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Some Girls: My Life in a Harem Paperback – April 27, 2010
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The Amazon Book Review
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"Lauren... is a deft storyteller, imparting equal parts poignant reflection and wisdom into her enlightening book. A gritty, melancholy memoir leavened by the author's amiable, engrossing narrative tenor."
"Some Girls would have been riveting even if Jillian Lauren had merely illuminated the murky world of high-class prostitution for the general reader. The fact that she does so with humor, candor, and a reporter's gimlet eye is an added delight. But Some Girls also undertakes the deepest challenge: it reveals how and why a middle-class kid like Lauren found herself in such a line of work--and how she got out."
-Jennifer Egan, author of The Keep
"Wow, what a story! Jillian Lauren's Some Girls is the most exotic sex worker memoir I've ever read. Imagine being paid to play with the richest men in the world? Few women dare to speak of their youthful sexual adventures with such honesty and clarity. I can't wait for the movie."
-Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D
Catfights, mad cash, priceless jewels -- what's a young girl from Jersey to do? Welcome to the sultan's harem, a secret world filled with artful seduction and parties that never end. What starts out juicy quickly turns soulful in this elegantly crafted, multi-layered stunner of a memoir. Lauren strikes the perfect balance between light and shadow in her spellbinding tale of one woman's exotic search for identity and true love."
-Rachel Resnick, author of Love Junkie
"Lauren is a gifted and lyrical writer whose coming-of-age tale has the reader firmly under its spell by the end of the first paragraph. Her emotional insight is deeply penetrating, allowing us to feel kinship with her even as we marvel at her rarefied adventures. Lauren generously brings us along for an amazing ride as she seeks, and then finds, meaning and connection in her life. I couldn't put it down."
-Nina Hartley, author of Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex
"Jillian Lauren's Some Girls takes readers into a world so dramatic, it seems almost too far out to be true. But the bracing realism that infuses her storytelling lifts the veil of harem life and shows us the gritty truth of life in fantasy-land. Her transformation from dream girl-for-hire to rock-n-roll mama proves that resilience and reinvention, more than diamonds, are a girl's best friend.
-Lily Burana, author of Strip City
"Some Girls reads like a swiftly-paced novel, but gets under your skin in a way fiction can't. This is a striptease of a book, sexy and mesmerizing at first, but at the end a very real woman stands in front of you, exposed and vulnerable. I couldn't put it down, and when I was done, I couldn't stop thinking about it."
-Claire LaZebnik, author of Knitting Under the Influence
Top Customer Reviews
It is, tangentially, about that.
More than that it is a story about a troubled young woman, who was on drugs, who became a prostitute, who had a falling out with her parents and ran away to become an "actress". But she was a terrible actress so she stayed a prostitute.
The first quarter of the book is that story.
Suddenly, a mysterious person promises this girl a lot of money if she is willing to "work" abroad. She takes the job.
She ends up in the "harem" - if you want to call it that - with a number of other prostitutes.
The story discusses the politics of life in a harem, how other women are not your friend, how they stab you in the back when you're not looking, etc. etc. The story also discusses in detail how absolutely dull it is to live in a harem. The prince they are waiting on features very minimally in this story.
The end of the story is the young woman's redemption, how she sees that she has moved past the harem, and now has a family of her own and is happy and normal, etc. etc. If that seems abrupt, it is. The "normalization" of the drug addicted prostitute is not discussed - it is simply a "and five years later, she was sitting in her living room with her children and her husband, and she saw a news report about her prince, and she wondered..." Lame.
The story wasn't particularly well written, especially in the beginning, and that seemed to be on purpose - to highlight the transition from the stupid young prostitute to the smug world weary married woman. I don't feel that this technique was effective.Read more ›
In short order, Jillian finds herself installed in quarters in a fabulous palace in Brunei, lavished with clothing, jewelry and money, in sexual service to a prince. Along with Lord knows how many other young women, all of whom are competing ferociously for the attentions of this man in the hope that he will see something special in them and fall head over heels in love. It's like being trapped in a gilded cage with a bunch of cobras for company.
Like the singer of the 1970s hit, Jillian eventually realizes that life in Prince Robin's harem is empty and meaningless, so she packs up all her loot and returns home. Where she promptly runs through all her money, so she decides to go back to the well one more time. And resolves to be less starry-eyed and more business-like in her dealing with the Playboy Prince.
SOME GIRLS is competently written, but, ultimately, as empty and meaningless as the glamorous life led by the singer in the trite 70s song. I shudder to think how many young women might, inspired by the author's lucrative experience, try to hook up with prince who has a harem, only to find themselves in the hands of pimps and traffickers.
It turns out that it is a true (and believable I might add) story about a young aspiring actress who answered to a casting call that ended up being a 'casting call' for fresh new girls to join a harem belonging to a prince of Brunei. As dramatic as it sounds, I could see how easily an eager, young, naive girl who was struggling financially could lose her morals and judgement to keep her self safe could get involved in something like this. Think of all of the young girls flocking to Hollywood or attending some audition or photo shoot by some sleazy creep with alterior motives? Lucky for Jillian, she went willingly, wasn't abused and was allowed to leave (the harem) willingly - when her time was up that is. Regardless of being paid hoards of money and receiving expensive gifts of jewelry and designer clothing shopping sprees, she WAS expected to stay within the palace compound and at times, even in a particular room and expected to be available whenever the prince 'wanted' her OR when he wanted his brother, the Saultan to have her as a gift for an afternoon.
As interesting as the basis of her book, I felt her whole experience and sharing her story with us was wasted on mediocre writing talent...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fresh! Exciting! Very thought provoking. Such sincere, deep honesty. What an interesting person the author is. Thanks for a glimpse into your enthralling life!Published 1 month ago
Such low self esteem. I had to force myself to finish it, since I have never finished a book. Giving one star just to be kind. Read morePublished 2 months ago by William C. Percin
Meh. The writing is first-year comp profundity. This is self ethnography for hire. If she hadn't had the cushest of all hooking gigs, nobody would even glance at the manuscript. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Renee St. Louis
This was a great read. I was expecting it to be a typical, trashy "tell all" about exploits as a prince's mistress, but it was SO much more. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Katie Leigh
Amazing memoir! You will read it in a single night! Then read her next memoir "everything you've ever wanted". So so good!Published 4 months ago by Pearl
I'll reserve judgement until after I read this book - but it did catch my eye.Published 4 months ago by Fussvillesue