Title: The Girl's Guide to Homelessness
Author: Brianna Karp
Publish Date: Harlequin
Publisher: April 13, 2011
Paperback, 336 pages
Barnes and Noble
I was really looking forward to this book from the moment I read the title. I knew it would be good. I knew it would be in depth that talked about things people didn't talk about. I was so excited.
Sadly, I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the book. It did in fact have a lot of really interesting points about homelessness - like whether it is appropriate to say that a homeless person cannot own a cellphone or laptop. I found it interesting that she was "homeless" and still lived in a camper which is not technically a home, but still a roof over her head. I really enjoyed all this back and forth feelings of defining what it really means to be homeless. When in fact, I am not sure there really is such a definition. To each his own and it's very subjective. Unless it is strictly stereotype that one is looking for. Is it really about not having a "home" or is it about not having a place at all or is your home where your heart is?
Where this book lost me is when Brianna started to spiral downhill with all the boyfriend/fiance hoopla. I was so disappointed. It was too much and completely took away from the entire topic of the book. It became "the girl's guide to sad and pathetic breakups" instead. I still related to her and still felt for her and her situation, but I was completely lost on why this was even such a large focus of the book. It realistically took up almost half (if not three-quarters of the book) which completely confused me.
I loved the way Brianna's journey led her to her love of writing. It is always such an unforeseen thing to think it is all uphill from here, only to appear on top with the journey leading to the one thing you never knew you really wanted in life. It also provided her with so many nice people along the way. I do think she is a fantastic writer. I felt her entire journey with force. I laughed along with her and cried as well.
I have to say this was a book I wouldn't have probably read knowing what I know now and yet, I still read the entire book through. Which to me, says, I liked it way more than I want to admit. So all in all, I have no idea whether I would recommend this book or not. It was good. It was controversial. Yet, it was a bit like a drunk girlfriend pouring her heart and soul out and then feeling like I needed to take a shower afterward. So as Donald Trump would say, "There is no such thing as bad publicity."
What do you think? Have you read it yet?
Summary of The Girl's Guide to Homelessness -
"I am an educated woman with stable employment and residence history. I have never done drugs. I am not mentally ill. I am a career executive assistant—coherent, opinionated, poised, and capable. If you saw me walking down the street, you wouldn't have assumed that I lived in a parking lot. In short, I was just like you—except without the convenience of a permanent address." Brianna Karp's account of her journey through homelessness immerses us in a timely, relevant topic that all too many Americans know about first hand.