheen. Before meeting Sheen, Denise describes the highs and lows of life in Hollywood, from her breast implants to getting naked on film.

There is also plenty about Richard's early family life, including details about her parents and the values they instilled. She came from relatively modest beginnings and describes moving into an ancient fixer upper home, one Denise calls "the ugliest home in the neighborhood."

The section on family takes up the first 4 chapters of the book but you can skip it if you want to cut to the chase and get current updates on Denise's life. But I actually enjoyed her description of family camping trips as well as an account of a bizarre condition that afflicted her mother. Even the anecdotes about family pets were better than I expected. All of this is fairly lively (again, for those into celebrity bios).

So why only 3 stars? Mainly because I've read far better celebrity biographies. Some of you may feel this one is worthy of 4 or even 5 stars, especially those who are fans of Denise Richards. So much of this is subjective. I didn't have trouble getting all the way through the biography and it didn't bore me but in the end I didn't feel it would stick with me for more than a day.
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