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Author's Note: This is a repost from my amazon.com review.

The back cover claims that the story held within the pages is about a suburban-born, adopted "good-girl" who comes to a path of self-discovery while living in a modern-day harem owned by the Prince of Brunei. To this extent, this description is true, but not entirely accurate.

Written in the style of most-modern day memoirs, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, opens on the scene of the author's troubled childhood and ill relations with her father. After feeling she has failed as an actress and living with limited resources after being cut off from her finances due to her dropping out of college, she follows a lead from a friend after working with an "escort service" which in turn swallows her up into the life of a "harem girl", even though in no way is the harem officially reported.

Reading like a mid-day soap opera, the story continues as the author finds herself in the prince's favor, only later to escape back to the states into a world of abortions, drugs, and experimental theater. After finding her funds are running short once again, she returns to Brunei, only to realize she has fallen out of her position of power and replaced by the ever increasing flow of newcomers. However, the Lauren only describes this piece of history rather briefly, almost as if something important has been removed.

The book closes on the Lauren's realization of what is normal and how history yet repeats itself—as seen with the adoption of her Ethiopian son. However, the continuous "fallout" of her time in the prince's harem that the author alludes to throughout—embezzlement of funds, evening gossip news exposure, etc.—are hardly discussed, instead quickly cutting to the epilogue of the life she currently lives now.

I had originally picked this book up through a recommendation in Marie Claire as the author interview sounded savvy and sophisticated, yet when I began reading, I found the writing style almost juvenile and simplistic—telling, not showing. The author continuously portrays herself as a victim to her circumstances, alternating between blaming herself using a cliched woe-is-me-technique and her mental instabilities.

While the book preaches self-redemption and coming of age, I found very little of such in the author's experience. Lauren constantly puts herself down and emphasizes her worthlessness as a woman instead of embracing her femininity. Even at the book's completion, I was left with the sense that the author still has many unresolved issues to see through to the end, leaving a horribly bitter taste in my mouth. There is no closure.

The redeeming feature of this book shines deep in the narrative technique, using almost a rough, "bad-girl" leather and studs slang, which comes off as a refreshing change from most feminine narratives, if at times a little a crude and overused.

While this book was not for me, I do recommend it as a lazy summer day, throw-away read—though nothing more than that. While there is no closure, the book is a fast read, providing at least some measure of satisfaction to more reluctant readers.

3/5 stars


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May 2014


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