everything you ever wanted by jillian lauren

Writer Jillian Lauren made quite a splash with her first book, Some Girls. The book, which details her eighteen months in the harem of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, youngest brother of the Sultan of Brunei, was a New York Times bestseller. So, where does one go from there? After tossing aside the poor student-life in New York City for a life of palaces and high-roller sex trafficking? Eager to find out, when I was offered a pre-release copy of Lauren’s newest memoir, I jumped at the chance. Admittedly, I love a good memoir. And a memoir by a former drug addict and concubine seemed like a pretty good bet to me.

jillian laurenI first heard pieces of Jillian Lauren’s story on The Moth. But her tale didn’t end after getting clean. Everything You Ever Wanted begins with Lauren in cosmetology school, attempting to make a more sustainable life for herself. She meets Scott Shriner (bassist for Weezer, small world) and falls crazy in love. Thus begins the tumultuous and intense journey of trying to have a child. After medical interventions and lots of super L.A. boho conception rituals, the obvious choice becomes clear, and the couple adopts an Ethiopian son. What follows is a love story between mother and child. Tender and painful. Heart warming and heart wrenching. While this book has keen lessons for any readers, I think it is a must-read for all the moms out there. (And just in time for Mother’s Day! Fancy that!) A fairly quick read, it would be a nice one to pick up for lazy summer days or a future plane ride.

everything you ever wanted cover

Lauren’s story is a great lesson in redemption and reinvention. It’s a narrative which shows how the ability to be who we truly want to be was there all along. We were the ones with the power. The telling is honest and the writing is witty. Lauren’s journey is a struggle and the candid recollection of that struggle allows readers to go along for the ride. You can tell she wants us to find beauty in all the terribly un-glamorous aspects of motherhood. Specifically, her ability to come to terms with her own childhood through becoming an adoptive mother, just as HER mother did before her. I think this book could be especially helpful for those walking a similar adoption path. At the end of the day, Everything You Ever Wanted is a masterfully penned love letter to one very lucky and loved child from a mother whose unique past has had a profound impact on her need to write it.

I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone and do hope you’ll give it a look. Perhaps it will inspire you to pen your own love letters! And lucky for you lot, in honor of today’s official launch of the memoir on Amazon, I’m giving away ONE FREE COPY to one of my dear readers.

To win your very own copy of EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED BY JILLIAN LAUREN, simply comment below and tell me what book you’re currently reading and how you like it! I’ll choose the winner a week from today (May 12th). Good luck!  GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER, MADDIE! 

jillian lauren family



16 thoughts on “everything you ever wanted by jillian lauren

  1. I am reading “Faithful Place” by Tana French. I am loving it…it’s the 3rd in a series all set in Dublin (one of my favorite places in the world!)

  2. I just finished “Voorloper” by Andre Norton. I’ve been on a 80s sci-if kick lately so one of her others is next on my list! It’s a little trashy, but I can’t get enough.

  3. I just finished “The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty” by Amanda Filipacchi. It was really quite clever and made me take a second look at society’s focus on outer beauty and how it affects perceptions. I would definitely recommend this read!

  4. When it comes to reading, I am kind of a hot mess. I always have at least five or six going at the same time. And I’m no genius, believe me, just a bit of an attention span problem. Presently, I am reading: Living With a Wild God (Ehrenreich), Orchid Beach (Woods), Playwriting For Dummies (Parra), Excel 2010, New Perspectives (Parsons), and the musical libretto of MEMPHIS. I would truly appreciate a book that would capture my undivided attention this summer:)

  5. I’m reading “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz and “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving. I’m enjoying both, although I feel like I haven’t gotten into the meaty part of either of them yet.

  6. I’m currently reading “Tell Me How Long The Train’s Been Gone” by James Baldwin — and I can’t put it down. Highly recommend for anyone who hasn’t read James Baldwin.

  7. I just finished a cheesy romance novel..I can’t even remember the name. lol! Its Christian based so it is clean.

  8. I’m currently in the middle of two books 🙂 One is Hollow City by Ransom Riggs and it is AWESOME. Incredibly suspenseful sci-fi which I love. Also, Bigger by Kristan Dooley. It’s a nonfiction Christian book about how God changed her life through giving her the word ‘bigger’. She’s actually a close friend of mine and old co-worker and the book just got published! Such a good read, I highly recommend!

  9. I’m currently reading A Chance to Die the biography of Amy Carmichael. It’s a very touching and thought provoking book, the live she lived was unbelieveable, a definite portriat of Christ within us!

  10. I just finished reading Holding on to Georgia. I don’t normally like books like that (romance and stuff), but I couldn’t stop reading it.

  11. Wow… this book sounds really interesting! I’ll have to check it out!
    I’m currently reading “Factory Man” by Beth Macy; it’s a journalistic piece of the affects of off-shoring on small furniture factory communities near where I grew up. Not a thrilling piece of literature in the least! haha. But I did just read “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert and it was easily one of the most well written books I’ve read in a very long time.

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