Nenia *Genghis Khan soaked in sherbet*'s Reviews > Some Girls: My Life in a Harem

Some Girls by Jillian Lauren
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Mar 06, 14

bookshelves: mem-wars, everyone-hates-it-but-nenia
Read from February 10 to 11, 2012

One thing I hear people say a lot is that the court intrigues of the past - most notably the Tudor and Borgia courts - are so barbaric and base; something like that would never happen now. Well, this is only partly true. It would never happen now because we have laws prohibiting multiple wives and prostitution and murdering people because they're too nosy. If the rich in our society had ultimate power that allegedly came from God, do you really think they would hesitate to construct a viper's nest of harems and supporters and fawning admirers? Really? Really?

That's what I thought.

I adored Some Girls. At first I was afraid (I was petrified) that this book was going to be melodramatic - or, worse, incredibly depressing. I'd just finished A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped at age eleven and held hostage for eighteen years as a sex slave. I was afraid that this book would be similar in tone, and I wasn't ready for another emotional rollercoaster quite like that. Not so soon, anyway. Some Girls isn't like that, though. It's bittersweet. Jillian Lauren is an odd cross of jaded and naive, but she was never abused, and she was (thank God) of consenting age when she made the plane trip to Singapore.

Price Jefri's harem really is like the court intrigues of old. He has a collection of beautiful women from all over the world, all fighting to be his wife. He gives them expensive jewelry, lets them go on hundred thousand dollar shopping sprees at Versace, Dolce and Gabana, and Prada, and has them put on nonstop parties for his benefit. The only thing they've got to do is remain single and love him. Seems simple enough, right? Except the prince has a bit of a cruel streak and he likes to pit the girls against each other, and he also bears grudges. Plus, the girls are under nonstop surveillance - in the bathroom, on the phone, in the bedroom (the prince's bedroom has mirrors on the ceiling and dozens of video cameras) - you can pretty much kiss privacy goodbye.

Ms. Lauren is a beautiful writer. It was very artistic how she opened with the tale of Scheherazade and closed with the name of her Ethiopian adopted son, whose name means "You Are My Story." It's cool how life comes full circle like that, some times. You can definitely tell she's a performing artist - she has a penchant for theatrics and drama. I can't say that I liked her rough lifestyle, but it was cool reading about it. Despite her wild youth, I feel like she grew a lot as a person from her experiences. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be her parents, and I can understand her adopted parents' frustration at being unable to control her. The depression made sense. As a psychology major, we learned that sometimes understimulated people engage in thrill-seeking behavior to get that dopamine rush - it's kind of like a natural form of self-medication. She didn't say whether she sought out psychiatric treatment, but I suspect she did. At least, I hope so. Raising children is not a good idea with that kind of severe chemical imbalance left untreated.

Overall, I really enjoyed this memoir a lot. It's a classic rags-to-riches tale but with a sexy and dangerous twist. If you like juicy gossip and court intrigues, this book is a mixture of both. The cast of characters she meets throughout her adventures are so colorful and unique. It just goes to show that everyone's got their own story to tell if you give them the chance. I'm so grateful that Ms. Lauren decided to share hers, and in such an eloquent way, too. Brava!
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Rock (new) - added it

Rock Angel I bumped into this book page by accident 2 years after I finished the book. The new reviews are highly entertaining, even (especially) the ones that differs from my opinion! I could recommend "People Who Eat Darkness" another tale about a white woman going overseas to earn a quick buck in the sex trade. This one wasn't so lucky tho.


Nenia *Genghis Khan soaked in sherbet* Ooh, thanks for the rec! I will check that out! :)


message 3: by Rock (new) - added it

Rock Angel "Darkness" can be rather biased when the author (the vic's own countryman) denies she was even part of the sex industry -- whereas Lauren is refreshingly unapologetic.

My 2 cents: "Darkness" is good for a cultural introduction into Japan, provided you're aware of the Englishman's wounded pride.


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