Sunday, October 12, 2008

Loose Girl by Kerry Cohen

From the publishers website:

Kerry Cohen is eleven years old when she recognizes the power of her body in the leer of a grown man. Her parents are recently divorced and it doesn’t take long before their lassitude and Kerry’s desire to stand out—to be memorable in some way—combine to lead her down a path she knows she shouldn’t take. Kerry wanted attention. She wanted love. But not really understanding what love was, not really knowing how to get it, she reached for sex instead.

Loose Girl is Kerry Cohen’s captivating memoir about her descent into promiscuity and how she gradually found her way toward real intimacy. The story of addiction—not just to sex, but to male attention—Loose Girl is also the story of a young girl who came to believe that boys and men could give her life meaning. It didn’t matter who he was. It was their movement that mattered, their being together. And for a while, that was enough.

From the early rush of exploration to the day she learned to quiet the desperation and allow herself to love and be loved, Kerry’s story is never less than riveting. In rich and immediate detail, Loose Girl re-creates what it feels like to be in that desperate moment, when a girl tries to control a boy by handing over her body, when the touch of that boy seems to offer proof of something, but ultimately delivers little more than emptiness.

Kerry Cohen’s journey from that hopeless place to her current confident and fulfilled existence is a cautionary tale and a revelation for girls young and old. The unforgettable memoir of one young woman who desperately wanted to matter, Loose Girl will speak to countless others with its compassion, understanding, and love.

Loose Girl: a memoir of promiscuity was engaging from beginning to end. I can tell I enjoy something when I can read for at least 30 minutes straight without paying attention to anything else (I usually get distracted very easily). This book hooks you and doesn't let go of you until the end. Around the age of 11-12 Kerry discovers the world of boys and how she can capture their attention and hopefully love as well. She basically becomes addicted to boys and eventually sex as well. She reflects it back onto her upbringing, her mom basically leaving her and her sister behind to start her own life and her father that basically let her do whatever she wanted. I actually identified more so with Kerry's sister, Tyler so it was interesting to read about how Kerry didn't understand her sister and her behavior.

Seeing what Kerry has gone through and what she has achieved in her life definitely makes her a role model. People can't be "cured" of their addictions with the snap of their finger. She realizes that she can take it day by day and can still be OK. She has written fiction and also is a practicing psychotherapist.

I do wish the ending/resolution didn't happen so quickly but this is a memoir so she wrote it how it happened. Maybe I would have liked the book to extend a bit further into her life than where it stopped. All and all a very engaging and important memoir.

4/5 stars
ARC provided by LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program

This is another of many great memoirs, what is one of your favorites?

Side note: I tried something a little bit different this time. I used the official summary for the book instead of my own very short and holes filled summary and gave a star rating. I haven't done this before but I thought maybe it would give a bit more completeness to the review. Anyone have thoughts on this? What do you think works best?


  1. Anonymous9:28 PM

    Personally, I like when Bloggers put the summary. I like to scan it, especially if I have questions.

    I have stopped giving the full, Harriet Klausner style reviews and started giving just my insight/opinion and rating. It's what I want to hear from other bloggers. That's when I started adding the book's synopsis. I think a combo of the two accent one another.

  2. Sounds intense.

    I like the summary and the rating. So far so good. ;)

  3. This is one of the few books I actually own. I recieved it from the publisher and am looking forward to reading it after your review. :)
    I personally like the book's actual summary better, so the way it is is nice.

  4. I like this style, too. I've found that sometimes I just can't say it any better than the publisher (then again, that's their job), so sometimes it's easier to share my opinion after giving the reader the publisher's summary.

    So I'm in agreement!

  5. I just realized this is a Lookalike cover!

    Check out Catherine Ryan Hyde's Chasing Windmills cover. Same girl!

  6. Anonymous11:11 AM

    Sounds really awesome!!

    Your review makes me want to buy this book :-)

  7. Sounds like an interesting book!
    I love memoirs anyway and your review makes me wanna read it even more ;-)

  8. Anonymous1:09 PM

    Alea, thanks a LOT for following up! You have been very kind!! I can wait :-)

  9. I haven't read a truly great memoir in awhile but I think Dewey will be one! I like this format best but use whatever works best for you!

  10. J. Kaye- :D

    Amee- It was intense, but actually not as intense as what i prepared myself for. Thanks!

    Liv- I hope you enjoy it! Thanks!

    A- Very true, that is their job!

    Amee- Thanks again for thinking of me :D

    Veens- I really liked this book!

    Cessie- Aww thanks, I really like memoirs too!

    Veens- No problem!

    ladytink_534- I'm interested in hearing about Dewey!

    Sounds like everyone likes this new format, I think I'll go with it and see where it leads me!

  11. I enjoyed this memoir quite a bit too.

    As to the publisher's blurb - I do that sometimes when I'm either feeling lazy or just having too difficult a time of summarizing the book myself.

  12. I'm all for whatever summary works best - sometimes the publisher one sucks, so I just write my own. However, always easier to go this way! Fine by me :)

    Say, that cover reminds me a lot of CHASING WINDMILLS by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I think you even did a Lookalikes on this, right?!


  13. literary feline- I have such trouble writing summaries! I can never do a good recap and I'm hard to say what's too much as far as spoiling so i think I'll trust the publishers to decide that!

    Steph- Yup that was a past lookalikes :D Thanks for checking!

  14. Interesting book. As a mom of a young girl, it kind of scares me, though!

    I don't have a preference for reviews really. I like different bloggers for different reasons; I think everyone has their own style. Sometimes I think the publisher blurbs are helpful, but sometimes I don't think they accurately describe the book. I guess it just depends. (I know, I'm not much help!)


  15. anna- Oh my god I know. Her parents had no idea what she was doing or where she was!

    LOL! Thanks for your input! My summaries are so choppy and full of holes i think for now the publisher summaries win!


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