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Some Girls: My Life in a Harem Paperback – 27 Apr 2010

3.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Plume Books; 1 edition (27 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452296315
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452296312
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 541,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

""Some Girls" is a heart-stoppingly thrilling story told by a punk rock Scheherazade. Lauren writes with such lyrical ease - the book is almost musical, an enduring melody of what it is to be a woman."
-Margaret Cho
"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."
-"Kirkus" Reviews
""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"

"Some Girls is a heart-stoppingly thrilling story told by a punk rock Scheherazade. Lauren writes with such lyrical ease - the book is almost musical, an enduring melody of what it is to be a woman."
-Margaret Cho
"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."
-Kirkus Reviews
"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

About the Author

Jillian Lauren is a writer, storyteller, mom, and rock-wife. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoirsEverything You Ever Wanted andSome Girls: My Life in a Harem, and the novelPretty.Some Girlshas been translated into 18 different languages and is currently being adapted for TV. She has written forThe New York Times, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine, Elle, The Daily BeastandSalon, among others.
She lives with her husband, musician Scott Shriner, and their two sons in Los Angeles.
www.jillianlauren.com"


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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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I finished this book a while ago now and I am still torn about whether or not I liked it. It was readable, extremely so, and I did enjoy reading it but I am still unsure about how much of the book I can actually believe. Some Girls is an autobiography of Jillian Lauren - an American who became part of the harem of Prince Jefri, one of the princes of Brunei. There is a little background on how she came to become a prostitute and how she was selected to be one of the girls flown to Brunei when she was just 18 years old but most of the story is covers her life in Brunei.

Jillian Lauren is very self-indulgent, a little self-obsessed and seems to think she is shy and insecure when all the evidence points at the exact opposite. She isn’t a particularly likeable person in the book and at times I found myself just rolling my eyes about things she was saying or doing. I’ve no doubt that she must have elaborated events to make them sound more fantastic. The events are extravagent, and extreme and I am sure some of this happened - but I feel there is more to it than is written here. Because of this it is hard to feel much empathy for her and makes you feel like you don't really care how her story finishes and toward the end of the book I found myself wanting to just shake her.

However, despite the short comings this was an oddly compelling and interesting read. Good literature? Definitely not. Good light reading? Yes, I think so. And, at the end of the day, there aren't an abundance of books set in Brunei and this ones gives an interesting insight into a world that was hidden for decades.
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Format: Paperback
It was OK, not bad, not good. Nothing too heavy. I liked the way she described things. I didnt when he wanted us to believe she fallen in love with him. (REALLY???) and how she wasted all the furtune she made there...
I liked the insight view on the girls, see what motivated who and to read more about this huge and dangerous GAME. It made me think how different we are and I could not settle being a very rich man`s 200th woman JUST for all the money. Not judging here its just weird.
Anyway. I dont regret reading it, it will make you think!
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The author recounts key aspects of her life in this memoire that focuses mostly on her stint at a courtesan in a harem for the royal family in Brunei. Prior to this interlude in her life she reviews aspects of her upbringing with her adoptive parents that alternate from endearing to abusive (the latter occurring from her father, a broker with a penchant for playing show tunes on the piano).From an early age she pursues a course as an actress and continues this at NYU where she stays only for a short time before dropping out. To make ends meet she turns to one of life's oldest professions and this ultimately leads to time in the royal castle/compound where she caters to the needs of the royal family, specifically the males but with considerable material benefits. Most of the action in the harem has to do with the infighting and competition within the ranks of the women who come from many different countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, etc. Life in Brunei is luxurious but restricted as well as "monitored." The author tells her story in the first person with warmth, color, humor, candidness and a good writing style. For the most part she manages to carry the story along and keep one entertained.
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I was quick to judge both the book and the author, but the further I got in to it, the more I enjoyed the story and empathised with the author. The blurb on the back led me to believe she was almost sold unwittingly in to life in the Harem, but Jillian Lauren is painfully honest about her own motivations and experiences there. The insights in to daily life in the harem are very interesting, with details on their restricted but indulged lives, the expectations of the girls, and the relationships between them.
Jillian is honest and mostly unapologetic about her lifestyle and behaviour, which makes her an intriguing character.
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I got this book for free a while ago and I really enjoyed it. I felt like perhaps some things where made up but even so her descriptions were amazing and I felt I was living in this world. I think if you want to read something a bit different you should pick this up I do not think you would regret reading it.
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