Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity

( 175 )

Overview

Kerry Cohen's journey from that hopeless place to her current confident and fulfilled existence is both a cautionary tale and a revelation. Loose Girl is Kerry Cohen's captivating memoir about her descent into promiscuity and how she gradually found her way toward real intimacy. The story of addiction—not just to sex, but to male attention—Loose Girl is also the story of a young girl who came to believe that boys and men could give her life meaning. Never less than riveting, Loose Girl re-creates what it feels ...

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Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity

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Overview

Kerry Cohen's journey from that hopeless place to her current confident and fulfilled existence is both a cautionary tale and a revelation. Loose Girl is Kerry Cohen's captivating memoir about her descent into promiscuity and how she gradually found her way toward real intimacy. The story of addiction—not just to sex, but to male attention—Loose Girl is also the story of a young girl who came to believe that boys and men could give her life meaning. Never less than riveting, Loose Girl re-creates what it feels like to be in that desperate moment when a girl tries to control a boy by handing over her body, when the touch of that boy seems to offer proof of something but ultimately delivers little more than emptiness. The unforgettable story of one young woman who desperately wanted to matter, Loose Girl will speak to countless others with its compassion, understanding, and love.

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Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
"Cohen's brutal honesty about her relentless request for companionship is refreshingly relatable."
Marie Claire
"Cohen recounts her harrowing litany of hookups through clear, poignant, spare-no-details prose."
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.
Library Journal

This is a brutally honest memoir by a woman who discovered at age 11 what it feels like to be noticed-not as a cute preteen but as an alluring sex object. From then on, Cohen sought out sexual partners-more than 40 of them over a dozen years. Growing up in northern New Jersey, Cohen and her best friends began hooking up with guys at friends' apartments in New York when their parents were out. When her mother entered medical school in the Philippines, all parental supervision seems to have gone-until her father returned to assume some of his duties. But, anxious to be cool with his daughters' friends, he smoked pot with them and encouraged their sexual pursuits. Cohen headed to Massachusetts for college, only a half day's drive from partners and pot in New York. Then, for the next 15 years and 225 pages, Cohen hops from place to place, always finding men to sleep with, desperate to feel loved, addicted to her power over men, losing herself in need. Cohen is not proud of her past-she says she is disgusted-but this memoir gives readers a forthright look at the addiction of promiscuity. Highly recommended.
—Linda Beck

Kirkus Reviews
The author probes her troubling relationship to sex. As a teen, Cohen, who wrote the young-adult novel Easy (2006), indiscriminately sought the sexual attention of men and boys her age in a desperate attempt to make up for the love her parents denied her. Figuring she slept with close to 40 partners before realizing "doing so was not serving [her] well," the author recounts in spare, incisive prose the many unfulfilling sexual exploits she enacted in a vain attempt to secure "proof of being loved." Looking back on those moments, her bald account brings to the fore the double standard between the sexes when it comes to promiscuity. "For a man this might be a pleasant trip down memory lane, counting up his conquests," she writes. "But for a girl, it's a whole other story. I had let these men inside me, wanting that to make me matter to them. Wanting it to make me matter." Cohen's training as a psychotherapist is clearly evident. She reveals an impressive analytic prowess as she exposes the damaging self-effacement that underlies the seeming assertion involved in attracting men to her and then driving them away. Though by the memoir's end she's changed course and entered into a long-term relationship that meets her needs, Cohen admits: "I've learned at this point there's no shot I can receive, no pill I can take, no therapy I can be a part of that will give me the resolve to do the things I need to do to be loved. It's a choice. A simple choice. I say I want intimacy. I say I want to be loved. But really, I'm petrified. The straight truth is, I don't know if I have it in me, and I'm scared to find out that I can't." Cohen's ultimate ownership of her issues leaves as much of an impression asher openness in putting them out there. An important look at the dynamics of female sexual power and promiscuity in general.
From the Publisher
"[Narrator Cynthia] 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." —-Publishers Weekly Audio Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401309923
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 6/2/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 215,463
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Kerry Cohen is a psychotherapist who works with teens and their families. She received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon and an MA in counseling psychology. A mother of two, she is a native of New Jersey but makes her home in Portland, Oregon.

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Read an Excerpt

Loose Girl A MEMOIR OF PROMISCUITY
By KERRY COHEN
HYPERION Copyright © 2008 Kerry Cohen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4013-0349-5



Chapter One I am eleven the day I begin to understand what it means to be a girl, walking into the next town as I often do, on my way to browse at the pet store or the hobby store, to do something with the endless, hot summer days that seem to stretch on and on. A semi truck, slowing at an intersection, honks. I look up and see a middle-aged man, thirty-five, maybe forty. He is smiling at me, his eyes on my body, dark stubble on his cheeks and chin. "Hello, there," he says, and winks. For the first time, I am aware of my green gym shorts, which stop at the top of my thighs. My white T-shirt feels tight against my training bra. I am just a girl, but I could also be a woman. The man's eyes linger on me, friendly, suggestive. And then he releases the brakes, the truck sighing, and is gone. I stand and watch him go, alert, changed, understanding but not quite understanding.

I think to myself, That was easy.

My father moved out recently, another statistic of the 1980s divorce trend, leaving us in a house with no men, just my mother, older sister Tyler, and me. My mother, grief-stricken and frantic, is busy with need. Her need takes up space-so much space there is no room for my own. Sometimes she does physical things with this need, like laying three tons of bluestone to make a patio or ripping out the carpet on the stairs. But more often, her desire weaves through the house like cobwebs. It takes over the house, inch by dirty inch, until there is no air left to breathe that isn't filled with her longing. Some days I come home to find her crouched in a fetal position in the kitchen, her cries loud and terrible, while I stand, my hands open at my sides. Her need is ugly and messy, mixed up with mascara tears and groaning, overflowing and seemingly endless. It pushes me outside, away from her, left to wrestle with my loneliness, and with my own desire that has just started its stirrings.

It is around this time, when I am twelve, that Ashley and Liz, my two closest friends from private school, and I make a plan to meet three boys in New York City. Liz knows one of them, Milo, because he is her mother's friend's son. She knows Milo's mother, a single mom, will be out of town on business Saturday night, leaving him in their apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Milo is allowed to have a couple of friends stay the night, as long as they promise not to leave the apartment and as long as their parents know they will be there without adult supervision. Liz is a year older than Ashley and me. She has already been to third base with a boy, letting him touch her down there, and because of her expertise with boys we let her take over. According to Liz, we will each tell our parents we are staying at one another's houses for the night. Then we will make our way into the city to Milo's house, where he will wait with two of his friends, Geoff and Dylan.

On Saturday, the three of us get ready at my house.

"Your hair looks good like that," Ashley says after I use the curling iron.

"Those boys aren't going to know what hit them." Liz leans into the mirror, her mouth open as she applies eyeliner. My mother is out with friends, so we are in her bathroom cabinet with her mascara and lipstick and eye shadow.

"We're smokin'," I say, laughing, following Liz's lead. Ashley laughs too.

"Move over, Christie Brinkley," she says.

"Here." Liz bends past me to wipe Ashley's eye. "Your eye shadow's a little smudgy."

My mother owns tons of makeup: Chanel mascara and eye pencils, Yves Saint Laurent and Estée Lauder lipstick, the tubes lined up in rows like little soldiers. No Bonne Bell or Maybelline here. Liz and Ashley are excited that they get to try such expensive brands. There are other things too-tools for tweezing and bleaching and cleansing. So much I don't know about yet when it comes to being a woman. Plenty of mornings I sat on the closed toilet seat and watched my mother stand at this mirror, cleaning, removing, and applying. It struck me as a lot of work to become presentable, but I liked the busyness of it. I liked the idea that I could use these items and become something better than I was. Now it is me at the mirror, applying blush, sucking in my cheeks like I saw her do so many times. We are giggly as we curl our hair and spray it so it feathers. All three of us wear miniskirts and jean jackets. My skirt is denim, and Liz's and Ashley's are black jersey. Liz ties her shirt into a knot so it shows off her stomach. She shows me how to make mine do the same. She does Ashley's, too, but Ashley undoes hers, uncomfortable showing so much skin.

We catch the 7:25 bus, which takes us onto Route 9. At the George Washington Bridge we take another bus to the Port Authority at 175th. From there we walk down the long, graffiti-filled corridor to the C train, which we take to West 86th Street. By the time we get to Milo's, it is ten o'clock. The streets are busy with Manhattan nightlife. Girls like us, but much older, walk along Columbus Avenue with lit cigarettes and duck into bars. Men laugh loudly. A couple kisses passionately against a building wall, the man's hand tucked up under the woman's shirt. My friends and I are excited. We are a part of this night, this passion, this potential for deep feeling. Anything can happen, anything at all. We ride the elevator to Milo's floor, our hearts fluttering in our chests.

Milo answers the door, and my heart sinks. I imagined him as much cuter, a boy from the movies. Instead he is short and freckled, like me. In the living room, the boys are watching Eraserhead, that bizarre David Lynch film about a man who discovers he has fathered a mutant infant. We sit awkwardly on the couch, clutching our purses on our laps. I can't follow the storyline at all. Instead, the strange images horrify me: the grotesque baby, the woman with swollen cheeks. Eventually, we begin to couple up. Ashley goes off with Geoff, Liz with Dylan, and Milo is left with me. I am used to this, being the one not chosen. It's not that I'm not pretty in my own way. I'm just not notable. A year earlier the boys in my classroom divided us girls into three categories: love, like, and hate. They spent their free reading time huddled around a table and decided which category each of us belonged to. We girls sat at our desks, trying our hardest to read, but really we were all listening hard for our names to come up. Liz, who has blond hair and unfreckled, pale skin was put in the "love" column. When the boys agreed she should be listed there, we all nodded to ourselves. It was no surprise. One sad, awkward girl, a girl who was so tall all the crotches of her tights peeked out below jumpers that were too short, was sequestered to "hate," which again was no surprise. Silently, I hoped they would shock everyone and put me under "love," like Liz. But they didn't. I was clumped with everyone else under "like." Unexceptional and invisible. Not meant to be loved.

Milo takes my hand and we climb the stairs to his small, cluttered bedroom. He presses Play on his tape player, and the Rolling Stones' "Beast of Burden" fills the room. We sit on his bed and, though I have no attraction for him at all, I allow him to kiss me. His tongue is clumsy and unpleasant in my mouth. It is my first kiss, and it isn't at all what I expected. But I stay with it, eager for the experience. He pushes up my shirt and touches my tiny, sensitive nipple with two fingers. Just as he pushes me down on the bed, just as I feel the strange pressure against my leg of his erection through his jeans, there's a knock at the door. I feel a vague relief at being stopped. Milo, though, frustrated at the interruption, opens the door in a huff.

Liz and Ashley stand there, jean jackets on.

"What the fuck?" Milo says.

"We're going." Liz looks at me, ignoring him. Then, to him, "Your friend's an asshole."

"What happened?" I ask.

"Ashley told Geoff no, but he kept pushing."

I look at Ashley who stands beside Liz, her jaw tight. She is clearly upset.

"He wanted to do more than kiss," she says.

I frown, hoping Milo won't say anything about the fact that I just allowed him to put his hands on my breasts. Instead he says, "Why don't you stay and they can go?"

I smile at him appreciatively, but when I look back at my friends, Liz is scowling. "I can't," I say. "But thanks."

"Fine," Milo says. I find my jacket and we go to the door. I wait for him to say something as we leave, like he wants to see me again or wants my number. But he just slams the door after us.

"Fuck you," Liz says as we make our way down the hall. "He was always an asshole. I don't know what I was thinking." Ashley and I look at each other and laugh, relieved that it's just the three of us again.

By the time we are outside, it is one thirty a.m. The streets are still lively, but the subway is deserted. Back at the Port Authority, we are conspicuously out of place at this time of night. The buses that travel across the bridge back into New Jersey only come every two hours, so we hang out in the dirty, fluorescent-lit terminal, waiting amid the drug-hungry beggars and the homeless who had found shelter for the night.

Eventually the bus does come, and we ride over the bridge and back toward my house, trying to stay awake. At the top of Closter Dock Road, though, when there is nobody left on the bus but us, the bus stops and the doors exhale open. "Everyone out," the driver says. We sit up, confused. We're going to Harrington Park. But when I ask, the driver informs us that after midnight this is as far as he goes. We try pleading with him to take us anyway, just this once, but he refuses, probably thinking we shouldn't be out there in the first place, three young girls all alone.

So we step down off the bus, and the doors sigh closed. We stand by the side of the road. The air is cool, the night silent. No laughing, no made-up women, no couples and passionate kisses. Just the soft rustling of the leaves as a breeze lifts them. We're ten miles from my house. Ashley starts crying. Liz and I look at each other, trying to determine what to do. Liz sees it first: a few hundred feet down the way is a gas station with the sign OPEN 24 HOURS. We whoop and run toward it, purses banging against our hips. We walk into the office where there are two young men smoking and playing cards. Their eyes light up as we walk in-one, two, three girls, all dressed up in miniskirts. The desk where they sit is metal with a fake wood top. A small, grainy, black-and-white television murmurs on the desk. They clearly weren't expecting anything like this tonight.

"Well, well," the larger one says. He is blond, his face young. "What do we have here?" He glances over at the other one who is dark-haired, skinny, and wearing glasses. That one raises his eyebrows. Liz tells them our story, how we went to the city to meet guys, how they treated us badly, and how now we are stuck here, ten miles from my house. We need a ride home. The clock on the wall reads 4:00 a.m. The two men exchange a smile.

"We can't just leave the station," the blond one says. "Right?"

"That's right." The other one nods, his eyes moving from girl to girl.

"You'll have to wait until five," the blond one continues. "That's when we get off."

His face breaks into a smile, and he starts laughing. I can see his teeth are stained yellow. "Get it?" he says to his friend. "That's when we get off." The other one laughs, nodding his head.

The three of us huddle.

"I don't know," Ashley says. She's uncomfortable.

"What else can we do?" Liz frowns.

"They're strange men." Ashley has been warned as we all have: Don't get into cars with strange men.

"C'mere," the blond one says to me when I look back at them. Liz and Ashley widen their eyes at me. Liz giggles.

"What?" I say. Usually Liz is the one getting the attention.

"C'mere," he says again, more insistent.

I bite my lip and sidle up to the desk, unsure what to think.

"How old are you?" he asks, his eyes holding mine.

"Why?" I say.

"Just answer me," he says. "How old?"

This close I can see the age in his face, a weathered darkness that makes him look older than he probably is.

"Sixteen," I lie. I hear Liz giggle again behind me.

"Is that right," he says. He presses his lips together. Clearly he doesn't believe me.

"We all are," Liz says, but he doesn't take his eyes off me.

"You're still jailbait," the other one says. "Right, Tim?"

"That she is." Tim winks at me.

I look down at the desk. Someone has carved into it with a razor: D loves G.

"That's gross," Ashley says. She grabs my arm and shoots Tim a look. "We'll be sitting over here until you can take us home." Ashley pulls Liz and me to the other side of the room, and the three of us sit on the ground against the wall. Eventually a car pulls into the station. Loud music streams out the windows, and the boys and girls inside yell to one another. Tim goes out to get them gas. The other one, named Gary, ignores us, keeping his eyes on the grainy television.

"We're not really sixteen," Ashley says suddenly, and Liz smacks her arm.

"No duh," Gary says and snorts.

We look at each other. "How did you know?" I ask.

Gary shrugs. "Sixteen-year-old girls wouldn't be stuck at a gas station in the middle of the night. They'd know somebody who could drive them home."

I feel defensive. "Not every girl."

Gary snorts again. "Oh, yes they do. You girls get whatever you want."

I look down at my legs, which are tucked up under me. It sure doesn't feel like I can have what I want. But I like the idea, stash it away in my mind to come back to later. It is an idea I might need.

Later, Liz and Ashley go around back to the gas station bathroom. I'm alone with Tim. He watches me. I look out the window, pretending I'm not aware of his gaze. I cross my legs and smooth my hair, then fold my arms in front of me.

"You sure are a pretty girl," he says.

I shrug. Nobody's ever called me pretty before.

"You'll be an even prettier woman."

I shift my weight to my left foot and stare at the window. Outside, it is dead quiet, still dark. I watch the shadowy figure of Gary locking one of the tanks.

"Why are you standing all the way over there?" Tim asks.

"Because I want to," I say. I look straight into his eyes. My heart is pounding inside my chest.

"Come over here."

I move toward him, my arms wrapped around my waist.

"Come sit on my lap," he says softly.

"No," I mumble, my throat tightening.

He raises his eyebrows, starting to turn away, looking, perhaps, for one of my friends.

"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" I blurt.

He laughs, a deep, grown-up laugh. "Oh, yes. I would indeed."

That's when Liz and Ashley come back in. I let out my breath, unaware I've been holding it. I look down at my suede boots. I can still feel something like sparks beneath my skin, as though I'm made of electricity. That power again, coursing through me. I'm not attracted to him. In fact, I'm repulsed for the most part. But I like how he saved this talk for me. Not Liz, my pretty friend, not Ashley, who already hates him. Just plain, unremarkable me.

Finally, five o'clock comes. They take their time, locking drawers, sweeping the floor. At five fifteen, the next shift arrives and Tim unlocks the doors of his tan-colored Chevy. We three girls pile into the back. Tim looks back at me from the driver's seat.

"Sit up here with me."

I shake my head. Ashley sets her mouth and looks out the window. She's getting tired of this, of the games and flirtations. We all are. It's been a long night. There's another feeling too: a growing nervousness, the knowledge we're at Tim's will. He can take us anywhere he wants.

"Gary, get in back," Tim says, ignoring me. "Kerry's sitting there."

Gary opens my door, annoyed. "Well?"

I look at Liz.

"Just go, or we'll never get out of here," she says.

Tim smiles when I sit next to him, and I smile back, afraid to upset him. Then he sets a hand on my leg. I look down. His hand is dirty from oil changes, and the skin looks cracked and raw. My muscles go taut. In my head, I start praying: Just get us home soon.

"Tell me where to turn," he says, but when I tell him, he drives right past the street. He laughs, looking back at Gary, and he takes his hand back from my leg to pound it on the wheel. I hold my breath as he stops short, does a three-point turn, and goes back to the turn. "Just kidding!" he yells.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Loose Girl by KERRY COHEN Copyright © 2008 by Kerry Cohen. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 175 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(66)

4 Star

(52)

3 Star

(37)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(12)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 176 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 4, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    A really sad story that speaks to the soul. I love memoirs and t

    A really sad story that speaks to the soul. I love memoirs and this one really touched me.

    18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Um. WHAT.

    Although this memoir is explicitly provocative... it's hard to sympathize with Cohen's "journey" against temptation and promiscuity. Does it take THAT many men to conclude, 'Since my partners keep taking sex without emotional security maybe I should change my methodology'? Disgust is an understatement for how I feel about this memoir. It confounds me that HPV and scabies scares weren't "enough" for a rude awakening... in fact the kudos went to a man. Go figure. Cohen had to finish her "memoir" with the realization that things would be okay after a man holds her in bed and emotionally reassures her. Of course you would add that in there Cohen. You got what you wanted. Someone to tell you that everything will be okay because you weren't confident to come to that realization on your own. How can you justify saying that no one stepped into be your hero when 98% of your book talks about how you kept sleeping around with total strangers for love?? Then you support the last 5 pages by rushing this sudden epiphany that you're content with not being great with relationships but you may be good enough??? You never were in one to even gain credibility for readers to agree with you.

    Overall Cohen is honest, I give her that. However reading her story made me feel like she put herself on a pedestal thinking that all men want her. Men are NOT that dense. They have feelings and standards, so Cohen can't victimize herself for how lonely she felt. She set herself up for failure... I'm sure the authors reputation was tarnished growing up... and there should have been more emphasis on how the public judged her. That obvious social behavior was never mentioned in this book. She just slept around and got away with it. Loose Girl is a fitting title because there was no tragic tale, biological malfunction to excuse her slutty behavior. I feel sorry for her sons who may one day discover their mother's sexual "escapade" before conceiving them. I would be scarred for life if I were them. I'm going to Lysol my eyes now. Have a nice day.

    14 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 21, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    A wonderfully written book. Very "real". No fluff. The

    A wonderfully written book. Very "real". No fluff. The truth can be shocking, and it is here in this very raw story of growing up "loose" - and what caused this. Five stars!

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This is an exceptional book. What causes teen girls to stray dow

    This is an exceptional book. What causes teen girls to stray down a bad path? This is that story. I highly recommend this book.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    great

    I read a lot of self help and psychological books to broaden my understanding and learn something. I was interested to give loose girl a try and was not disappointed

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2008

    Pathetic in one dimension

    bought this book when intrigued by it's title and first few pages. That's where the magic ended. When you start it off, you feel like the main character is going to draw wisdom form her experiences and come to some mighty conclusion that would explain why she does the things she does. Sadly, that never comes. But every few paragraphs she tells you exactly what the main point of her story is: she had sex with anyone and everyone because she wanted someone to love her. Every new male character who comes in acts out the same part. He comes in, she tackles him, they screw, she gets attached, he brushes her aside, and she whines for a good three pages about how much her childhood sucked. When I finished the book, I sat miserably mulling over why I bothered to buy this book and waste three hours of my time reading it. The main character is one-dimensional and pathetic throughout the novel and represents an embarrassing idea of the way a woman should be. My advice, get a friend vastly less intelligent than yourself and have them buy it. You can borrow it, see what trash it is and feel very proud of yourself for saving $20 of your hard earned cash. And you can buy some actual literature with the money you've saved, that will a have a plot, a well developed character, and message.

    10 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2008

    An engaging and intimate memoir

    In 'Loose Girl', Kerry Cohen has written a memoir of startling clarity and unblinking honesty. So often, memoir has proven to be a vehicle for proselytization or even vindication, but Cohen resists the temptation to assign blame or explain away the personal impulses that drove her to reckless behaviors and a pattern of promiscuity and heartbreak. Instead she is straightforward and clear, exploring her own weaknesses and her dysfunctional quest for love and intimacy through unrewarding physical relationships. Cohen's writing style is engaging and intimate. She writes about her sexual encounters with a real sense of presence, and when she falls into familiar patterns of behavior, the reader shares her stumbles with genuine pain. Parts of 'Loose Girl' can be difficult to read, in the very best ways that a memoir can challenge a reader, and Cohen doesn't sugarcoat her experiences or attempt to explain away her behaviors. In her memoir, Kerry Cohen displays an addictive personality, but she also possesses keen self-awareness and a burning 'and often heartbreaking' commitment to change. 'This time will be different,' she seems to say, over and over, and it is on the strength of her writing that we hope right along with her every time. The pain that she feels when old patterns reassert themselves becomes visceral. The book ends not with false epiphany or some kind of phony life change, but rather with a quiet sense of hopefulness and the feeling, perhaps no more than a whispered and fragile promise, that even the most broken of us can find happiness and perhaps even a measure of peace. 'Loose Girl' is ultimately a story of quiet personal redemption, and I recommend it without reservation.

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2010

    Well,

    If you dont understand addiction dont read this book. She was dealing with a sexual addiction, which can be as difficult as drug addiction. For the people that dont understand addiction or that DONT have an open mind, this book will totally suck to you. Her past is her past, & she tells how she got to her present. In my opinion, she should have gone to SAA instead of done it by herself, but then again thats what therapy can help with.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Looks good but it is not

    I have to say I baught this book because I figured it would go more in depth about how she felt and maybe just maybe that she felt shameful about how she acted but she didnt. I didnt get anything from this book. It is basically just her talking about how many sexual partners she's been with and blah blah....maybe I didnt go into it with the right "attitude" but it is deff on my list of "waste of time" books. Read it and see for yourself, maybe I just didnt "get it".

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2010

    Loved It!

    I didnt want it to end! I can relate alot to this, maybe thats why I enjoyed it so much. It kept my interest for most the time. I think in between her "hook ups" she could have writen maybe something to kind of break it up a little...it seemed repetitive in some parts. I get it, its about her having all these partners, but doesnt she have anything else going on in her life? I recommend this to any woman really. Even if you cant identify...I think alot of the things she writes about, we can all relate to in some way. I plan on reading her other books as well.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    It's a Very Helpful Memoir

    I personally loved the book. I got a little emotional to certain parts in the book because I've either dealt with the pain or experienced the same thing in my life. The book has this sort of guidence that says something about mostly all the girls who are going through the same addiction. Its hard to find that special someone especially at a young age because you long, wait, & want that someone to love & take the pain away. Also, hoping that someone can save you from yourself. Kerry Cohen explains so much of the hardships of her bad relationships with her parents to her unyielding sexual urges towards men. I recommend Loose Girl to all the teenage girls, who are giving into men with sex because it makes them feel loved even if only for a minute in their life.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    Interesting Read

    I really enjoyed Kerry Cohen's story because it was fascinating to read about something that is so taboo and shameful to most people. For that reason, I suggest picking up a copy of this book. However, I wish the author would have gone into greater detail about her recovery. The book went from two extremes: her need for attention and her newfound life. The story did not outline her road to recovery; rather it was almost as if she had an epiphany and decided to change, and I don't buy that. I felt as though she could have put forth more thought and emotion than she did.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Vary absorbing novel. Well done.

    If I wrote a memoir, it would be this book cover to cover. That being said, this novel touched me on a very deep level. What made this novel unique compared to most other ones I have read is that it does not take on the whiney feeling usually associated with those who have been through traumatic experiences. The author takes you into the story very objectively. This is what happened to me. This is the psychological result of those events. This is how I dealt with it.

    The only part of the story that was lacking was the end. There is a great build up as to how is she going to overcome her obstacles with men. Instead of explaining her transition into healthy living thoroughly, it just sort of happens. The reader is left in a daze wondering what happened. The rest of the book definitely makes up for the ending. Quick read.

    If you know someone that has gone through a battle with abuse from men or is acting out, this novel is a great eye opener. Sometimes we need to see ourselves in other people to really understand who we are.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Loose Girl: Thank You Kerry

    The ending is not profoundly amazing if you read the inside book jacket about the author first. However, the detailed memories will bring you back to your own youth and make you reconsider your role and ability as an adult to help young women who may be venturing down a similar path. Perhaps, this book is a way to initiate that much needed discussion. Not a book for everyone, but a must read for any young woman who can relate. If you saved your virginity until after marriage, steer clear.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    The good and the bad

    Loose Girl brought up old pain for me. It was easy for me to empathize with Kerry, because I know her struggle. I know the confusion of knowing I am smart and generally good, yet feeling completely worthless in the eyes of boys. I know the pain of being passed over for attention, wondering what the boys are seeing in my friends that I don't seem to have. Why this was so important to me, I don't know, but it was. I, too, have a father who is sweet, giving, and who I know loves me. Yet, he was distant, never venturing beyond "how's your car running?" He always summoned my mother when he sensed I was upset. He never gave me advice about boys. I wonder whether it would have made a difference if he had. Kerry presents her father in the same way, describing him through her eyes, yet never explicitly blaming him for her emotional pain and emptiness. Kerry seems to have been caught in a place where many of us reside - not overtly mentally ill, yet not healthy, either. She's suffering inside, yet she plods along with her life, constantly seeking to fill that place of unrest inside of her. People in her emotional place seek relief in many ways - alcohol, food, drugs to name a few, they may suffer in silence, withdrawing more with time, or they may get lucky and resolve their pain in a healthy way. That her pain was channeled the way it was does not make her "slutty" or otherwise bad, as suggested in some of the reviews of the less empathic readers. These judgments constitute a signficant contributor to her pain, because not only does she get no support from those around her over the years, she also judges herself. She is utterly disgusted with herself. She hates her behavior. Her pain is real, palpable. Why doesn't she learn from her mistakes when she gets hurt over and over again? Because what she thought would fill the need - a relationship - doesn't, and it throws her for a loop. Her first relationship made her feel more dead inside than her sexual escapades, so she goes back to the only behavior that offered her relief from her pain. She doesn't realize at the time that the pain results from her parents' mistakes and her failure to thrive emotionally as a result. She doesn't lack morals - if she did, she wouldn't have experienced the guilt and disgust and self-loathing along the way. This is the same mechanism as an addict who starts stealing to support her habit when she otherwise would never have stolen a thing. So why do I give this book three stars? I think Kerry could have done a better job of soliciting her readers' empathy. It was only because I've been where she was that I was able to empathize. No wonder other reviewers were put off by her - they were unable to enter her world. She should have gone less into the details of the events and more into the inner workings of her troubled heart. There was a sense that she had sort of grown out of her self-destructive behavior by the time she got involved with the man who would become her husband, but I was left disappointed. I wanted to know how she transcended her years of self-destruction. Did she have an epiphany? Unfortunately, she never says. The reader is left with the impression that she just met the right man and inexplicably stopped her behavior. I know this is her memoir, and maybe she does not have a good explanation for how she came out of her cycle of pain, but at least she could have expanded on that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2011

    Goood

    Even though the book is sad & depressing i loved it .

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2011

    Must Read

    Even if this is not you, read it. I was entertained throughout the book, Kerry Cohn makes her journey come to life and becomes your best friend very easily by the last page.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2010

    About the book

    I am really interested in reading this book. If anyone is interested in book trading please let me know by my email: JVPlaymate09@yahoo.com

    I am a writer and publishing my own book at the moment and those who help inspire me will get a free copy of my book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2009

    can enlighten anyone!

    i read this book to reflect on my life. boy, was it accurate! wanting to break the chain of "daddy issues", i passed it on to my 15 year old daughter. since then, her friends (male and female alike) have taken an interest in the book. i haven't seen it in two months! this is a book that can enlighten anyone!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Best Memior I have read yet

    This book made me feel like i was there experiencing her pain. This is really a touching story of a girl trying to find love, sometimes in the wrong places. I finnished this book in like 3 days when it takes me 2 weeks to read a book. I couldn't put it down. I have a big list of books to read in my room, like 30 or 40 but this book went at the top of my priorities. I just love this book and you have to read it

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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