You know when you find a book that promises to be really interesting and you just can’t wait to get it home and curl up with it? Well, this book isn’t that book.
It’s unfortunate really. I wanted to like this book, I really, really did. I wanted to find out what the life of someone forced out of her home by the recession was like. How, and what, did she eat? Where did she stay? What experiences did she encounter, and how did that effect her? Had she learned any kind of budgeting or money management as a kid or young adult out on her own?
“The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness” is Brianna Karp’s debut novel, based on her blog of the same name. Checking back in with the blog just now, Karp makes (several) mentions about the fact that there were positive reviews. She sounds surprised about it. Maybe my review won’t come as much of a shock then.
For me, this book was less about Karp’s experience with homelessness than it was about her admittedly horrible childhood (which, I can see would be why she’d choose to strike out on her own rather than go home to ‘rents, but beyond that, I don’t see the connection) and then her seemingly fairytale romance turned semi-Fatal Attraction meets Unfaithful.
It felt like there could have been some serious editing throughout the book. Huge swaths of details could have been nixed in favor of more information about how it was to actually be homeless, and more about where she is now. I tried to set up an interview with Karp, but after suggesting a date, I didn’t hear back from the publicist. I want to know where she’s living now; how, exactly, did she manage to afford flights from the UK to California for her boyfriend and why her book was more about her romance than it was the situation she found herself in. There was some good information about how she got to be homeless, (laid off, several temp jobs just didn’t make ends meet…) but I felt like the book just… trailed off.
Maybe I’m being too hard on her. If you’ve read the book, (or would like to, I’m happy to pass it along to someone interested in reading it, just let me know in the comments) what did you think?