An erotic adventurer and former arts and culture editor debuts with a brusque, unabashed sexual memoir.
Cook shows her magnetic, cocksure attitude from the very start of her memoir when she relays her plan, at 13 years old, to give her virginity to a willing 19-year-old boy. She gives readers a taste of her impudent approach to sexual experience, but as the book progresses, Cook seems to become more self-conscious and mindful of her readers’ potential impressions of her. Even so, she lays out her actions neatly, with little self-reflection and no apology. In one exceptional episodic chapter, “Word to your mother,” she tells of spurning a lover who refused to perform cunnilingus on her: “I was not going to be with someone who thought going down on a girl was dirty, especially after the countless hours I spent with his cock in my mouth.” She reveals that she had some insecurities when she walked away from his house for the last time, but she maintained her conviction never to see him again. Cook sometimes unnecessarily attempts to justify her digressive tendencies, and her parenthetical interjections such as, “(bear with me)” only serve as distractions and interruptions. Often, the voice here has the momentum-driven, jittery qualities of an adolescent girl, but it will likely charm many readers. One particular chapter stands out: “Mission Abort” details Cook’s experiences being pregnant for a short period and then getting an abortion; she reflects on her changing body and other issues in a balanced, mature manner absent from most other chapters. In the “Afterword,” the author expresses her hope that readers won’t consider her a “man-hater” for telling stories of ill-advised relationships with “some of the shitty guys…I’ve had the pleasure of encountering.” “There are lots of great guys I have dated,” she admits. “But those stories are so goddamned boring you’d never want to read them.”
An entertaining, cheeky and simple memoir of a rogue teenage girl.