Jillian Lauren opens her book like an angst ridden Elizabeth Wurtzel tell-all of a smart girl making bad choices but quickly looks away from the tough stuff rendering this into the book that almost was.
The author breezes past her history of family abuse, drug addiction and eating disorders as if they are a normal part of childhood. Her time with the Sultan of Brunei chronicles her depression and lots clothes and handbags but she glazes over the cultural environment, the subtle workings of the women's group and there is surprisingly little sex given the subject matter. Ms. Lauran does touch upon the complicated emotions of being a 12 year old girl looking for the love and approval she lacks from home in the bed of a camp counselor but again, there is one line devoted to her father's appalling response. Like many readers, I wanted to know how did she come to this? We are given just enough to dance out the cultural sterotypes, but for once I wanted some blame assigned, not a trite, feeble, 'because I was restless' as a reason. I don't even know how to veiw her quest for her birth mother or her brother's mental illness as they are wedged into the flow of the story.
The last third of the book is rushed with more allusions to drug addiction until she is suddenly living in a proper suburban neighborhood full of kids on bikes, baking cookies. We don't really see how she got here, we just see her waiting for her son, soon to be adopted from Ethiopia. Let's hope she picked up some parenting skills along her jouney.
A fast read, one I'm glad I picked up but there are many unfinished elements that might drive other readers batty. Would not recommend for immature older teens, they might think sex work is all about sitting around and shopping for handbags. Reserve It