Brooke’s Book Review : Holly Madison’s “THE VEGAS DIARIES”
Monday, July 18, 2016

When a book contains the line “Oh my God, my uterus is falling out of my vagina!”, you KNOW it is going to be good.

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I couldn’t get enough of Holly’s second memoir tell-all – well, almost all – she didn’t completely give out everyone’s name for their privacy. Because she’s a class act. I know y’all might think I am being facetious here because we’re talking about a former Playboy Bunny (damnit, I already forgot, Hols doesn’t want to be linked to that hell hole mansion anymore), but I’m being completely honest. I mean, we can jest and be sarcastic. But, as a huge fan of “The Girls Next Door”, while many people may have thought Holly was the more snobby of the blonde trio, I thought she was ahead of the game and had a good head on her shoulders. In “Down the Rabbit Hole”, her first memoir, we read all about the plight suffered at the Playboy mansion and as I read it, I thought, “Girl, I KNEW something was going on under the surface. I mean, come on – calling Hef ‘Puffin’? I could tell you wanted to vomit a little every time you said it.” You can check out my “Down the Rabbit Hole” review here!

Where “Down the Rabbit Hole” is more so a tell-all of the darkness suffered based upon the trap of someone else (in this case a silk robe wearing nasty old man who hasn’t had his carpets cleaned since the 70s. Ew.), “The Vegas Diaries” is a tale of Holly overcoming her OWN inner blocks to create the future she really wants. And, that, my friends, is something we all can relate to. Because, there’s a little Playboy Bunny in all of us really. We’re trapped – rather it be by a literal nasty old man or the figurative nasty old man inside of our head wanting to break free.

I really couldn’t put this book down. Having a fun “Wizard of Oz” theme that parallels Vegas to Oz throughout and starts each chapter off with a fun quote from L. Frank Baum’s masterpiece was a lot of fun. I found Holly to be easy to relate to, candid and entertaining as hell. And, even though there were some times I wondered, “Hols, why were you hating on your attachment to Playboy so much? Isn’t that what’s helping you get these opportunities?” I learned that even if that was the case or partially the case, it was Holly’s hard work that helped her secure and keep her gigs and long stint in “Peepshow”.

“The Vegas Diaries” starts off with Holly leaving the Playboy Mansion and beginning to pursue a career in burlesque. She ends up in the bright lights of Sin City and makes the dessert her home and she then learns of an opening in a burlesque “Peepshow”. We watch Holly make goals on her list and go on the journey to knocking them off (I know that sounds dirty but I didn’t mean it to be, this time. Promise.) HOL’S GOALS: (1) burlesque career at The Crazy Horse – no check BUT landing a gig that soon becomes long standing in the burlesque show Peepshow -check (2) make friends -check (3) buy a home – check (4) find a man – no check BUT finding herself – BIG CHECK (5) figure out what’s next – check-ish. (I think there’s going to be another memoir in the works, but that’s just speculation, y’all.)

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In this tale, we see that Holly really is fulfilled through work, fun and friends – not by having a man. Though she’s a huge Disney fan, it’s not like she’s waiting for Prince Eric to come and save her. And, that’s what I dug about this book. It’s only when she finally acquires her own reality show that she’d been pitching for over a year that she really starts dating. And, that’s more so because production wanted to have a juicier plot line on “Holly’s World.” As she says, “As a woman it seemed a man had to be the motivation behind everything I did.” By the way, she didn’t even get credit for creating “Holly’s World”. It was a show that SHE thought of based on HER life in Vegas and she didn’t even get a credit for creating it. As a woman also in the entertainment biz, I’m like COME ON HOLS! WHY DIDN’T YOU FIGHT THAT SH*T ?!?!

But, easy for me to say. I wasn’t in her shoes (but I am in some awesome red shoes, see below.) Though her career was forging ahead, it was almost like her confidence wasn’t quite catching up. And, that’s why she couldn’t really go after the big boys because as we all know, if you aren’t yet up to believing in yourself fully, no one else will. I like how Holly opens up to her readers about this. Because, we always want to seem like we have our sh*t together. It takes vulnerability to admit otherwise. “There was still the part of me that thought I had to cut corners, forgo pay or settle for less than I was worth because I felt like I wasn’t good enough.”

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And, while some may think “Oh man, you’re DOING IT GIRL! You have a CONTRACT and a HOTEL SUITE and a CONVERTIBLE” it doesn’t mean that she didn’t have to make nice and people please along the way (something that she had to do at the Playboy Mansion – sidebar – is the “M” in “Mansion” capitalized?). Those demons from the days at the mansion were still haunting her. Speaking of haunted, Holly and her peeps do take a road trip to the haunted Amargosa Hotel which is now on my #bucketlist. (You can get a good visual of it here, thanks to Google Images.)

While, for me, it’s a super fun and UN-guilty pleasure to read a book that dishes celeb gossip, what I appreciated most was watching Holly’s journey of re-creating herself from scratch. As we read about Holly’s struggle and I personally can relate with it because for some of us, much of the struggle is within. “I constantly heard a critical, overly ambitious, always unhappy voice that was fueled by all the…haters, by the toxic manipulators in my life and most of all, by me.” I think there’s many of us out there, especially us creative types, especially us women, especially us creative type women who want to do it all but yet have a voice inside them simultaneously telling us that none of it can be done. Or, maybe that’s just me and Hols. Bottom line, I think “The Vegas Diaries” is an AWESOME summer read – or winter read, it’s nonseasonal really.

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(PS. I really wanted to show you my RUBY SLIPPERS! I think Hols would approve. But, would she approve of me calling her Hols?)
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(Okay, that’s better.)
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Brooke Hoover
I guarantee my blog shall include updates of awesome gigs, random musings, my thoughts on the autobiographies I’ve read (my guilty pleasure), tales and sometimes tails, too!

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