And The Winner Is….

… Jeani!!

 

You have won Kerry Cohen’s Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity.  Congratulations Jeani and thanks for entering my giveaway contest!!  Please e-mail your mailing address to me at PlanetBooksWorldWide@gmail.com at your earliest convienience and I will get my copy out to you. 

I’m sorry to all of you who entered this contest and didn’t win.  Good news is I have a few more books to giveaway over the next few weeks.  I will announce the upcoming giveaway title soon.  Thank you for being loyal readers of Planet Books and for entering my giveaway contests.  I really appreciate your readership!!

And The Winner of Matrimony Is…

… Yan!!

Using Random.org’s “List Randomize” feature Yan came up as the winner.  Yan, please e-mail me your mailing address (PlanetBooksWorldWide@gmail.com) so I can get it to Joshua and he can send you your signed copy of his book Matrimony, newly released in paperback. 

Thank you to all of you for being loyal readers of Planet Books and entering this contest.  Please remember that if you didn’t win here today, Lisa over at Books on the Brain will be running a giveaway contest for Matrimony starting September 15th. 

     

 

 

I do have another book giveaway going on this week for Kerry Cohen’s Loose Girl.  You can check out Kerry’s guest post and enter for your chance to win HERE.

 

Guest Post & Giveaway ~ Author of Loose Girl, Kerry Cohen

This Giveaway Has Concluded

Kerry Cohen, author of Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity, is here to talk with us about life after writing Loose Girl.  Kerry will be profiled on Secret Lives of Women on WE T.V. this month and is currently working on another memoir about parenting an autistic child.  Kerry is also the author of Young Adult (YA) Fiction under the name Kerry Cohen Hoffman.  Be sure to check out Kerry’s web site at www.kerry-cohen.com where you can learn more about her and her books. 

 

When I stepped back into the bar where I had lived out a fair chunk of my “loose girl” days, I had not been there for many, many years. Also, the last time I did not have a cameraman, a sound guy, and a producer from “The Secret Lives of Women” leading the way. If someone had told me back then that my behavior with guys was going to wind up on television some day, I would have laughed. I would have said, “I highly doubt anyone wants to see how pathetic I am.” I might have added, “Besides, I’m sure for most women, it would be like looking in the mirror.” And then I would have paused, thinking about this, and then I would have rushed off to write Loose Girl.
 
The producer asks, “What were you looking for when you came into a bar like this one?”
 
“I wanted to find someone to fill my emptiness,” I told her. “I was always looking for boys to do that.”
 
In the corner, in my peripheral vision, a customer stands and listens. Doesn’t he have anything better to do than listen to some girl tell her sad tale of desire? But I don’t turn to look at him, to try to gauge what he’s thinking, because I’m supposed to talk to the camera. I straighten my back, hold my hands tightly in my lap.
 
So silly, isn’t it? I published a memoir, after all, revealing the terrible neediness that drove me through much of my life, all culminating in promiscuity. It’s not like I have a right to be embarrassed. At my recent annual with my gynecologist, trying to assess how often I needed to be coming in, she asked, “Would you say you’ve slept with less than, or more than, five people since you’ve been sexually active?” My answer? “Um, read the book.”
 
Nothing is secret anymore. People write me emails. “I hope you’re doing okay,” some well-intentioned readers say, and I feel immediately ashamed, embarrassed by my own vulnerability. Others are not so well intentioned. One told me I’d shamed the Jewish community. Another sent an email with the subject line, “40 dicks.” I will leave to your imagination what that one entailed, but will say that he also berated me for writing a book about sex when I have two small sons.
 
Of course, all of this is my own fault. I did write a book about sex when I have two small sons. Once, a reader wrote me, “Thank you for taking the firestorm on this.” It’s true. I made a decision to reveal myself, to be more vulnerable – honestly – than I’ve ever allowed myself to be, not even during sex.
 
But there’s a reason I did it. And the reason goes beyond curiosity, voyeurism, attention, beyond any sort of personal need. When I worked as a therapist, girl after girl came through my office door to tell me the stories I came to know as well as my own. What’s more, they were my stories. We all had the same one, albeit with different details. They were the first ones to make themselves vulnerable. They spoke their stories after much waiting, much encouraging. When they were finally willing to speak them, they did so in soft voices, in whispers. They said things like, “I’m so ashamed,” and “I hate myself for this,” and “How could anyone ever love me?” They spoke their stories only because that door they had walked through was firmly shut, because no one would hear.
 
The harm of that silence, I knew, was greater than the acts themselves. Sex and boys and their needs had wounded these girls. But nothing had injured them more than the silence they had to upkeep.
 
The same had been true for me.

 Writing my story, allowing thousands of people to read who I’ve been and what I’ve longed for, has been the greatest intimacy in my life. I’ve been attacked for it, yes – that firestorm. But more than that, I’ve received email after email telling me what it’s meant to them to have someone speak their secret words, to know that they aren’t alone.
 
In early September, the documentary in which I’m profiled will air, and there I’ll be, on camera, telling the world my deepest, most shameful secrets. I’m hopeful that someday they won’t have to be shameful anymore for any of us.

Kerry’s publicist asked me to read Loose Girl and sent me my copy and now I would like to offer it up as a book giveaway for you.  If you are interested in winning my copy of Loose Girl, which is in as-good-as-new condition, please leave your name and e-mail address below in the comments section of this post.  You will have until this Friday, September 12th at Midnight EDT to enter this giveaway.  Planet Books uses Random.org to select winners for book giveaways. 

Book Review ~ Loose Girl by Kerry Cohen

Summary ~ Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity

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 by Kerry Cohen is a stumbling trip down memory lane for this author/psychotherapist.  Kerry was a girl, like myself and millions of others, who grew up in the pop culture world that depicts sexual behavior as love which lends to confusing thoughts and misdirected actions that lead to more trouble. 

Am I good enough?  Everything I do is not for me but for that boy or that friend who’s opinion means more than anything.  Those are the thoughts that are constantly tormenting Kerry starting at a terribly young age (eleven) and make her teen years and early adult life a heart wrenching, abyss filling period, full of the same mistakes made time after time. 

Sex, looks, how we act for the opposite sex and what he thinks about me are the common themes in Loose Girl.  Kerry grew up in a broken family.  The victim of a mother who left the family she doesn’t really want to follow her dreams and the daughter of a father who reluctantly takes Kerry and her older sister Tyler in but doesn’t quite grasp the sense of what his responsibilities require of him.  Buying the girls love and (he thinks) respect with clothes, expensive private schools and a rule-less home life leads to a life that any teenager thinks is the best but underneath it all is the worst thing for her development. 

Loose Girl was a tough read for the most part.  Some parts of Kerry’s story echoed my own “dating years” but the drugs, drinking and constant repetitive behavior became tedious at times.  The point of the problem carried across to me, the reader, very well and was extremely effective though.  I found myself very frustrated with Kerry and the same “mistakes” she made over and over again but I understand that that was and is the “illness” she deals with and dealt with while growing up without even being aware of it.  Sleeping with a guy on the first date or just for the sake of a one night stand isn’t the best thing to do and usually doesn’t get one anywhere one wants to go in the end. 

I think that some young girls might benefit from reading Loose Girl if it’s taken as a cautionary tale but after much editing.  Drugs and alcohol play a significant role in Kerry’s misadventures.  Actually, maybe it doesn’t need editing for the young reader.  Maybe it could shed a long lasting light on what can happen if you don’t put yourself first in your life and succumb to peer pressures and the role society tries to place the young and influential female in. 

{Rating 3.5 out of 5}