Sunday, July 5, 2015
Book Review: Some Girls by Jillian Lauren
Author: Jillian Lauren
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Content Alert: This is a book about life in a harem, prepare yourself accordingly
At the age of eighteen, I worked at a photography studio and made $5.25 an hour. When Jillian Lauren was eighteen (a year or two before me) she joined the harem of Prince Jefri of Brunei and was paid in Cartier watches and Dolce and Gabbana dresses. Some Girls is a memoir that recounts the events that led up to Lauren's decision to join the harem (difficult family life, dropping out of NYU, working as an exotic dancer), her time living in Brunei (which is a lot of what you would expect-- complicated female friendships/rivalries, isolation, conspicuous consumption, loneliness, and disordered behaviors resulting from all of the above), and her reintegration into life back in America.
I was interested in reading Some Girls because Lauren writes a lot about the process of writing the memoir in her second memoir, Everything You Ever Wanted (which is such a beautiful book that I think I may be judging this one a little harshly in contrast). She writes at length about the fallout with her family from how they're portrayed in the memoir, and I wanted to see if what she said about them was really bad enough to provoke years of silence (and I can see how they would be sensitive, and how she would want to tell her story in the way she does). This story didn't move me as much as her other story, probably because this one didn't parallel my own life in the same way. The book is currently being made into a movie, and I think it will be a good one, and it's an interesting book worth reading.