EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED by Jillian Lauren

EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED

A Memoir
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Exploring how we see identity through the process of adoption.

Readers of Lauren’s Some Girls (2010) need no introduction to bring them up to speed for her second memoir. In her first book, she chronicled how, at age 18, she turned to stripping and prostitution when her efforts at acting weren’t moving forward. She learned of a unique audition, and that led to a “role” in the harem of a Brunei prince. The end of that book provided a tidy wrap-up of where she’d landed—married to the bass player from Weezer and the adoptive mother of a boy from Ethiopia—that suggested, perhaps inadvertently, smooth sailing from there forward. Not so, as we find in this second memoir, which rewinds the story a bit to pick up before her marriage and tell how their relationship started, their early time together, and their efforts to conceive a child. Lauren’s writing takes the shine off of the happily-ever-after of conceiving. She writes of feeling convinced, over and over, that each month was going to be “the one,” only to sink deeper into disappointment. She also found herself filled with questions about her own fitness to serve the roles through which she came to identify herself: a wife, a mother, a daughter. She recalls trying to cover her tattoos, stop swearing, and maintain an endlessly cheerful attitude, expecting herself to be judged during the adoption process, only to uncover her own prejudices. The author also recounts the challenges of adopting a child who has suffered significant trauma, the family shunning that came as a result of her previous memoir, and the enormous struggle to get help for their son.

Lauren’s writing is brave and honest, and she calls out hypocrisy wherever she sees it and shines a light on the challenges faced during the adoption process.

Pub Date: May 5th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-14-218163-8
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Plume
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2015




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