Candy Girl by Diablo Cody
Candy Girl is the true story of Diablo Cody (she of Juno fame) and her year spent stripping and working in the sex industry in Minneapolis in the early 2000s.
(Point of note... this is not for your teen daughter who loved Juno. Not even a little. This is definitely a NSFW book full of really graphic descriptions of exactly what you might imagine.)
She had been working a normal office job and decided on a whim to try stripping with the blessing of her then boyfriend (now husband). She figured she'd make a little money, have some fringey, slightly risky fun... where's the harm?
The refreshing thing is that, with the exception of a few bruised knees and most likely a lingering lower-back issue (those heels!), there really *wasn't* any harm. Truly after all those horror stories you hear about strippers and their dangerous lifestyle choices, had I not known the outcome from the start (she being a rather famous face and all these days) I probably would have been waiting for the other stacked-heel platform to drop.
She wasn't raped, she wasn't debased (without her consent), she wasn't forced to do drugs or do porn. She was in control of herself the whole time, and when she got tired of it, she quit. It's certainly empowering if nothing else ... it's not going to spur anyone into going to their nearest booby bar for an audition or anything, but you come away feeling like she was pretty brave to do what she did (I mean, could you?).
She had fun, in fact, and in all likelihood doesn't regret it at all.
I, in turn, enjoyed the smutty fun of getting the nitty-gritty descriptions of what goes on in those clubs and shops with all their red lights and neon.
The only real issue I had with the book was ...
I mean she seems nice, I'd love to have lunch with her, but she strikes me as sometimes trying a little too hard to be cool. I kept finding myself distracted by her constant need to work counter-culture elements into everything that only a limited demographic would get.
Of course, not everyone's going to pick up a book about a stripper, and since she is who she is her fans *do* get her humor and references, but it still seems a bit over-reaching, like she's trying really hard to show you how edgy and alternative she really is, from referring to her move from her apartment in Chicago to be with her boyfriend in Minneapolis as having to "motor" (Heathers reference, check) to describing the ad agency she worked in as "Kubrickian" (film dork, check) to her use of the word "rad" (saw Point Break/hearted Anthony Kiedis/lusted after skater boys, check) on a regular basis.
Okay, Diablo, we get it. You can hang.
I have to wonder, of course, if it's my own desire to still be in the cool crowd that makes this stick out more to me, and if that isn't why I truly do like her not despite this need to be edgy all the time, but because of it. I understand her, I think ...
She's a dork with tattoos and way too much pop culture knowledge.
Takes one to know one!
This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. For more of Mimi Rickets reviews, please check out her blog.