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Camgirl

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  166 ratings  ·  39 reviews
From the “former sex worker taking Hollywood by storm” (The Daily Beast), comes a candid and hilarious memoir of sex work, shame, and self-discovery set in the colorful world of live-streaming camgirls.

At twenty-three, Isa Mazzei was just like any other college graduate: broke, lacking purpose, and searching for an identity. She was also a compulsive seductress with a
...more
Hardcover, 347 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by Rare Bird Books
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  166 ratings  ·  39 reviews


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Krista Regester
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
#sexworkiswork has gotten more and more prevalent in our Instagram stories – but where are the actual ‘on the job’ stories? Camgirl gives the inside scoop on Isa Mazzei’s experience in sex work and intimate details of her life. Not only is she so relatable but she gives us a very personal perspective on her sexuality and relationships. What would we do to get what we want, and what happens when that is no longer enough? I accidentally stumbled onto the movie Cam, which came out before the book – ...more
Librariann
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, 2019, arc, adult
Emphatically NOT FOR KIDS, a completely fascinating and well written memoir of the author's evolution from teenager to woman who made a living at internet sex work.

Isa's sharp and calculating mind, drive to succeed, and empathetically drawn characters make her story easy to relate to, even if you've never paddled yourself for an anonymous audience online.

I wish I knew more people I could recommend this to without being given the side eye.
Danny Goldhaber
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jonah kind of comes across like a dick to be honest.
Ariana
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The biggest disservice this book could receive is being labeled as a book about sex work. This is a book about struggling to find ones identity in the face of trauma and it explores mental health and personal growth from a place of incredible humility and humanity. I can’t recommend this book enough for those who could use company in similar challenges. But more importantly, for those who have trouble relating and granting validity to trauma survivors or sex workers. Relatable, raw and ...more
Scott Reu
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is not just a mercilessly funny book, nor just an engrossingly entertaining book, nor just a gut-wrenching self-portrait. It’s all of these things—indeed, it’s often all of these things at once. Camgirl is a prime example of Mazzei’s considerable skill in taking the nuances of the genuinely complex (most prominently: the struggle for identity, sex, and sex work) and packaging them in a way that makes them inviting, captivating, and gratifying to engage with.

Much as is the case in her
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Amy
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC from Edelweiss (Above the Treeline), all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This was excellently done. That said, I will not recommend this for everyone, as this is definitely not a book for everyone. There are a LOT of sexually explicit details in this storytelling, in order to give the reader a real sense of what goes into camming. That said, I loved this and it was very much to my taste.

I would pretty solidly classify this as a mental illness/health memoir. Isa takes us
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Adam Bricker
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I guess disclaimer: there may be spoilers and there is definitely sexually explicit talk in this book. Be warned and if either bother you, one count, skip this review, and the other, skip this book.

I don't know how to start this review. I had no expectations going in...didn't even read the jacket cover. And it ended up being almost Stockholm Syndrome-esque. I didn't like the person I was reading about, but I couldn't stop. She was dramatic and manipulative and a bit materialistic...kind of like
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Afton Mortensen
Dec 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Read this if: you are interested in women’s stories, the underground world of sex work, or are a man who’s ever watched porn.

This book was well-written, I blew through it in a few days. I’ve always thought the world of camgirls and girls with “sugar daddy’s” was fascinating and this book pulled back the curtain on these worlds and the type of characters that fill them. Mazzei was a fascinating character study who buries the lead until the end. I will be recommending this book to all of my
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Tina
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I literally have a love/hate relationship with this book.

The writing is great and engaging and the story itself captivates - mainly because it is so far removed from my own reality.

The author has chosen to put it all there, on the page, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Although I have no issues with sex or foul language, this book pushes the boundaries and challenges the reader to keep an open mind through some of the "different" life choices the author has chosen.

I guess what stands out for me
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Helen
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every sentence in this enthralling memoir catapulted me into the next. I felt like I couldn’t put it down. I had to, at certain points because I had other books “due,” but I kept aching to get back to Camgirl.

Mazzei’s writing is fierce, funny, and delivered with finesse. Her story is engaging and relatable, while also revealing a tale so outside my own experience.

I’m so thrilled this book exists, this story is accessible, and this author is being celebrated as the bright new voice we need.
Eli
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, gender, non-fiction
Absolutely loved reading this. It offers very interesting insight into what the lives of some sex workers are like. Isa Mazzei has a way with words perfectly paired with her interesting and rare life experiences. I recommend this book to anyone interested in cam/sex work who doesn't mind sexually graphic descriptions and pro-sex work ideologies.

I also absolutely recommend Cam, as Isa was the main writer of that horror movie.
Kelly Magro
Well that was A LOT
Dave Harmon
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dont be put off by the description, its not another crappily written memoir and its not just about pornography; its actually very well written (unlike most of the books written by celebrities, actors, et al.) and overall a very good book by an intelligent person. it gets boring and starts to feel like its going on too long and i had planned to give it three stars but then i got to the end and it earned that 4th star with a great ending.
this is the 98th book book that i have read this year. 2
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Chad Fjerstad
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After viewing the Netflix original film CAM and being very impressed by it, I was immediately intrigued to know more about whoever had written it. When I heard Isa Mazzei was putting out a memoir, I wondered: how much of it will just be re-hash of what occurs in CAM, and will it be dull because of that? Well, after reading the book, I am about 100% sure that Isa is an extremely intelligent person, as is the team who decided to back this release. Though some of the key scenarios match, the ...more
Joey
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Burned through the book in 2 nights, because the stories were 50% chat histories, so it couldn't have been easier to follow. Whilst this is an interesting insider view to camgirls and sex work in general, I didn't gain any mind-blowing insights or life-changing beliefs from the memoir. It had a weak final punchline, on how, through sex work, she finally started to heal herself from the traumatic past she tried to bury. But maybe it is also okay it is a weak ending, because life doesn't always ...more
Lauren Gural
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
This was an easy and quick read, but I had a lot of issues with this book. It felt really inauthentic to me. Almost like she sat down and thought, “If I was going down to read a memoir about a camgirl, what would I want to hear about?” and then manipulated the story to meet what she believed her audience wanted to hear, instead of sharing the entire truth of her internal experience. I don’t believe she would have cared if her parents or her doctor found out. I don’t believe that her 8 year-old ...more
Barhiid Stuudio
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Camgirl is an autobiographical story of an educated sex positive woman who becomes a successful camgirl.

The bad:
* The book can't decide whether it wants to be a dramatic tale or a true to life recollection. It would have made a better reading experience if it had either been a more fictional tale based loosely on her real life or a less sensical one based only on true chronological facts.
* The cover features praise for the movie Cam, which is misleading, since the only connection between the
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Kathryn Bergeron
Summary: Isa talks about her life growing up, and her journey into and as a camgirl.

Why I Read This: It was on NPR's book concierge for 2019, and the cover was so pink!

Review: I was kind of disappointed. The beginning of this book is good. I think that it was within the third chapter of her as a camgirl where I started to become a little bit annoyed. I think that the book just stalled. I also wished that the ending had played a bigger part in the story. It was not really a surprise ending, but I
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Riley June
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a pretty relatable rendition of all the ups and downs and stresses and joys of a cam model. It both made me miss the job, and remember why I quit. If you're a cam model you'll probably relate, and if you're a viewer, I hope you'll get a good look at what it's like on the other side of the screen. Even beyond that, it was a pleasure to hear about Isa's life and all the things that intersect with the experience of sex work.

Also just the fact this was actually written by a (former) sex
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(jessica)
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
[4.5/5] Last book of the decade for me, and a strange yet appropriate end note for our cultural shift deeper and deeper into a world without privacy. I'd read a review of this and thought the subject matter and Mazzei's experience would make for an interest read, but the big surprise here is that - as a writer - she manages to render her experience as a camgirl in a way that transcends sheer shock value to become compelling, oddly logical, and as mundane as it is terrifying. A really interesting ...more
Frances Houseman
Honestly unsure what I think of this book. The writing was great and the story super engrossing - I stayed up reading until 3am two nights in a row to finish. I suppose I’m struggling a bit with the concept. Especially as a mental health provider, I wonder if the main character really could have “healed herself” through camming...or perhaps it helped rip open some layers so that she could actually begin to do the work...? Regardless, this is thought-provoking and has me thinking more about the ...more
Sarah Mckeen
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was difficult for me to rate. I decide on the 4 because it was written well and the story was interesting. I was very bothered by how manipulative the author was to men. The sex work she did was not bothersome, just the using people and throwing them out with the trash that I take issue with. Read if you want to learn more about the life of a cam girl, avoid if you don’t care to hear about a women treating men like garbage and blaming her behavior on her unfortunate childhood.
Emily
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, 2020-books
This book made me want to rewatch Starlet and Nymphomaniac, and memoir is becoming my favorite genre (now that dystopian sci-fi is no longer entertaining because we're practically living it). Mazzei's story is entertaining: light at times, heavy at others, balanced well among her accounts of childhood, adolescence, and her career in sex work. Camming is much more than I thought it was, and she tells her story in a frank and approachable way.
Hayley Reid-Ginis
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can't recommend this book enough. If you have ever been curious about sex work, the camming world, or alternative lifestyles in general, you will love this. It is raw, honest, and educated. I was immersed in this book. Though this book is a memoir, it is hard to forget that it's not fiction. It is written like a story, and I was hooked from start to finish. Isa is a great writer, a visionary, and a modern-day storyteller. I hope to read more from her, non-fiction or otherwise.
Anneke Alnatour
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very interesting memoir and insight in the life of a camgirl. I was surprised by Isa's honesty, and how relatable her story was, even though I am not a camgirl myself (not even close, I have to admit).

Definitely a whole lot of sex in there, and some things that I had not yet heard of, but otherwise it was an eyeopener for me, and I truly enjoyed going out of my comfort zone.
Suzanne
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was... a lot. Not knowing anything about the author or the movie Cam, I had no idea where this was going but it was both heartbreaking and hopeful. I read it basically in one sitting with just breaks for lunch and dinner.
Liz
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was convinced this would be a solid 4 star. The book is fantastic, but sometimes self-indulgent.

The ending made everything clear and I am disappointed that I judged it slightly harshly while reading. This book is powerful.

#sexworkiswork
Maria  Inês
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is well written and it presents an honest, first-hand insight to a controversial subject. However, the end could have been better developed. I would like to know the author's family and friends reaction to her experiences and what she did after she ended her camgirl career.
Erin
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
As someone with little knowledge of camming, I found this book fascinating though this really is more Isa’s story.
Marisa
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have learned stuff about live cams that I can not un-learn. Who knew?
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