Some Girls: My Life in a Harem

Some Girls: My Life in a Harem

by Jillian Lauren


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452296312
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/27/2010
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 416,881
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jillian Lauren is a writer, storyteller, mom, and rock-wife. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoirs Everything You Ever Wanted and Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, and the novel PrettySome Girls has been translated into 18 different languages and is currently being adapted for TV. She has written for The New York TimesThe Paris ReviewVanity FairLos Angeles MagazineElleThe Daily Beast and Salon, among others.

She lives with her husband, musician Scott Shriner, and their two sons in Los Angeles.

Read an Excerpt

The Shah’s wife was unfaithful to him, so he cut off her head and summarily declared all women to be evil and thereby deserving of punishment. Every night the Shah’s grand vizier brought him a new virgin to marry and every morning the Shah had the woman executed. After too many of these bloody sunrises, the vizier’s eldest and favorite daughter asked to be brought to the Shah as that night’s offering. The grand vizier protested, but his daughter insisted, and this daughter was known through¬out the kingdom for her powers of persuasion. At the end of the day, the Shah married the vizier’s daughter while the vizier wept in his chambers, unable to watch.

At first, the daughter’s wedding night was indistinguishable from the wedding nights of the other ill-fated virgins who had married the Shah before her, but as morning approached, the Shah’s newest wife began to tell him a story. The story had not yet reached its conclusion when the pink light of dawn crept around the edges of the curtains. The Shah agreed to let the woman live for just one more day, because he couldn’t bear to kill her before he learned the story’s end.

The next night the woman finished that story, but before the sun rose over the dome of the palace mosque, she began another, equally as compelling as the last. The following one thousand and one nights each concluded with an unfinished story. By the end of this time, the Shah had fallen in love with the woman, and he spared her life, his heart mended and his faith in women restored.

This is, of course, the story of Scheherazade. It’s the story of the storyteller. We lay our heads on the block and hope that you’ll spare us, that you’ll want another tale, that you’ll love us in the end. We’re looking for the story that will save our lives.

One thousand and one nights—nearly three years. That’s about the span of this story. Will you listen? It’s almost morning.


Excerpted from "Some Girls"
by .
Copyright © 2010 Jillian Lauren.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Some Girls is a heart-stoppingly thrilling story told by a punk rock Scheherazade.... The book is almost musical, an enduring melody of what it is to be a woman." —-Margaret Cho

Reading Group Guide

Spending her last thirty dollars to catch a yellow cab to the airport, restless and determined eighteen year–old Jillian Lauren was at the precipice of an incredible journey. One that would and take her halfway around the world, shatter her illusions, and altogether challenge her sense of self. Lauren would become part of the harem of Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei, emerging from the experience only a couple of years older, but infinitely wiser.

Sone Girls traces Lauren's life from growing up in suburban New Jersey, to living with artist friends in a gritty East Village apartment, to her arrival in an art filled, gilded palace in Borneo. After dropping out of NYU theater school, Lauren follows a tip about upcoming audition, where a "casting director" promises a rich businessman in Singapore will pay American girls $20,000 to stay for two weeks and spice up his parties. Soon, it is revealed that Lauren, and a host of other international beauties, will spend time entertaining the charming, yet taciturn, Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei, nicknamed Robin, and his entourage.

Jillian was one of the first Western women to infiltrate this modern–day iteration of an ancient institution. As she recounts the lavish parties, a parallel tale unfolds—rich in an entirely different way—of Jillian's quest for her identity. Knowing little of the etiquette and duties expected of her, Lauren quickly learns the unwritten rules of harem life. Evening parties are a competition, with the ladies all vying for the playboy Robin's attention—not just for sport—but for survival.

Jillian is intoxicated by the riches, the glamour, and above all by the Prince's charm. She learns to play the role of a modern day Sheherazade to keep his interest. But eventually, amid the late night discos, extravagant shopping sprees and diamond–faced Rolexes, catering to Jefri's capricious whims takes its toll. Lauren ultimately comes to question whether this prince's kingdom really is the happily ever after she imagined. She leaves set on a different course entirely—to find her birth mother and eventually adopt a baby boy.

With poignant storytelling, at times heartbreaking, yet hopeful, Some Girls is the story of a young woman's remarkable search for identity.


Author and performer Jillian Lauren grew up in suburban New Jersey and fled across the water to New York City. Her memoir, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, was published by Plume on April 27 2010.

Her novel, Pretty, will be published by Plume in May 2011.

Jillian has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in Vanity Fair,Flaunt Magazine, Pindeldyboz Magazine and Opium Magazine, among others.

She has read at spoken word events across the country and has recently worked with directors as diverse as Steve Balderson, Lynne Breedlove and Margaret Cho.

She is married to musician Scott Shriner. They live in Los Angeles with their son.

Q. Some Girls is the story of your experiences in the sex industry, including an 18 month period living in the harem of Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei. Why did you want to share your story?

I think it's important for women to be truthful about their lives, particularly women on the fringes of society, who often keep silent because we're led to believe that our stories are something to be ashamed of. We let our stories be told by others, usually men, and we wind up repeatedly being the bodies left behind by serial killers or the hookers with the hearts of gold. I wanted to tell my own story: how I became a sex worker and what it did to my life and my dreams. I wanted to portray the complexity of the experience and to present an emotional journey that I believe will be familiar to many women, even those to whom the events of the narrative may seem outrageous.

Q. The book is a brutally honest, unapologetic memoir. How were you able to get to the point in your life where you could talk candidly and without shame about your experiences in such extreme situations?

Eighteen years passed before I was able to tell this story. It took that long to be ready, from both a craft standpoint and an emotional standpoint, to do the story justice. For me, the trick to writing about such a wild and often dark time in my life was to have a stable foundation. I have a pretty boring life now, and I mean that in the best way. I write; I take care of my family; I go to yoga. I'm lucky that I was able to emerge from the period of time I describe in Some Girls with my health and my sanity. And I'm lucky that I was then able to assemble a life for myself in which I felt safe enough to tell my story.

Q. You grew up in a middle class family in suburban New Jersey—not exactly a background most people would associate with international concubines. How did you end up working in the sex industry?

A lot of different factors contributed to my decision to go into sex work, most prominently my burning desire to be on a stage and my difficult home life. By the time I turned eighteen and I got the job offer in Brunei, I was already dancing in strip clubs and working for an escort service. It was always an innate quality of mine to yearn for adventure, to seek out an extraordinary experience. So when a Prince invited me halfway around the world, of course I said yes. That was who I was at the time.

Q. What lessons about life and humanity did you learn from the time you spent in the Brunei harem? Anything that you think would particularly surprise people?

The real lessons for me were learned as I looked back and reflected. I was able to discover a different level of compassion for both myself and for the other people who shared my story. I looked at pictures of myself from that time and I said, What was so wrong with me? Why did I hate myself so much? I was beautiful. I was hopeful. I was brave. I was adorable. I can see it now clear as day, but I couldn't see it then. The story is about struggling to love yourself and learning to forgive yourself.

Q. In the book, you talk about having been adopted and share your curiosities about what your birth mother looked like and whether or not you got certain traits from her. How do you think being adopted affected the course of your life and the decisions you made?

It's hard to say how adoption affected the course of my life, because being adopted is such an integral part of who I am. Adoption is a wonderful thing, but it definitely has profound implications for all of the parties involved. I think all of our stories are, in one way or another, about piecing together the puzzle of our true selves. My search for my birth mother, as written about in Some Girls, is a piece of that puzzle.

Q. You had a strained relationship with your father growing up and write about how he would make negative remarks about your body, weight and intelligence and even become physically abusive with you, your brother and mother. Have you come to terms with your father's treatment of you?

I'm not sure I've come to terms with it. I suspect that coming to terms with my relationship with my father is probably going to be a lifelong journey. When you're dealing with something like abuse, people often expect it to be a black and white situation: abuser and victim, bad guy and good guy. But in my case it's more complicated than that. Because my father is a very loving and generous man in many ways and I care about him a great deal, but he's also a flawed and tragic character who inflicted a lot of damage. So the question for me is how do you portray that in a compassionate and honest way. Writing about my father was probably the most painful part of the process for me and required the most soul–searching.

Q. Have your parents read your book? How much do they know about what you experienced?

My parents were already aware of some of my adventures, but certainly a handful of the revelations in Some Girls were a surprise to them. My parents are hurt by the book and that saddens me a great deal. But it was a story I was compelled to write and I believe it has the potential to connect with many women. I did my best to write a deeply honest and compassionate account of that time in my life and my family was part of that story. I had hoped my family would be more supportive of the book, but I have faith that we'll work through this difficult time. We've gone through worse.

Q. There has been some hoopla in recent years over the validity of memoirs. What would you say to someone who might question the truth and accuracy of your story? How was the book corroborated?

Of course the matter of lying in memoirs is on everyone's minds right now. I definitely had to produce photographs and documents to satisfy my publisher. But on a more personal level, I wrote this book as an exercise in radical honesty. I've always kept journals and I was incredibly fortunate to have those documents to draw on. The deeper question for me was more about the emotional authenticity of the work. It's the central question in any memoir and it was something that I had to examine and reexamine with every draft I wrote.

Q. What do you hope readers take away from your book?

Writing this book was in part an attempt to be honest about my struggle to love myself and hopefully to invite other women to recognize a shared experience. Most of the women reading the book will not have had the experience of being an international teenage escort, but I believe the emotions involved are surprisingly universal.

Q. You are now the proud mother of a son, Tariku, whom you and your husband, Weezer bassist Scott Shriner, adopted. How did you come to the decision to adopt? How did your own experience affect your decision?

Scott and I had always considered adoption. The idea of adopting a baby was always close to my heart, probably due to the fact that I was adopted myself and felt a need to come full circle with it. But our adoption plans were put into motion more quickly than we'd expected when we experienced unexplained infertility. It was a challenging and difficult time for us, but I'd go through every moment of it again a hundred times over if I knew that Tariku was waiting for us at the other side. Much like my experience in Brunei, a time that felt hopeless and overwhelmingly painful at the time turned out to be a gift in the end.

Q. If you could give advice to your younger self, what would you tell her?

I'd probably tell her to learn to breathe, to learn to sit still, to learn to give herself the love she was looking for in others. But she'd never listen to me anyway.

  • In the prologue, Lauren recounts the story of Sheherazade from 1001 Arabian Nights. She writes that the story of Sheherazade is "…the story of the storyteller. We lay our heads on the block and hope that you'll spare us, that you'll want another tale, that you'll love us in the end. We're looking for the story that will save our lives." What is the place of storytelling in the narrative? Do you believe Lauren is successful in her quest for the story that will save her life? Have you ever felt the desire to find such a story?
  • Lauren refers to singer/poet Patti Smith throughout the book as her punk rock fairy godmother. She writes, "Ever since I was sixteen and I'd first heard Easter and decided that Patti Smith was the barometer of all things cool and right, when faced with tough decisions, I would ask myself, What would Patti Smith do? It was the yardstick by which I measured what was the authentic choice, the balls out choice." What is the place of role models (or the lack thereof) in Lauren's coming–of–age tale?
  • Lauren recalls her first time performing as a stripper at the Kit Kat Club, and discusses the common societal attitudes about why people become sex workers. Lauren writes, "What makes one financially strapped girl turn into a stripper and another into a Denny's waitress and another into a med student? You want to connect the dots. You want reassurance that it won't be your daughter up there on the pole. Shitty relationship with my father, low self-esteem, astrologically inevitable craving for adventure, dreams of stardom, history of depression and anxiety, tendency towards substance abuse—put it all in a cauldron and cook and the ideal sex worker emerges, dripping and gleaming and whole." Discuss the common stereotypes and misconceptions about sex workers. Does society oversimplify why people become sex workers? How has Lauren's story altered your own perceptions about sex work?
  • Lauren explains, "Nevertheless, two roads diverged. I picked the one that seemed a bit wilder. Because that was who I wanted to be." Discuss how our personal choices reflect our identities. Do we choose who we ultimately become?
  • What are some of the images that the word "harem" conjures up for you? How did the real–life harem compare with your expectations? If it was different from your expectations, did that lead you to question any other assumptions you might have about cultural practices that differ from your own?
  • What factors do you believe contributed to Lauren's decision to go to Brunei? What do you think you would have done in the same position?
  • When walking through the Prince's palace during the day, Lauren states, "I've always liked rooms when the party hasn't started yet. Even more magical are theaters during the day, before the doors open, before the show begins, when the house lights are on and you can see the rafters and the scuffs on the floor. I love the feeling that anything could happen. After the party, when anything already has happened, there's usually the inevitable fact to face that anything wasn't all you'd hoped it would be." What is the place of hope in the story? Do you find Lauren to be hopeful at the beginning of the story? How about at the end? Are there different kinds of hope?
  • Lauren suffers from an eating disorder that flares up during her time in the harem. She writes, "I took the phentermine pills and started quietly obsessing about losing weight again. I wasn't alone. Most of the girls in Brunei took pills. We drank laxative teas. Even though we could have ordered any food we wanted, we ordered plain chicken and steamed veggies and tried to fill up on lettuce sprinkled with lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. This is the Faustian bargain for many women who make their bodies their livelihood. Your body will be worshipped by others but hated by you. It will give others pleasure but it will give you only pain." Do you think this sort of behavior is limited to women who make their bodies their livelihood, or does it have a broader scope? Is self–denial and hatred of one's body a common experience for women and if so, why?
  • Describing the harem's power dynamic, Lauren writes, "All the girls were transformed in some way by the pressure, the paranoia, the insidious insecurity that creeps in when you size yourself up against a roomful of other girls every night. Who would you be? Would you shine or would you buckle? Would you stay and slug it out or would you run?"Describe how the harem's competitiveness begins to affect Lauren. What would you have done in Lauren's place?
  • How does the definition of power shift during the story?
  • What are some of the ways that the theme of motherhood is explored throughout the book?
  • As a very young girl, Lauren has an idealized image of her birth mother, who was a ballerina. Lauren explains, "in my fantasy, my birth mother was a life–size version of the tiny dancer twirling inside my satin–lined music box. My plastic ballerina had the smallest brushstroke of red hair and limbs the width of toothpicks. She never lost her balance; she never had to let her arms down. I imagined my birth mother posed in a perpetual arabesque, swathed in white tulle, with a tiara of sparkling snowflakes in her hair." How did Lauren's perceptions about her birth mother match up to reality? Do you feel there was a sense of disappointment? How did the meeting change Lauren's feelings towards her adoptive parents?
  • After meeting her birth mother for the first time, Lauren writes "I was only twenty, the age Carrie had been when she put me up for adoption. And when I chronicled my list of outrageous fuckups in the preceding couple of years, when I visited my dismal graveyard of buried aspirations, when I looked at all I had trampled, I was forced to forgive her." Do you believe Lauren's forgiveness of her birth mother was justified? Has there been a time when you forgave someone in a similar situation?

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Some Girls 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 176 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some Girls-My Life in a Harem Some Girls-My Life in a Harem, written by Jillian Lauren is a provocative, thought-provoking story of how an average, adopted teenage girl from the suburbs of New Jersey ends up in the exotic country of Brunei, in the harem of the Sultan's manipulative brother. The story begins with Jillian recalling her memories of the day she left for Brunei, and her visit to her ill father in the hospital. Overridden with guilt for leaving her family, Jillian, an NYU theater dropout leaves for Brunei, on an "acting job," and becomes hopelessly intertwined in Prince Jefri's harem. Quickly, Jillian finds herself becoming one of the prince's favorite girlfriends, and begins to spiral into a deep obsession with her own perfection, and the disgusting amount of riches she was gaining in such an immoral way. This depression leads Jillian back to New York, and to a healthier state of mind, which brings her to find her birth mother and adopt her own child. Many different themes, that all reflect on the dark side of human nature are portrayed in this intriguing biography. One of the major themes displayed in this story is how much of a price you will pay for your own wealth, and how your conscience can be so easily ignored in the face of great wealth and security. Another theme that this provocative tale examines is how easily the human heart can become desperate for affection, even if it is false love. All of the themes shown in this raw biography lead us to examine our ethics and consciences if we were to be put in Jillian's situation. One of the best aspects of this biography is the way that Jillian Lauren intertwines her wisdom and faults of her tainted past in Brunei, and her much healthier and loving present. Lauren reflects on her mistakes and experiences not with a hint of regret, but with a sense of progression and learning. Another great aspect of this biography was Lauren's ability to make the reader believe what Lauren felt about the Prince and the harem. The only true flaw that Lauren has in Some Girls is her brief description of her departure of Brunei, and what she was feeling exactly in the events preceding it. I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone I know, as it is an interesting story, that forces you to examine your faults, and ethics, and consider what you would do in a compromising situation. I find this biography to be a great story that keeps you interested from start to finish, while giving you time to reflect upon your beliefs and values, and how to forgive yourself and progress from your mistakes from the past. Jillian Lauren currently does not have any other books published, but after reading Some Girls, I would be intrigued to read anything else about her complex life. As a whole, I would give Some Girls four out of five stars, as it is an intriguing, exotic story, that you can still relate to, no matter how unorthodox Lauren's story becomes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a big historical fiction fan and rarely read biographies, but this book was quite fascinating. Jillina Lauren spins a story that draws in the reader from the beginning. It seems as if she is sitting beside you, casually recounting her life story. Who wouldn't love to know what goes on in a modern-day harem! We get a glimpse of what happens when male Muslims are fantastically wealthy, and how their lifestyles affect the young women they so thoughtlessly, casually discard. What a story!
SherpaShazz More than 1 year ago
The book was good because I love bio's, but if i bought the book purely for the name of it (my life in a harem) i would be disappointed. Literally half the book isnt even about her life in a harem, i think she should have written this book 15 years before she did when she still remembered what went on in Brunei.
Anonymous 8 months ago
EnriqueFreeque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perhaps it sounds mildly unseemly or misogynistic to admit, but I'll be darned if I haven't been interested in starting up my own harem for quite some time, since adolescence actually, but have lacked, unfortunately, the necessary (and pricey) prerequisites to turn such an, admittedly, crude boyhood fantasy into reality; namely, my obtaining a Middle Eastern "sultanship" (if there is such a word) and political connections with big oil and its automatic entourage of bookoo bucks and kidnapped babes. Jillian Lauren's, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, gave me lots of great ideas, nevertheless, on how -- and more importantly, how not -- to begin (at least "begin" hypothetically speaking), my harem fantasy enterprise. I'd recommend Some Girls as an excellent resource for any in-the-market, would-be harem owners out there, as it unwittingly itemizes the potential pitfalls and pains-in-the-neck awaiting the prospective harem owner about to embark on, let's face it, a rather tricky-to-justify and, not to mention, illegal, lifestyle venture.Some Girls: My Life in a Harem was also an inspiring -- at times sordid and a bit twisted (though understandably so) -- story of one brave United States college dropout's riveting escape from a man who makes Hugh Hefner seem a monogamous and faithful family man by comparison, Prince Jefri Bolkiah, and Jillian Lauren's eventual return to freedom. I recommend reading Lauren's mesmerizing memoir whether you dream of owning your own harem some day or not.
holly_kench on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Some Girls" is the true story of an 18 year old struggling actress, who takes a position in the harem of the Prince of Brunei. It chronicles her upbringing, the choices and paths that led to her decision to become an international prostitute, her time in the harem and her struggle to deal with life on her return to the US. The plot and the realities of her life that drive the story come as no surprise. What is surprising, however, is the insight with which she relates her story. It is all the more surprising as this insight is yet contrasted with the remaining defensiveness of a struggling teen and, indeed, a lingering defensiveness for the men whom the reader must determine to hate. Despite this seemingly paradoxical, although somewhat inevitable defensiveness, Lauren clearly and beautifully protrays the darkness of her story, and the story of so many women, not only within the walls of a harem, but also in the wider world. She utilises myths and fairy tales, including those of Antigone, Cinderella and Shahrazad, to depict the truths of these stories and her own, which continue to resinate in the lives of western women today. This tale was written at a deeper level that I did not expect and is a lovely read. While it may appear as yet another light chick memoir, Lauren has surprisingly more to offer.
Tangle99 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly well-written and observant memoir. Highly enjoyable.
SaxonX on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this memoir; I enjoyed her story and I liked her style of writing. I don't think it ended too suddenly as the other reviewer thought, instead I felt she reached a natural and comfortable place at which to conclude her tale. Thought provoking and a captivating read.
LivelyLady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a "memoir" of a woman's experience as an escort in this country and then as a short term as a member of a "harem.," which meant being on call as a hood ornament for a sultan's son in his harem in exchange for lots of money and expensive jewelry. I thought that was called prostitution??? Anyway, a thread of this adopted woman's life, search and finding of her biological mother is woven throughout. Does this explain her life choices. I don't think so. It was an entertaining read, but I wonder how much is real and how much is fiction.
Sararush on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How does a nice middle class Jewish girl end up living in a harem of (arguably) the most exotic and decadent Prince of our time? Jillian Lauren wraps it up quickly and candidly in her memoir, Some Girls: easy work and the money.And still this memoir is surprisingly tame and lacking in salacious details. Lauren is evasive and breezes by the money, sex, and royal gossip. Instead we get a lot of poetic musings and blunt reminders that she is simply a prostitute which makes it hard to become wrapped up in her story. Of course curiosity got the best of me on this one and with only a small amount of shame do I admit--I devoured every page. Come on; its a modern day harem! And Lauren did (thankfully) devoted many pages to the mean girl politics of the mistresses and a few pages to a memorable shopping spree. She also grapples with the issues that may have influenced her choices. If you are interested on the evolution from fledgling actress/stripper to escort to harem girl and then the fallout, pick this one up.
1983mk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Some Girls: My life in a harem" by Jillian Lauren is the story of her early life through her eyes. This book explains how a young troubled Jewish girl goes from being a struggling actor/stripper to a call girl in New York. She then takes us on a fascinating journey to the palace of the Prince of Brunei and back again.Everyone should read this! At times you will want to cry for hers and at others you will laugh at the stupidity of the male mind. Please read this book. You will not regret it.
pither on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An absolutely fascinating look at a modern-day harem. I couldn't put it down, and devoured it in one weekend. Lauren has a very lyrical but clean style that just captures you.
rbaech on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jill Lauren's book details a fascinating world of the high-class prostitute in the modern harem. At times, her writing meanders around almost too much, but I recognize that there's an almost stream-of-consciousness approach to her writing. I can say that her voice is the most winning part of the book, and I came away feeling as though I actually knew here and had sat with her on a couch to drink tea or coffee. Very authentic, very sincere.
bookweaver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book isn't as much about Lauren's life in the harem as it is about her coming of age. My take on the whole thing is that life in a harem is pretty boring. She didn't see much of the countries she was in at's kind of sad.... For all of the slow, slow, introspection in most of the book, it ends pretty suddenly, and the reader is left unsure what it all means.
picardyrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Creepy. What a bizarre way to earn $100,000. And how quickly she got sucked into the culture and started trying to please the prince.
karenlisa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some Girls By Jillian Lauren This is the memoir of a young girl who drops out of college and falls into the underworld of NYC. After leaving NYU theater school, Jillian waitresses, strips, works for an escort service and ultimately receives an opportunity to be a party girl in Brunei for a prince, in a palace. The brother of the Sultan of Brunei has an extraordinary amount of money and although he has three wives (news reports there may be many more) he has about 40 girlfriends whom attend a party that never ends and get paid well to make it seem like a lot of fun. The sex is less than you would expect because there are so many girls but their freedom is nil and the lifestyle is unimaginable. Jillian is a smart pretty girl who is trying to find out who she is and what she wants out of life. The story is interesting, shocking at times and her writing is good. It's hard to feel sorry for her (not that she wants you to) because she is incredibly aware of her decisions as she makes them. Her story draws a fine line between love, money, freedom and relationships. It becomes hard to tell one from the other. Interesting read.
_Zoe_ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had been thinking about reading this book for a while, but the low ratings deterred me. Eventually, though, I ended up in an out-of-town library, where I read the first chapter and was interested enough that I requested it from my own library when I got home.So it sat in my huge TBR pile for a week or two, and I picked it up again last night when I was tired and looking for some light non-fiction. And I found myself completely engrossed. I stayed up a bit too late reading last night, and finished the book this morning. The story, while ridiculous, is fascinating. It was initially a bit difficult to relate to the author: she signs up to be a party ornament for a prince in Brunei, figuring that that means she'll be a "quasi-prostitute", and she's fine with that.But as her own story came out, I actually found myself rooting for her. She started university at 16 in an attempt to get away from her abusive father, but dropped out after six months, at which point her parents immediately cut off any financial assistance. So the aspiring actress worked as a waitress, then a stripper, and ultimately an escort, before the Brunei opportunity came up. She'd also had many other issues earlier in life: molested at summer camp when she was 12 or 13, anorexic, an occasional drug user.... Her life just sounded unbelievably messed up, though I think that's probably far more common than I'd expect.Anyway, while I can't remotely imagine making the choices that she did, I also found that I couldn't entirely blame her for them, and I wanted things to work out. It was interesting to read her story at least partially because it was so alien to me. But it was also just fun sometimes to read about the exorbitant wealth of the Sultan's brother, and the experiences of a New Jersey girl on a shopping trip with no spending limit, and things like that. So it's a combination of an informative read and a guilty pleasure, and that combination worked for me. If the basic premise appeals, then I'd recommend giving it a try.
matthew254 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some Girls has received a lot of attention, both positive and negative, for the things I precisely like about it. Amazon's review section is often a fairly reliable source of reviews but this book in particular has a very wide range of critics; some extolling it for the exposé on opulent brothel life while others chastise the author for sounding like an entitled, Jersey brat who got by life by her looks. Personally, I think she's a good writer and has a talent for telling her story with both entertaining and introspectively critical qualities. I also don't particularly respect her career decisions. However, I understand that she recently published a novel. Whatever one may think about her, she is, by matter of fact, a former stripper/escort/harem girl, married to the bassist of Weezer, covered in ink, and downright smokin hot. Like other reviewers, I wanted to learn more of her harem life but there's enough to satisfy curiosity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The stories are rolling and light like clouds. The promise behind them is almost tragic and heavy! Ms. Lauren is a wonderful story-teller!,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting story and insightful writing
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jillian Lauren is a great story teller and a gifted writer. I love how she bares her soul in this memoir. I highly recommend this story.
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