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Fallen: Out of the Sex Industry & Into the Arms of the Savior - Annie Lobert, A.J. Gregory

I received a copy of this book from Goodreads' First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

This was a difficult book to review. The first portion of the book relays some of Lobert's experiences in the sex industry under her alias, Fallen. This portion was intensely powerful as it helps dispell many myths about sex work such as that sex workers cannot be raped or that the women do it by choice. I am thankful that Lobert was strong enough to share her experiences in order to benefit others. This is the kind of book you read for substance rather than writing, so it is easy to look past the simplistic writing style. Often Lobert writes in a detached, matter-of-fact way, which is completely understandable and in no way diminishes her credibility or the reader's experience.

The part I wasn't a huge fan of was once Lobert committed herself to religion. As an atheist, that part was easily unrelatable to me. While I am glad she was able to safely leave the sex industry, I wish she would give herself more credit for the transformation she made, rather than giving all responsibility to God. I wish that Lobert gave a message about being your own person rather than jumping from one submissive relationship with a pimp to a submissive relationship with God.

The text was also very anti-abortion, even in cases involving drug and alcohol use, abusive relationships, and life in the sex industry.

Overall, I think this is an important book because of its ability to dispell myths regarding sex works and hopefully to benefit sex workers themselves. I with that Lobert's message was more empowering to such women however. Even her insistence on referring to sex workers as sex-trafficking victims, while well-intended, has the effect of solely focusing on a person as a victim, in the same way it does when someone is refereed to as a rape victim rather than a survivor of rape.

So as well-intended as the book was, I think there are still a few issues in its lack of female empowerment, especially regarding women who really need to be empowered. I would still recommend this book for the powerful narrative of Lobert's life as a sex worker and the importance of her great work in helping women leave the industry.