Everything You Ever Wanted

Lauren, Jillian. Everything You Ever Wanted: a Memoir. New York: Penguin, 2015.

Reason read: As a member of the Early Review program for LibraryThing I occasionally review uncorrected proofs. This is my book for March/April.

It is safe to say I devoured Everything You Ever Wanted. In the midst of reading four other books I made time for Everything every single day. But, here’s the thing – her writing is so clear, so honest, so raw that I didn’t want to rush it. I wanted to savor every page, every sentence, every word (much like I did when I reviewed her earlier work, Pretty).
Lauren wrote Everything You Ever Wanted for her adopted son, Tariku; how she came to be his forever mom, his real mom. But, here’s the beautiful thing about this book – if you know anything about Jillian Lauren you know she has had a colorful past. She is a self proclaimed former addict and slut.  With her tattoos and rocker attitude she doesn’t look like the perfect candidate to adopt a child, much less one with special needs. But Everything You Ever Wanted doesn’t sugarcoat any of her experiences, past or present. It wasn’t enough to say, “hey – I have a rough history but here’s how I got beyond it.” No, she let her past struggles give her strength to deal with new ones. This is a great read for anyone who thinks they “blew it” earlier in life and can’t start over. Even the end of Everything You Ever Wanted has shafts of sunlit hope. Despite her sex & drugs former lifestyle, Lauren and her husband want to adopt for a second time to give Tariku a sibling. By now all the agencies know her story. SPOILER ALERT: she doesn’t tell you if they are successful, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying.

Confessional: it is so frustrating to review an uncorrected proof! There are so many great sentences I wanted to pull out of Everything You Ever Wanted if nothing more than to say, look at how beautiful this writing is!



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