I have been trying to get back into reading, after taking a couple months off due to the crazy schedules of the girls and myself, and life in general. I was looking for a easy read, in that I could pick up a book and read it cover to cover in one sitting (or at least two days tops), and thought this would be the case with the recent release "Everything You Ever Wanted" by Jillian Lauren. I knew going in that it was a memoir, and thought this would be a perfect book to get me back into reader. Never did I think I would fall in love with the book and want to read it again, before passing it along to family and friends to enjoy, so that we could talk about.
Having never read books by Jillian Lauren before, I had no idea what I was in for in regards to her writing style. I have to say after reading this book, I am hooked and can't wait to pick up her other titles to enjoy. Jillian is an amazing storyteller and shares her personal and at times raw stories with the reader. I found myself feeling as if I was sitting right across from Jillian as a friend and hearing her tell me about her personal struggles, the adoption of her son Tariku, and just parenting and life in general.
Being a mom myself, I felt for Jillian and some of the things she has gone through. As I read through each page, I found myself not wanting to put down the book. I had to read on to hear more about Jillian's life. And, as I read the last word on the final page, I found myself smiling, not just because I was able to read a book once again (which I love), but because I was able to read a beautiful story about the complexities of life and family from such an amazing author. Jillian did not candy coat or dance around certain topics. She told it like it is and as a reader you got to see her peel back layers to reveal the true essence of family, personal struggle and see what it means to feel loved and give love unconditionally to another human being.
I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to experience the work of Jillian Lauren, and hear about her wonderful family story. You don't have to have a personal connection to adoption to appreciate this story. I found myself holding back tears throughout the book, and then just letting them flow, feeling the emotions that I know Jillian felt herself and wants her readers to feel. You can't not be moved emotional while reading this book. That is what I love and have missed about books. And, I thank Jillian for writing such a powerful and personal story for me and everyone out there to read. If you are not a fan of Jillian Lauren prior to reading this book, you most definitely will be after you are done. :-)
“A punk rock Scheherazade” (Margaret Cho) shares the zigzagging path that took her from harem member to PTA member…
"In her younger years, Jillian Lauren was a college dropout, a drug addict, and an international concubine in the Prince of Brunei’s harem, an experience she immortalized in in her bestselling memoir, SOME GIRLS. In her thirties, Jillian's most radical act was learning the steadying power of love when she and her rock star husband adopt an Ethiopian child with special needs. After Jillian loses a close friend to drugs, she herself is saved by her fierce, bold love for her son as she fights to make him—and herself—feel safe and at home in the world.
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."
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About the Author:
Jillian Lauren is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, SOME GIRLS: My Life in a Harem, and the novel PRETTY, both published by Plume/Penguin. SOME GIRLS has since been translated into eighteen different languages. Her new memoir EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED will be released in May 2015.
She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine, Flaunt Magazine, The Rumpus, and Salon, among others. Her work has also been widely anthologized, including in The Moth Anthology and True Tales of Lust and Love.
Jillian is a regular storyteller with The Moth and has performed at numerous spoken word and storytelling events across the country. She has been interviewed on such television programs as The View, Good Morning America and Howard Stern.
She regularly blogs at MSNBC TODAY Moms, The Huffington Post and Jillianlauren.com, which was named a top 100 mom blog of 2012 by Babble Magazine.
Jillian is married to musician Scott Shriner. They live in Los Angeles with their son.
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Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book from the folks at Resourceful Mommy, in exchange for an honest review. However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.