Jul 5, 2016

The Girl's Guide to Homelessness

by Brianna Karp

There are many different reasons that people become homeless. Brianna Karp found herself in this situation in spite of being educated, skilled, and having kept regular jobs since she was a teen. She was laid off during the recession, and could not find new employment. Her friends were just as strained, and living with family did not work. She was molested as a child, routinely abused by her mother, and all her hard work did not earn her any savings- her mother took all her money and then some. She found herself in a parking lot, living in a trailer her estranged father had unexpectedly left behind when he committed suicide. I think I might have liked this book more if it was focused on how she put her life back together, which really is admirable considering what she went through. I don't at all judge her for having kept a laptop, a cell phone, a dog while she was homeless (eventually she found a new home for the dog). Other decisions really made me wonder. Early on the book is mostly about her attempts to escape the mindset and restrictions she'd been raised with- her family behind Jehovah's Witnesses- and deal with the abuse. Then the focus becomes a new relationship with a man she met online, who was an advocate for the homeless. She got a lot of attention and publicity from writing a blog (which I haven't seen) and then the future she'd hoped for starts to unravel. It's upsetting to read about some of the things that happened to her. It was a pretty good book and I like the way she writes, but I wish it had been more about the homeless situation. Instead I got rather tired of the drama near the end, and found myself skimming the last few chapters.

Borrowed from the public library.

Rating: 3/5         341 pages, 2011

more opinions:
Book Chase
Shannon's Book Bag
Book'd Out
Sarah Reads Too Much


bermudaonion said...

I have a feeling I'd like this book too.

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

Is the book based on the blog? Cause I've found that books based on blogs can be really tricky -- very often they're a weird patchwork of new material and repurposed old material and unrepurposed old material, and it comes out super weird.

Jeane said...

Yes- but I think most of it was re-written, not lifted straight off the blog. It doesn't read like a string of blog posts, at least. I didn't have issues with the coherence, more with the tone and how the focus slid near the end.