Book Review: Club 42
I reviewed this book which was provided for free by the publisher. However, I do not receive any compensation for reviews. All book reviews are My personal and subjective opinion.
When I first heard of a "choose your own" erotica, I was equal amounts curious and excited. Choose Your Own Adventure or Secret Path gamebooks were my favorite when I was a young reader. Haphazardly flipping through pages, holding as many leaves as possible to find all the alternate endings, I was a voracious bookworm hungry for all the options. Those memories still alive in my mind, I was eager to begin reading Club 42 and fingering this book of erotica.
I sat down to read and got to know Naomi, a mediocre film student trying to figure her life out in New York. Admittedly, at first I was unimpressed by the character and her YOLO attitude. However, as I began to watch her personality develop through alternate realities, she really began to grow on me. Seeing Naomi become different versions of herself, discover completely distinct renditions of her alter ego, I saw who she truly was. Naomi is a lost soul in search of her true self, liberated by sex work, capable of supporting herself yet desiring a partner to share her life with. Viewing Naomi through this lens, the stories became much more satisfying
Much like the gamebooks of my youth, there were a plethora of options whilst reading. One addition I enjoyed was the option to go back and read an alternate ending after having chosen one--the page numbers were listed at the end of each scene. No longer do we have to choose between giving or receiving oral sex, you can have both! This also saves the reader from having to keep many "tabs" open. Additionally, at the end of a story they refer you back to the beginning of the very first scene to start your erotic journey all over again!
Normally, choose-your-own stories are quite short as they're essentially a compilation of tales in one book. However, I found Club 42 to be quite long with some tellings, which I did enjoy. Due to the lengthiness of certain portions combined with the construction of the book, I highly recommend having a bookmark at the ready should you find yourself needing to put it down lest you find yourself helplessly lost. Another slight downside is being uncertain if one has read all the variations or not. While there were no pits of quicksand or alligators, Naomi did find many happy endings and you wouldn't want to miss a single one.
You can buy a copy of Club 42 here.
About the Author
Joanna Angel is an award-winning adult film star, director, producer, best selling author, and entrepreneur. She was the owner and founder of the venerated adult studio BurningAngel Entertainment from 2002 to 2019, with Pacific Standard magazine calling her "one of the most powerful feminist icons in the adult industry." She's stormed mainstream media outlets with a mission to defy all stereotypes of sex workers by being a strong, educated, insightful, and powerful woman in adult film. While an exotic dancer, she toured and performed at strip clubs around the world. She’s been featured in the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, LA Weekly, and on Vice TV and CNBC, to name a few. She was inducted into AVN's Hall of Fame in 2016, the XRCO Hall of Fame in 2017, and in 2018 was crowned a legendary triple threat by NightMoves magazine for her accolades as a director, performer, and exotic dancer.