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Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity Paperback – June 2, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; Reprint edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401309925
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401309923
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Half NPR announcer, half phone-sex operator, Cynthia Holloway treats Cohen's memoir of youthful sexuality and familial disarray with a mixture of breathless eroticism and This American Life deadpan. In either style, Holloway reads intimately, drawing in listeners with her breathy, close-miked voice. There is something icky and quasi-pornographic about having the details of real-life teenage sexuality shared so familiarly, but Holloway's voice—knowing, lightly ironic, capable of sounding adolescent while remaining firmly adult—salvages the situation. Like those NPR voices, Holloway maintains a crucial distance from the story she shares, immersing herself in the tangled folds of adolescent confusion while indicating, ever so subtly, her separation from it. A Hyperion hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 11). (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Cohen recounts her harrowing litany of hookups through clear, poignant, spare-no-details prose."—Marie Claire

"Cohen's brutal honesty about her relentless request for companionship is refreshingly relatable."—Entertainment Weekly

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

270 of 283 people found the following review helpful By Jack Holden on June 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I probably had no business reading this book. I'm a 20 year old guy, and Cohen's new memoir has been clearly targeted towards women, specifically young girls still coming of age. When I was buying it, the lady at the Borders cash register gave me one of the strangest looks I have ever seen. I tried to explain. It was recommended to me by a friend, so I figured it would be an interesting read. I'd just sell it back on Amazon after I was done.

All that being said, there is no way I am selling this book.

We have all seen those girls at bars and parties, the ones who flaunt themselves around. The ones everybody calls whores and sluts. Maybe you look at them with disgust. Maybe with pity or empathy. Maybe, if you're like one of the guys in Cohen's story, you look at them with lust. Whatever it is you think when you see a promiscuous girl, this book will change your mind forever.

Loose Girl holds nothing back. Cohen writes about her journey with heart-breaking honesty and detail that will make you cringe. The recount of sexual incidents during her childhood and adolescence is melancholy and at times very disturbing. As she continues on through high school and college, making the same mistakes over and over, the story becomes downright agonizing. The last section reads like day turning from afternoon to dusk, or perhaps late night becoming dawn. Every chapter holds new truths. She answers questions that can't be answered--questions about why we are the way we are, what it means to love and be loved. There is a part where she realizes "Not being able to live without someone is not love. It's need." Quotes like this make the book unforgettable.

In the process of writing and publishing her memoir, Cohen has taken a lot of unwarranted criticism.
Read more ›
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100 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Char on June 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
To be honest, I also could not put this book down once I started reading it. From a purely user-friendly perspective, it's a simple, quick read. No sophistication here at all, and in this case, it's a good thing so that one really absorbs the story. Also, I too, like so many others who have already read this book, can identify in a very personal way with Kerry's experiences...the degradation, denial, and self-loathing that comes from desperately trying to find love and feel loved at any cost. This "theme" is nothing new to most women who grew up in a post-Watergate or Generation X time period, whether experienced first-hand or through movies and literature of the time.

HOWEVER, to describe this book as a story of "finding her way toward real intimacy" (from the front cover flap) and "a model for recovery and real love" (review on back flap cover) is to totally mislead. Nothing could be further from the truth! Kerry is still sleeping with nameless, faceless men right up until the end, when she meets her husband-to-be, Michael. Who she then is engaged to within a period of 8 months. THIS is recovery? I don't think so. In fact, on Kerry's website, she states that she still struggles with some of the indentfied issues in the book.

I'm not trying to knock Cohen down as an author or a person. However, saying that you've been healed/recovered simply because you finally got married is akin to saying that you've conquered alcoholism simply because you stopped physically drinking alcohol. But there's more to it (anyone hear of a "dry drunk"?) and we all know it. The likely truth is that Kerry has been healed by the actual WRITING of this book, and good for her. But if anyone thinks this book offers any insight as to how she decided to stop sleeping with every guy she encountered, forget it. It's not there. Choose to enjoy this book only as a launch-point in thinking about and analyzing your own similar experiences.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey Kleinman VINE VOICE on June 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Loose Girl is a well focused look at one woman's journey through insecurity, dysfunction and unhappiness. It reads a lot like many other 'addiction' books but since the 'addiction' it covers is sex, the highs and lows are a lot less extreme. Author Kerry Cohen does a good job of drawing the reader in and
creating a very vivid and engaging world. Her writing is clear, flowing and polished. I found myself zipping through the book fully engaged with Cohen's journey. My biggest gripe is that the book has almost no third act. Cohen's story has a very distinct beginning, middle, but a very soft end. I felt there was more book in Cohen and she stopped short of where the story could have taken her. The writer's Bio indicates that Cohen is now married with children, but the book never really ventures into how her past has shaped her present or now how reflecting on all this has impacted her as she moves forward. Even with a less than full ending, I still did like Loose Girl, it's well written, engaging and worth reading especially for fans of the genre.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Lois Lain VINE VOICE on October 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Most of this book was written with such unflinching honesty, that the poor ending and lack of self-examination or understanding was that much more of a disappointment and shock.

While the author traces her history of longing for physical attention, I felt for the uncertain teenager who believed her worth came solely from males. I believe this is a trap that is easy for any young woman to fall into, but Cohen did so with a vengeance, sleeping her way through high school, college, and beyond.

While I appreciate her bare-bones honesty, I found the book lacking in any sort of self-analysis. I never got the sense that Cohen understood why she felt so undeserving of love, nor why she stayed in unfulfilling, dysfunctional relationships.

Suddenly, she seems "recovered," though I wonder if she truly has made her way out of the abyss. Instead, I think she just replaced one relationship with another. The book ends on a high note, but I think it will be just a matter of time before her insecurities suck her back into her black hole.
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More About the Author

Kerry Cohen is the author of seven books, including the bestselling Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity and Seeing Ezra: A Mother's Story of Autism, Unconditional Love, and The Meaning of Normal. Three more books: The anthology Spent: Exposing Women's Complicated Relationship to Shopping; The Truth of Memoir: How to Write about Yourself and Others with Honesty, Emotion, and Integrity; and Girl Trouble: A Memoir are forthcoming. She has appeared on Dr Phil and Good Morning America, and has had her essays featured in The New York Times Modern Love series and The Washington Post. She has a psychotherapy practice and lives with the writer James Bernard Frost and their four children in Portland, Oregon.

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