Picks and Pans Review: Underneath It All

updated 09/01/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/01/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

By Traci Lords

"I was high-school sophomore Nora Kuzma by day and nude centerfold model Traci Lords by night," writes former teen porn actress Traci Elizabeth Lords in this memoir. Lords, who was 16 when she became Penthouse's Pet of the Month in 1984, made 20 hardcore movies before her arrest at 18. Explaining how she went wrong, Lords describes childhood poverty, neglectful parents and abuse by older men: Her mother's lover not only molested her but took her to her first nude modeling assignment.

Despite its salacious topic, the book will generally disappoint those with prurient interests. As Lords struggles to find love and succeed as a legitimate actress, her insights are drab ("I was just a work in progress, like everyone else"), except when they're unintentionally funny. If you make it to the end, you may find yourself echoing another of her musings: "Arggggg! What did any of it mean?" (Harper Entertainment, $23.95)


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