Books

Pretty

Bebe Baker is an ex-everything: ex-stripper, ex-Christian, ex-drug addict, ex-pretty girl.

It’s been one year since the car accident that killed her boyfriend left her scarred and shaken. Flanked by an eccentric posse of friends, she is serving out a self-imposed sentence at a halfway house, while trying to finish cosmetology school. Amid the rampant diagnoses, over-medication, compulsive eating, and acrylic nails of Los Angeles, Bebe looks for something to believe in before something–her past, the dangerously magnetic men in her life, her own bad choices–knocks her off course again.

PRETTY Trailer

Praise for Pretty

Pretty is the not-so-pretty, utterly riveting, non-stop frantic and compulsively readable saga of Bebe Baker, a heroine who knows her way around a serious binge. The prose, at times, drives with such ferocious urgency that the words seem not so much written as willed onto the page. Pretty stands out as a triumph of survival testimony.


—Jerry Stahl

Pretty is the real deal, a harrowing journey from darkness to light to real life. Bebe's unflinching, street-level search for salvation absolutely floored me, and Jillian Lauren's writing shimmers throughout with wit and authenticity.


—Antoine Wilson, author of The Interloper

Jillian Lauren writes with stunning, furious authenticity about self-destruction and the bitter road toward redemption. Pretty will knock the breath right out of you.


—Janelle Brown, author of This is Where We Live

“Bebe’s in-your-face voice is one of the novel’s strengths… At times Bebe is maddening, but in Ms. Lauren’s skilled hands, she never stops being heart-wrenchingly sympathetic.”


NY Journal of Books

Lauren's novel is well-crafted, quick, and absorbing...


Publisher's Weekly

Jillian Lauren’s writing has a velvety, visceral edge that compliments her beautifully descriptive prose that is guttural in its realism, yet soothing in its familiarity. Lauren is a truly gifted writer with the voice of a street-wise angel.


Pretty is tragically-heartbreaking, determinedly-inspiring and masterfully-written. As it was with her first book and memoir: Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, Lauren’s fictional debut proves, yet again, that she has what it takes to leave an indelible mark.


—Renee C. Fountain, Book Fetish

...this hard-edged coming-of-age tale will find an audience on both sides of the adult-YA divide.


— Michael Cart

Some Girls

A secret Xanadu. A charming prince. Add decadence, excess, and a rebellious teenager and you have an unforgettable and twisted modern fairy tale.

At eighteen, Jillian Lauren was an NYU theater school dropout with a tip about an upcoming audition. The “casting director” told her that a rich businessman in Singapore would pay pretty American girls $20,000 if they stayed for two weeks to spice up his parties. Soon, Jillian found herself on a plane to Borneo, where she would spend the next eighteen months in the harem of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, youngest brother of the Sultan of Brunei. Leaving behind her gritty East Village apartment for an opulent palace where she walked on rugs laced with gold, Jillian traded her band of artist friends for a coterie of backstabbing beauties.

More than just a sexy read set in an exotic land, Some Girls is also the story of how a rebellious teen found herself- and the courage to meet her birth mother and eventually adopt a baby boy.

The SOME GIRLS Trailer

Praise for Some Girls

Some Girls is a heart-stoppingly thrilling story told by a punk rock Scheherazade. Lauren writes with such lyrical ease - the book is almost musical, an enduring melody of what it is to be a woman.


—Margaret Cho

Some Girls would have been riveting even if Jillian Lauren had merely illuminated the murky world of high-class prostitution for the general reader. The fact that she does so with humor, candor, and a reporter's gimlet eye is an added delight. But Some Girls also undertakes the deepest challenge: it reveals how and why a middle-class kid like Lauren found herself in such a line of work--and how she got out.


—Jennifer Egan

Lauren... is a deft storyteller, imparting equal parts poignant reflection and wisdom into her enlightening book. A gritty, melancholy memoir leavened by the author's amiable, engrossing narrative tenor.


—Kirkus Reviews

[Jillian Lauren is] a gifted writer. Compelling.


—Library Journal

Wow, what a story! Jillian Lauren’s Some Girls is the most exotic sex worker memoir I’ve ever read. Imagine being paid to play with the richest men in the world? Few women dare to speak of their youthful sexual adventures with such honesty and clarity. I can’t wait for the movie


—Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D

Catfights, mad cash, priceless jewels -- what’s a young girl from Jersey to do? Welcome to the sultan’s harem, a secret world filled with artful seduction and parties that never end. What starts out juicy quickly turns soulful in this elegantly crafted, multi-layered stunner of a memoir. Lauren strikes the perfect balance between light and shadow in her spellbinding tale of one woman’s exotic search for identity and true love.


—Rachel Resnick, author of Love Junkie

Lauren is a gifted and lyrical writer whose coming-of-age tale has the reader firmly under its spell by the end of the first paragraph. Her emotional insight is deeply penetrating, allowing us to feel kinship with her even as we marvel at her rarefied adventures. Lauren generously brings us along for an amazing ride as she seeks, and then finds, meaning and connection in her life. I couldn't put it down.


—Nina Hartley, author of Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex

Jillian Lauren's Some Girls takes readers into a world so dramatic, it seems almost too far out to be true. But the bracing realism that infuses her storytelling lifts the veil of harem life and shows us the gritty truth of life in fantasy-land. Her transformation from dream girl-for-hire to rock-n-roll mama proves that resilience and reinvention, more than diamonds, are a girl's best friend.


—Lily Burana, author of Strip City

Some Girls reads like a swiftly-paced novel, but gets under your skin in a way fiction can't. This is a striptease of a book, sexy and mesmerizing at first, but at the end a very real woman stands in front of you, exposed and vulnerable. I couldn't put it down, and when I was done, I couldn't stop thinking about it.


—Claire LaZebnik, author of Knitting Under the Influence

While the surprising and exotic subject matter is sure to pique interest, Lauren’s graceful, introspective prose lifts her unusual memoir far above the level of mere titillation.


—Kristine Huntley, written for The Booklist

Incredibly Engaging. Lauren is a gifted writer - full of ease, humor, and grace.


—Portland Mercury

Too good to read just once!


—Miami Herald


Some Girls is a heart-stoppingly thrilling story told by a punk rock Scheherazade. Lauren writes with such lyrical ease - the book is almost musical, an enduring melody of what it is to be a woman.


—Margaret Cho

Trackbacks/Pingbacks
  1. […] reference: Book cover from Some Girls, My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren. A veeeeery interesting read. Poignant, very well written, heartbreaking. Raw […]

  2. […] published a memoir of her experience, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem. She describes the hedonistic lifestyle of the Brunei royal family, Prince Jefri’s harem filled […]

  3. […] L. McIver – Claire Bidwell Smith – Charles W. Hamilton – Jillian Lauren – Kate Maruyama – Fredericka Meek – Stephanie Janis – Natashia […]

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