Review: Loose Girl by Kerry Cohen

Desperate for attention from “boys” to give some meaning to her life, Kerry Cohen turned to sex at a young age as a way to feel worthwhile. Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity is about Cohen’s addiction to sex and male attention.

She wanted to matter to someone (anyone). Abandoned by a mother who left to follow her own dreams of becoming a doctor, Kerry and her sister (both in their young teens) are left behind to live with their pot-smoking dad. Dad tries to be cool in front of the girls’ friends, smoking pot with them and acting inappropriately with his girlfriend. Unsupervised much of the time, and with no parental guidance to speak of, some kids might start drinking, some might turn to drugs. Kerry just wanted boys.

The book is filled with sex, sex, sex, but is in no way sexy. It is one empty encounter after another. The girl had no shame; she’d sleep with anyone. She contracted crabs, genital warts, and had countless pregnancy scares. None of that really mattered, because sex allowed Kerry to feel in control momentarily. Unfortunately the feeling didn’t last long. Believing she was unworthy and incapable of any real relationship, she constantly and unsuccessfully tried to fill a bottomless pit of need.

Finally, in college, she discovered she cared about writing and enrolled in some workshops and programs that kept her engaged. She was still on the prowl for boys, but at least there was something more to her life. Her journey continued until she ultimately found love, trust and acceptance with a man. Trusting herself was more difficult.

Loose Girl will resonate with many readers. Many will feel compassion for Cohen. Many will recognize themselves or someone they are close to in Cohen’s story and perhaps learn from her experiences.

You can find Kerry Cohen’s website HERE

Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity comes out June 3, 2008.

Cohen is also the author of the YA novel, Easy.

Thanks to Trish for sending me this ARC.

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20 Responses

  1. I’m not sure I could read this. It kills me how society has taught girls – ALL girls – that their worth is tied to their beauty and their sexual desirability. I know that Cohen has a number of other issues that pushed her towards sex, but even girls raised in healthy, supportive homes have to struggle not to value themselves by their breast sizes.

  2. Such a sad story and one that reminds me of a book I recently read but haven’t written about yet called Girlbomb. I know I’m not a perfect parent, but geez!

    • If the like Girlbomb read the next one, Have you found her yet? It is really good it takes place when she is in her 30′s

  3. Good parenting can go a long way in preventing this complete lack of self esteem, IMO. Thanks for the comments.

  4. Oh my…it sounds sort of heart-breaking. I think I’d like to read this one. Then again, it would be a bit depressing.

  5. There’s a particular line in this book I find unnerving. That is: “For a man this might be a pleasent trip down memory lane. But for a girl it is an entirely different story.”

    Are we still living in the dark ages? Why are women made to feel guilty about a peopled past while men can sit in glee?

    This book is shallow and pointless, a boring read, and typical female sexuality-bashing nonsense.

    • In no way is this book shallow and pointless. Nor is it a boring read or typical female sexuality-bashing nonsense.

      The entire book is a memoir, not a persuasive device. The point of the book is to explain how wrong she was by thinking that she needed male attention to make herself feel worthwhile. That in itself is the complete opposite of shallow, pointless, and typically female sexuality-bashing nonsense. Whatever that means.

      You spelled “pleasant” wrong.

  6. [...] is there a sudden interest in my review of Loose Girl, a review I wrote back in April?  Can anyone explain why I would have 40+ hits today on that [...]

  7. [...] at Musings of a Bookish Kitty and Novels Now, Bookroomreviews at Bookroomreviews’ Weblog, Lisamm at Books on the Brain, and Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha [...]

  8. As a reader I love this book. It captures all emotions a girl experiences with the opposite sex with overanalyzing a male’s behavior all the way through the achy feeling that hits the pit of a girls stomach upon news or possibility of a break up. I see it as less of a commentary on promiscuity and more of a general commentary on ANY girl’s mind during relationships.

  9. You know I thought this book would be hard for me to read, i absolutely despise girls who crave sexual attention from guys. Honestly the book is well written and a true and honest memoir of a young girl. ALL girls crave attention from boys, and in the end this book teaches that you dont need a boy to complete who you are, but its nice to have it if its true.

  10. Best book i have ever read, i bought the book on a friday and finished the sunday. I was such an amazing book i couldnt put it down, and i would recommend that anyone who loves to read, read this book. Kerry Cohan is an amazing person for writing about her life.

    • I got the book on a Wednesday and i finished it thursday! I stayed up all night reading the book. I loved it, it IS reccomended for even people who don’t like to read! I picked up the book and i thought the book was going to be horrible… it look just plain borring. I started reading it and i couldn’t put it down. The saying don’t judge a book by its cover is so true!

  11. I love this book, it shows how young girls really feel about their bodys and how they yearn the sexual feeling.

  12. i read this book and i hate to put it out there but i feel just like its me. are society has hurt me so much by putting me into sex and drugs. i guess to say my life is messed up just like this book but its nice to read someone else story thats just like mine

    –sorry bad spelling

    • I feel the same way. It was like she was writing my life story. Its sad but as a child I didnt know better and started havign sex with boys, whuch led to be raped and led me to dysfuntional relationships. It became who I was.

      I started reading this book and didn’t go to bed until I finished the entire thing. I have carried around shame my entire life with my sexual experiences and after hearing Kerry’s life story I know I was and am not alone.

    • I feel the same way. It was like she was writing my life story. Its sad but as a child I didnt know better and started having sex with boys, which led me to be raped and later led me to dysfunctional relationships. It became who I was.

      I started reading this book and didn’t go to bed until I finished the entire thing. I have carried around shame my entire life with my sexual experiences and after hearing Kerry’s life story I know I was and am not alone. I am also not married to a man that tells me I am beautiful everyday and I soemtimes dont belive him still, but I hide it. I look forward to reading more of her work.

  13. Really dumb book!! Waste of time!! Literally 210 pages of crap! This is not a memoir at all it’s fiction. She sleeps with tons of dudes, gets crabs, hpv, and various other diseases… and then the last 3 pages of the book she decides for once not to sleep with a guy on the first night and they live happily ever after… give me a break! Crap! Waste of money!!

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