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.
I 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.
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!