Review - Loose Girl: A Memoir Of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen

For everyone who was that girl.For everyone who knew that girl.For everyone who wondered who that girl was. 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 is a memoir concerning the addiction to, and use of, sexuality as a power hold over men in an attempt to feel self-worth. Kerry Cohens novel is well written in a practical sense, however the plot and characters are too mechanical. She comes across as a typical stereo-type of the desperate teenage girl seeking love and attention, but this fails to induce any kind of empathy. This memoir reads like a mundane diary or a day by day itinerary of one night stands, overly repetitive descriptions of the emptiness she trys to fill does not provide sufficient emotional connections to the character. I believe the concept of this novel would have been more effective had she included more of her present life. The ending was too anti-climatic and leaves the reader wondering whether she will stick by her new fiancee or just fall back into her old routine. (Although reading the author bio provides the information that she is married with children, the book would have been much stronger with a detailed epilogue.)

Author Website - Kerry Cohen

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Anonymous said...

Welcome to the LT web ring! Thanks for your comments on my "childhood books"; I was so pleased to see that the "One Kitten ..." book met the expectations of my memory.

_Loose Girl_ sounds like it could be a real "downer"; it certainly didn't leave you confident that she would make better choices.

Lisa said...

I just got a copy of this from the publisher and since then have seen several reviews with the same complaint. It has dampened my enthusiasm.

Anonymous said...

I loved your blog. Thank you.