When I first heard mention of Jillian Lauren's Some Girls in a Borders email, I was fascinated. The book recounts the author's time in a harem for Prince Jefri of Brunei.
All the glitz, glamour, and wealth she experienced could not hide the fact that this was prostitution, plain and simple. This was reinforced by the fact that, prior to being a modern-day harem girl, Lauren was a call girl in NYC (when not pursuing an acting career).
The subject matter was far more gritty than I imagined, especially because it included so much of Lauren's life before and after her time in the palace. She unflinchingly tells of her physically abusive father, a sexually abusive camp counselor, having an abortion, and getting a tattoo - one that spirals out from her navel, winding its way down her thigh to decorate her...yeah. Ick. All this happens, she reminds the reader more than once, while going through the late-teens/early-twenties struggle of trying to "find herself."
I know it's a memoir, but Lauren just seemed so utterly taken with herself, with the life she was living, with the people in it. That made it hard to sympathize with her. It sounds harsh, and it makes me feel bad, but I didn't come away from this book liking her as a person. I know that was likely not her intention, I'm just saying. I think her thoughts, desires, interests, etc. reminded me too much of myself...when I was a moody middle-schooler.