Saturday, February 20, 2010

Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity, by Kerry Cohen

If you were the teenage girl who didn't get much attention from boys, this book will finally make you feel better about that. Otherwise, I wonder if there are any readers who won't recognize the painful yearning and stabbing self-doubt in this portrait of a girl trying to come to terms with her sexuality. Kerry Cohen describes these emotions in such a beautifully succinct manner - you don't have to be a loose girl yourself to recognize her motivation, although if you were/are you will be thrilled to finally find your experience described with such accuracy and understanding.

Where I heard about this book
: Goodreads - someone else had it marked as to-read and it sounded great.

What I thought of this book
: Fabulous. 5 stars.

What this book is about
: The memoir of a girl who turns to promiscuity to get the attention she craves.

I love that this book is just over 200 pages, but satisfyingly spans an entire adolescence and young adulthood. I really like that the author avoided telling every excruciating detail of her life - the downfall of many an autobiography. One of my few complaints is that as Kerry grew up I kind of lost track of how old she was - did she meet her husband in her early twenties, or much later?

At first I was slightly annoyed at what I saw as glossing over the whole recovery issue; it seemed as though she just sort of got over it, which is rare with addictive/compulsive behavior. Upon further reflection, however, I realize that recovery is really boring to read about, and is in fact where many memoirs tend to bog down. So never mind.

I really haven't felt so personally touched by a memoir in years. Kerry Cohen also writes YA lit, which I'll bet is great. I like her website - see it here. And she lives in Portland! I'm very disappointed that I can't see her at Powell's this week.

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