Bebe Baker is an ex-everything: ex-stripper, ex-Christian, ex-drug addict, ex-pretty girl.
It’s been one year since the car accident that killed her boyfriend left her scarred and shaken. Flanked by an eccentric posse of friends, she is serving out a self-imposed sentence at a halfway house, while trying to finish cosmetology school.
Amid the rampant diagnoses, over-medication, compulsive eating, and acrylic nails of Los Angeles, Bebe looks for something to believe in before something–her past, the dangerously magnetic men in her life, her own bad choices–knocks her off course again.
This is an incredibly sad, yet powerful story about a person who struggles with guilt, ADD, chemical dependency, and so much more. She aims to stay clean with the end goal of graduating from Cosmetology school. The title of this book is compelling because her struggles are as much internal as they are external. She is scarred physically and emotionally from a tragic accident and finds support in a halfway house so she can try and work through her addiction as well the emotional scarring from unhealthy relationships (one that was on a downhill spiral before the accident claimed her beau and her current run with the schizophrenic).
It’s a difficult read. Grim and sobering. Having personally volunteered in a halfway house, Bebe’s story isn’t uncommon. People need a lot of support to see themselves as worthy of the good things they seek. Though it would be a great novel to introduce a teen to the harsh realities of an imperfect world, parental guidance is definitely advised. A reader who has gone/is going through Cosmetology school may also have some appreciation to its references to certain techniques, as I certainly did not. If anything, one should come away with a deeper appreciation or understanding of the conflicts experienced by the deeply troubled.
Disclosure: As a Global Influence Blogger, I was provided a free copy of this book to review and giveaway. My opinion does make me eligible for prizing, but I was not obligated to provide favorable feedback.
Know what else is cool? If you’re one of the first 250 people on 9/7 to order this book on Amazon AND email the receipt to email@example.com, you will receive a Limited Edition run of the “Pretty” necklace (pictured above), made byFairyTaleJewels.com.
ABOUT JILLIAN LAUREN:
Author and performer Jillian Lauren grew up in suburban New Jersey and fled across the water to New York City. She attended New York University for three minutes before dropping out to work in downtown theater, where she performed with Richard Foreman’s Ontological Hysteric Theater, among others.
Her New York Times bestselling memoir, SOME GIRLS: My Life in a Harem, was published by Plume in April 2010. It has since been translated into fourteen different languages.
Her debut novel, PRETTY, was released on August 30, 2011.
Jillian has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review Daily, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Flaunt Magazine, Opium Magazine, Society, Pale House: A Collective and in the anthology My First Time: A Collection of First Punk Show Stories.
She lives with her husband and son in Los Angeles, CA.