Synopses & Reviews
A punk rock Scheherazade” (Margaret Cho) shares the zigzagging path that took her from being a member of a harem to motherhood
Jillian Lauren is not your typical mom. In Everything You Ever Wanted, she recounts her journey of starting a family after a radically untraditional beginning that was fraught with sex, drugs and rock and roll and immortalized in the internationally bestselling memoir Some Girls.
With the same unflinching honesty displayed in Some Girls, Lauren chronicles how, after she loses her best friend to an overdose and her parents disown her, she is saved by her love for her adopted son with special needs. Exploring complex ideas of identity and reinvention, Everything You Ever Wanted is a must-read for everyone, especially every mother, who has ever hoped for a second act in life.
"Beth 'Bebe' Baker's continued attempts at sobriety reveal themes of rebirth and redemption in this solid fiction debut from Lauren (Some Girls), a performer who's worked with Richard Foreman and the Wooster Group. After a single kiss from Aaron, a horn player in a jazz band gigging in her town, this Ohio girl hops the bus and goes on tour with them. But the band gets stuck in L.A., Bebe finds work as a stripper, and her and Aaron's drug use results in a car crash that kills him and leaves her with significant physical and emotional scars. A year later, Bebe is still in a rehab/vocational facility in east L.A. Though she's trying to finish beauty school, her continued risky behavior and involvement with Jake, a dangerous schizophrenic, jeopardizes her recovery. Though Lauren's novel is well-crafted, quick, and absorbing, Bebe's obvious self-sabotage dating Jake, breaking curfew, falling off the wagon make her a hard character to sympathize with. You want her to care about herself, her life, her future, but when enlightenment comes, allowing her to clearly see the world, including herself and Aaron (who she's grieved as something of a saint), it's too little too late to earn the happy ending. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"An utterly riveting, and compulsively readable saga Jillian Lauren renders the taste and feel of wretched excess - be it sex, drugs, food, or Los Angeles - with a savage veracity and style all her own." -Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight
"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 All We Ever Wanted Was Everything
Praise for Everything You Ever Wanted:
“An irreverent, deeply honest love letter from a fascinating mother to an exceptional, inspiring child.”
--Ayelet Waldman, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Mother
“Jillian Laurens writing will take your breath away. With heartbreaking clarity, she deftly unfurls a story of becoming an adoptive mother and coming terms with her own childhood with candor and grace.”
-Annabelle Gurwitch, author of I See You Made an Effort
Praise for Some Girls:
"SOME GIRLS would have been riveting even if Lauren had merely illuminated the murky world of high-class prostitution. The fact that she does so with humor, candor, and a reporter's gimlet eye is an added delight. But Lauren also reveals how and why a middle-class kid found herself in such a line of work--and how she got out."—Jennifer Egan, author of Look at Me and The Keep
“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 takes you into a world so dramatic, it seems almost too outrageous to be true. Lauren lifts the veil on harem life and shows us the gritty truth of life in fantasy-land.”—Lily Burana, author of Strip City
“Catfights, mad cash, priceless jewels -- welcome to the sultans harem. What starts out juicy quickly turns soulful in this elegantly crafted, multi-layered stunner of a memoir. A spell-binding tale of one womans exotic search for identity and true love.”-- Rachel Resnick, author of Love Junkie
“Lauren tells the story straight, without much moralizing, but the corruption of the aristocrats, the powerlessness of the women and the destitution of the life outside the harem speaks for itself.”—LA Times
“[Lauren] is a deft storyteller and not afraid to provide candid descriptions of her life. A tight, sleek narrative. Whats astounding is that Lauren writes without shame, confronting every hard truth. [Some Girls is] too good to read just once.”—Miami Herald
“Laurens story is not one of perpetual gullibility and woman done wrong incidents, but rather an entertaining…and hopeful tale about one young womans endless quest to find herself. A beautiful, sweeping epic.”—Bookslut
“Lauren is a gifted writer. Compelling.”—Library Journal
“Lauren is a natural storyteller. She has a gift for metaphor, an eye for the odd detail.”—LA Weekly
“Lauren lifts the veil off her secret harem life, sharing vivid and explosive details.”—The New York Post
Praise for PRETTY:
"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 All We Ever Wanted Was Everything
“PRETTY is the real deal, a harrowing journey from darkness to light to real life. Bebes unflinching, street-level search for salvation absolutely floored me, and Jillian Laurens writing shimmers throughout with wit and authenticity.”—Antoine Wilson, author of The Interloper
“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. Jillian Lauren renders the taste and feel of wretched excess - be it sex, drugs, food, or Los Angeles - with a savage veracity and style all her own. 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. The author, plainly, is lucky to have survived - but the reader is luckier. Jillian Lauren is the real deal.”—Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight
“BeBe Baker knows the ugliness of the world, yet finds plain truths in the multicultural pageantry of eastern Los Angeles. She is the kid you want to protect, the girl youd definitely be friends with, the obliviously fetching female that all the boys love—an unlikely, unforgettable hero with a forever-searching soul. Prettys true beauty, however, is the authors ability to lovingly capture lifes microscopic details—right down to the cuticles—and offer them back up to us as communion.”—Shawna Kenney, author of I Was a Teenage Dominatrix and Imposters
A powerful debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls.
Jillian Lauren's breathtakingly honest memoir, Some Girls, earned both critical praise and outstanding sales. In Pretty, Lauren delivers on her promise as a "natural storyteller" (Los Angeles Weekly) with an electrifying novel about a broken girl looking to be saved.
Everything seemed simple when Aaron, Bebe's musician boyfriend, promised that they'd start a new life in San Francisco. But now Aaron is dead-killed in a fatal car crash that she survived-and Bebe is stuck in LA. As she tries to piece her life back together with the help of her makeshift family of friends from the halfway house where she's in recovery for addiction and from her beauty school, she finds salvation in unexpected places.
An electrifying debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls.
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.
About the Author
Author and performer Jillian Lauren grew up in suburban New Jersey and fled across the water to New York City. Her memoir, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, was published by Plume on April 27 2010.
Her novel, Pretty, will be published by Plume in May 2011.
Jillian has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, Flaunt Magazine, Pindeldyboz Magazine and Opium Magazine, among others.
She has read at spoken word events across the country and has recently worked with directors as diverse as Steve Balderson, Lynne Breedlove and Margaret Cho.
She is married to musician Scott Shriner. They live in Los Angeles with their son.