A nice-guy husband, a nice job, a nice apartment: for many women, this sounds like the ideal way to end their 20s; for an almost-30 Jessica Dorfman Jones, it felt like the end to her life. Looking to shake things up just a bit, she signs up for guitar lessons and winds up quickly entering the world of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. (“It’s not a list,” she insists, “It’s a lifestyle.”) First there’s the guy—he’s in a band, of course, and gorgeous, and the two of them embark on an intense sexual and emotional affair. Then there’s the music; Jones is a natural, it turns out, and starts a band of her own. And then there’re the drugs: mostly cocaine, but also plenty of alcohol and a smattering of whatever else is around. She becomes a cheating, coked-up lunatic, unrecognizable to her family and friends. Her excuse for the transformation? “My life was so fucking lame,” she writes—a defense that just doesn’t hold up for me. There’s a certain braggy quality behind this memoir that felt somewhat thoughtless. Despite the destruction this period of her life caused to her friends and family (expressed, in part, through awkwardly cheesy dialogue), Jones sounds fairly impressed with herself. I came to her memoir looking for the soul-searching, reflexive writing that this kind of situation can generate. What I found instead was a skimmable good-girl-gone-bad tale: fine to read during lunch, with or without the Klonopin.
($14.87 at barnesandnoble.com)
By Molly Labell