Evan's Reviews > Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity

Loose Girl by Kerry Cohen
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Feb 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: sexuality, 2010-reads, yearning
Read from March 30 to 31, 2010

Apropos the naysayers of this book, it would be easy to criticize or impugn or second-guess Kerry Cohen's motives for writing it. I don't pretend to fully know what those motives were, and frankly I really don't care. The book is exactly what it says it is -- a memoir of promiscuity -- and unless you're too dense to read the title before you even crack the spine then I'm hardly amenable to taking seriously any whining you have about her behavior or character.

Cohen writes about what it means to want and need acceptance as a young girl, not understanding the game and making mistakes while figuring it all out -- or trying to. She isn't always admirable in her pursuit of same -- and she says so -- and to criticize the book because you may not like her or think she's hypocritical is disingenuous and absurd, and ultimately irrelevant to the point. I always detect the whiff of self-righteous moralistic hypocrisy in readers who knowingly pick up books on sexual topics with sexual protagonists and then proceed to criticize the books for being sexual and having sexual protagonists!

Although much of this covers familiar territory, I think she brings a lot of issues under the microscope with unforced ease and thankfully does not delve too hamfistedly into pop psychology. She writes it unpretentiously, cohesively and vividly. She keeps the narrative moving, provides a good sense of place without overdescription, and elucidates clearly what she is seeing and feeling. She captures well the contradictory impulses of growing up, and I really felt by reading this that I understood what was going on inside the head of a young girl. I sensed a true individual in the pages, even though the issues are common and have been written about millions of times.

Unlike another book I recently read -- David Henry Sterry's Chicken, about the life of a teen boy prostitute -- this book avoids mixed messages about the protagonist's familial influences and the bits we get clarify rather than confuse. As a man and as a reader, I found the book illuminating; it took me somewhere I have never been and can never go, and that's what I want from nonfiction. The book is honest and earnest and surprisingly non-sensational, and, truth be told, I went into it with a prurient interest and came out of it getting more than that, and that is the mark of a good book. Good job.
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Reading Progress

03/30 page 80
38.1%
03/30 page 80
38.1% "Well done so far; not terribly explicit, not overblown with pop psychology and very good on descriptions of setting and feelings."
03/12 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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MKMK You said it Evan
I concord with you.
If you are not willing to take on the hole experience of a none fiction then you shouldn't be reading them on the first place.


Katie Preach it! I completely agree.


Katie Preach it! I completely agree.


Evan I do what I can...

Katie wrote: "Preach it! I completely agree."


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