I've been meaning to read this book since it came out because I went to high school with the author, a year ahead of her. It's a small town and a small high school. I remember her as a happy, friendly girl and that doesn't really come across in the first part of the book which seems like a disjointed rambling of how great she was. This is not how I remember her so I kept going. The writing really smooths out partway through the book when she explains a traumatic event that was the final link in a chain of events that led her to give stripping a try. Basically, by doing things the "right" way, she was getting nowhere and couldn't catch a break so she decided to try something different. I have read other reviews that critisized her retelling of the stripping as "bragging" about all the cash she made. I saw it more as amazement that people would pay this much money for what she was doing. Interestingly, I do believe that this is a pretty accurate description of dancing at the time because I had another friend from high school who did the same thing in Boston and much of what she had to say at the time is very similar to what Heidi has to say. Only difference really is the location and my friend wasn't going to college, much less an Ivy League school.
It would be tempting. Around the same time, I was putting myself through college with the usual type of thing (waitress, cashier, campus job) and there were times when I was getting by on pretty much nothing. My high school friend was pulling in more on an average weekend than I did in a month. She told me that you didn't have to be pretty or know how to dance, just be young and willing to take it off. She told me that the patrons were generous with college girls and one of her fellow dancers was putting herself through medical school. She also worked at a high end club.
Heidi does touch on the dark side of dancing and makes the point that due to her strong sense of self, her family background, and her long term goals helped her to keep things in perspective and not get sucked into believing the illusions, which can be difficult.
In conclusion, this is not the best book that I have read and the first half is a little hard to get through but it is an interesting story. I would tell you to keep in mind that this author is not conceited. Although we were not friends in high school, more like friendly aquaintances, I can really tell you nothing bad about her. She was in a ton of activities, seemed to like everybody she met, and was an all around nice person. She didn't dress inappropriately or wear a ton of makeup and really was about the last person that you could imagine choosing this path as a means to an education. If you picture this, you will enjoy the book more and not see it as bragging and more as the story of a way to pay for school, that others used as well, but maybe wouldn't want anyone to know about.