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Five Star Read

MAREVIEWS“Being a sex worker for nearly 3 years now, I can relate and find comfort in Annika Cleeve’s book “Mattress Actress.” I laughed and cried throughout the story and found it to be very truthful in every sense of the industry. Myself, entering the industry at middle class building to a very high class clientele in current times – all similar to Annika’s story….Amazing book, highly recommended! Thank you for an incredible insight in your “journey.” ~ xxx Honey Adams

“What a revelation. Annika is a strong, smart, driven, loving woman. I have a new found respect for these women and what they go through. So very well writen, every page was a laugh or a tear. Did not want the book to end. Thank you Annika for sharing your story. A must read.” ~ Anonymous


“I found this to be an incredibly revealing and honest account of being a sex worker in modern day Australia. It was like a cross between Secret Diary of a Call Girl and The Wire. Highly recommended for an eye-opening read.” ~ Gracie M. 4 out of 5 stars

“As a huge fan of books that are biographical in nature, seldom do I come across an autobiography that I cannot put down! Mattress Actress gives the reader a REAL look inside the life of a sex worker, as well as a brutal account of Australia’s sex worker industry, as it existed, between one to three decades ago. This is an absolutely compelling account of how the author, inadvertently, ended up on the inside of a brothel at age fifteen, and then ferociously climbed up through the “ranks” of the sex industry to end up at the top of her game as a high class escort to the rich and famous. No, this is not a “rags-to-riches” story, rather it is a story of one woman’s pure determination and survival, in the face of adversity. Very beautifully written and with a touch of humour thrown in to buff the incredible blows! Truly inspirational as well as eye-opening, a must read for anyone who wants a real-life peak into an industry as “taboo” as the sex industry – you will not find any sugar-coating here. If you are looking for a story that is as frank as it is honest, Mattress Actress will impress. Thank you Ms Annika Cleeve!” ~ Anonymous

“Remarkable. I was surprised at how clear-eyed and honest this account of a woman working as a prostitute was. She doesn’t glamourize the sex industry at all, and offers so much detail that it almost reads as a how-to guide. Completely fascinating. She’s obviously an incredibly smart person, and demonstrates how anyone could fall into such work. I really enjoyed her humour and point of view.” ~ Elizabeth 4 out of 5 stars

“Mattress Actress by Annika Cleeve recounts her eighteen years working in the Australian sex industry. Unlike other prostitute memoirs that focus primarily on the sex to boost book sales, Mattress Actress has a sad tale to tell. Cleeve was a busty tween living in a dysfunctional home in regional Queensland when she was molested and then raped. Without family support, Cleeve leaves home, under-aged and enters the world of sex to support herself.

“Surviving Kings Cross and the Fitzgerald Inquiry in the 1980′s, Cleeve is ‘street-smart’ enough to know to stay off drugs and save money. Her observations on sex, punters and the business behind the sex industry makes this a worthwhile read.

“Now in her forties and academically bright, Cleeve has a few telling observations about her former occupation. That is, advocates for children will always be required to protect and believe children when they recount episodes of molestation / rape; and to ensure that prostitution is never seen as a viable option for vulnerable kids.” ~ slacktarts.com – 4 chocolate bars

“Loved the book couldn’t put it down (and that doesn’t happen very often). It really gives a positive perspective to a socially unacceptable profession. Not all sex workers are drug addicts (but a lot are). I have respect for Annika because she did it sober and for a very good cause (her daughter). She has led a very interesting life with many stories to tell. Highly reccommend this book :)” ~ Anonymous

“This book, based purely on the skill of the writing inside, is pretty much exactly what a memoir needs to be. Smart, sharp, succinct yet explanatory–it ticks all the boxes. One online dictionary defines a memoir as ‘a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.’ Mattress Actress does this. Then we look at the content. Annika Cleeve lived a life that much of society refuses to discuss or acknowledge. She moved within circles that most would be too embarrassed to talk about. The life of a sex worker. Of this life, she writes with clarity and memory. We hear of the events that lead her to the lifestyle, and we hear of the lifestyle itself, in no uncertain terms. This is a wonderful book, and it takes a side of life that is regarded as seedy and destructive, and makes it an open book. No excuses; no justification; just life as it was for the author. I know how hard it is to write of such personal things. How confronting and how dangerous to put your self out there for the world to judge. Ms Cleeve has done an admirable job. I recommend this book for anyone interested in how anyone can fall by the wayside, be marginalised by society and the structural institutions within. Fantastic, heartwarming and a very easy read. I couldn’t put it down. 4.5/5 stars, but Amazon doesn’t have the half-star ability in ratings.” ~ G.N.Braun 4 out of 5 stars

“This is a very entertaining and inspirational read. I enjoyed this book very much because it gave an excellent account of a true survivor. Essentially it’s the story of a lady with a horrible childhood that becomes a sex worker and has a child along the way. She continues to explain the innards of the sex industry in a very entertaining manner. There is a happy ending – no pun intended – and she eventually finds true love. Excellent book, especially if you are from Australia.” ~ Jim Vrckovski 4 out of 5 stars

“An all consuming book! Wonderfully written this book takes you on a ride of the unknown and easily judged! A cross between underbelly and secret diary of a call girl! Love love loved!!” ~ Rezzie9

A truly wonderful book. I thoroughly enjoyed every page. A must read!!” ~ Jaryben

“Great read :)). Wow.. You are truly a beautiful mother and woman Annika, I read every page, every word never skipping a single letter.( and as anyone who reads knows its easy too skip the drawn out boring bits). You have every right to be proud of what you have done for yourself and Poppy. May the rest of your life be beautiful and happy for yourself, Poppy and your husband. After everything you have been through you deserve happiness :))” ~ Bestest Jan

“Where’s the tax man??? A book about a lady who thinks its okay to not pay taxes, treat people with no respect, lie to her own kid, family and friends, and believe what she does is acceptable. Not only that the poor child of hers must be so ashamed. No wonder her family disowned her and the dad hung himself. But hey she still thinks what she did was ok. Discusting!!!!!” ~ Jarrad666666 1 out of 5 stars

Daily Telegraph


1st & only review and it's 5 Star!!!!!

“4 out of 5 stars. Great Read! What an interesting story…shocking, sad, amusing…but all in all I think an insightful look into the part of our world many try to ignore, but that we all know is there. I really enjoyed this book (I read the whole thing in a day and a half), it’s well written, honest, and entertaining, making it very easy to read. Many thanks to Annika for telling her story!” ~ Belinda

“5 out of 5 stars. Great Read. I thoroughly enjoyed this bio, and can emphasise with the author, most working girls are there for good reason, and lead a for filling life away from the work…” ~ Robert Friend

“4 out of 5 stars. I liked this book–I found it easy to read –Annika gave as good of a look into her life as possible in the space allowed.” ~ Marie Hunt

“I really did not know about the lifestyle of such girls and how hard it is as a working gril. Very interesting and one book that makes you apprciate everything you have. Well done Annika.” ~ Wayne Duncan

“The Mattress Actress is written in the first person, always up front and to the point. Quite simple but you’re always with her and enjoying her life as she takes you through the traumas of her life. A good read.” ~ Brian E. Cunningham

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