Reviews

What People are Saying About

“The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness”:

 

“Brianna Karp is the perfect example of how a person can triumph not in spite of adversity but as a direct result of it. This smart, pragmatic young woman takes us inside the new face of homelessness in America and her dramatic memoir guides us through our assumptions, fears and judgement into a place of understanding, compassion and respect. Truly essential reading.”

~Augusten Burroughs, Author of Running With Scissors~

 

“Reading Brianna Karp, The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness, chewed ends of fingers…Gripping!”

~Margaret Atwood, Author of The Handmaid’s Tale~

 

“[A] candid and wickedly humorous memoir…Karp’s voice is instantly appealing and her message that basic respect shouldn’t disappear when you lose your home is a vital one.”

~Publishers Weekly~

 

[Starred Review] “An inspiring memoir of the modern-day homeless person…Karp’s story reverberates with immediacy and honesty, and readers will be more than a little dismayed by the frightening notion that the author’s fate could just as easily befall them. A haunting personal story that gives a face and a name to homelessness.”

~Kirkus~

 

[Starred Review] “Keep an eye on Brianna Karp’s book – it’s a good one…Candidly humorous, Karp’s memoir is sharp and insightful, reminding readers just how perilous the security of a permanent address can be and offering tips on what to do if it is lost…Eminently readable and relatable – Karp does an excellent job of putting a human face on homelessness. Definitely recommended.”

~Library Journal~

 

“Portrait of the Artist Living in a Parking Lot – You might be weary of the typical young memoirist who suffers some unimaginable hardship, like a high-level internship, only to lose it all, gain a publisher and a development deal, and sail into microfame. Nonetheless, we’re quivering: The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness is a very good book…New media rule: When [Margaret] Atwood tweets your book, you’re a writer.”

~SF Weekly~

 

“Important…will make you rethink how you view the homeless…[a] mesmerizing memoir…very compelling…courageous…it is inspiring to see the fortitude of the human spirit. We get to see both sides of human nature in Karp’s journey, from the truly despicable to the purely tenderhearted…Karp does what many authors spend their whole lives trying to figure out how to do: She writes with honesty, integrity and fearlessness…Her story simply flows. Five out of five bookmarks.”

~The Gainesville Times~

 

“I really can’t find the words to describe how much this book amazed me…This isn’t a ‘fluff’ read…Karp has shared a no holds barred telling of her daily life. It’s gritty. It’s dirty. It’s unpleasant. And it made me hurt to read it. But it’s a book that so many, not just those who find themselves suddenly homeless, can relate to…This book isn’t about adversity. It isn’t about merely surviving in tough economic times. It’s about living boldly. It’s about thriving because of your circumstances–not letting your circumstances thrive…I’ve never read a book and thought that everyone should read it. Until this one. ”

~Mean Old Library Teacher~

 

“At times, chilling. Other times, funny. But, always honest.”

~The 5th Line Project~

 

“I just read an advance reader’s copy of your new book.  I couldn’t put it down last night and finished it at 4:00 a.m. this morning…I was really intrigued by the title because my husband was homeless when he lived in El Paso in the late ’80s.  Your book’s account of your life was really moving and searingly honest…Kind regards and thanks for a stirring read.”

~Reader, New Mexico~

 

“I had the pleasure of getting my grubby mitts on a copy of your book. I couldn’t put it down (well, until I finished it, of course).  I’ve had the good fortune of employment/help/housing for as long as I’ve lived (27 years now), and I want to thank you SO HARD for putting this book out.  Being so lucky myself, I can only imagine how it’s like for those on the street.

Here in Alabama, there is a HIGH poverty/homelessness rate.  It’s easy to stereotype and write the homeless off as lazy or hopeless, especially with the crime rate among the poorer neighborhoods.  Lucky me, my parents taught me better that that, but I’m not perfect…so reading a book like this really helps me blast any ridiculous generalizations I might have made out of the water.  It also makes me want to shout from the rooftops so that others know as well.

It makes me happy to see how you’ve raised awareness and how you’re toppling towers of misinformation and ignorance.  I plan on recommending your book to everyone I know, and I most definitely plan on picking up an official copy once it’s out.”
 

~Reader, Alabama~

 

“It is 2:30 a.m., and I just could not put the book down tonight.  I read it in about three days and was left in tears when I finished it.  I am a typical Connecticut girl who just got my Masters in Education and am afraid that in this economy I will not find work and will lose my entire lifestyle that I have known my whole life.  This book was touching, and I haven’t felt so touched by a book ever.  Keep up the good work.”
 

~Reader, Connecticut~

 

“I got to read an advanced reader of your book. LOVED IT! My mom has ADHD and is bipolar. Add in the meth addiction she had for awhile?  Nuts growing up…I’m 18 and I’ve noticed since 7th grade other moms aren’t like mine. They’re how mine used to be. I used to love my mom just like you. I fear that I will lose touch with mine like you have…I just wanted to thank you for giving me something to relate to even if you never see this.”

~Reader, Missouri~

 

“I just received and read an advance copy of your forthcoming book the Girl’s Guide to Homelessness.  I just wanted to commend you on your both accomplishments as a human being and now as an author!  I have never contacted any author of any book I’ve reviewed before, but I felt compelled to tell you how well written your book is and how I wish you luck in future endeavors…Congratulations on your achievements, and I know in ways large and small your story will change lives. Thanks for sharing it.”

~Reader/Reviewer, California~

 

“I work at a (very small) bookstore and I picked you book out of box of galleys because the title was vaguely Young Adult-ish (and I’m the kids buyer). I realized fairly quickly that the book wasn’t really a young adult book, but I had to keep reading…I work, and I have a two-year-old, but I stayed up later than I should have to finish your story. You can keep people turning the pages, and if you desire, writing could be your future…I hope your book does well, and I hope you succeed in all your endeavors. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.”

~Reader, California~

 

“A well-written, fast-paced, no-holds-barred story of a young woman ill-prepared for the emotional and economic ups and downs of adult life. Handicapped by a childhood of toxic theology that demonized intellectual curiosity, Brianna’s ability to break the bonds and make lemonade out of lemons will inspire all readers—especially women whose lives have been minimized by abusive religious dogma. It’s a story I would have loved my 49-year-old sister Marilyn to have written. Unfortunately, she was murdered by a very controlling third husband. However, if she was alive today, she would have greatly admired Brianna Karp’s indomitable spirit to fight adversity. I know that I do. And Brianna’s insights on homelessness are priceless!”

~Richard E. Kelly, Author of Growing Up in Mama’s Club~

 

“Your book is fantastic! And shocking. And it made me feel like shit. I read the last few chapters while sitting at a lunch counter at Denny’s. I broke into tears and had to leave – I couldn’t even say a word while paying the bill. Had to go to my car and compose myself before getting on the freeway. It’s hard to drive and cry at 70 mph.

 

I finished the book when I got home and then called my wife to tell her that I was going to buy her one of your first publication copies. She can’t wait because she knows that when I’m excited about a book – that she’s probably going to love it.

 

[I appreciate that] although your book talks about the often tragic damage done to Jehovah’s Witness children, it’s not really an anti-JW book. It’s about being out of work and homeless, but not totally.  It’s about discrimination against the homeless and out-of-work among us  – and the almost insurmountable obstacles our economy places in their way of recovery. It’s also a tragic love story with many lessons learned. But above all, it’s a story of friends and strangers who did step forward to help as they could with no reasonable expectations of repayment or other compensation.”
 

~Reader, Oregon~

 

“I belong to a book club in Florida and our club was given some advance copies.  Myself and another gal decided to read it first, to see if we wanted to pitch it to the book club at our meeting today. Well, honey, you have a couple of FANS here in FL!!!

 

I read the book in one day, finishing it last night around midnight…I called my friend mid-way through it to see what she thought and she agreed with me – it was GREAT. You see, we have both been and are still unemployed (she for 2+ yrs, me for 18 months and my husband for 1 year). We are all over 55, so if you think finding work is hard for a young person it is nearly impossible for us older workers. Dealing with the FL unemployment system is a nightmare. None of us are homeless as we have family and many friends, but for the grace of God…

 

We have children your age and I can’t even bear to think of what you have gone through in your life. You should write a book – wait, you just did! Wishing you all the success and happiness in the world.”
 

~Reader, Florida~

 

“Just finished a reader’s copy of your new book…It’s funny and  in some parts horrific, but never less than moving…Cheers & congratulations. I look forward to following your progress!”
 

~Reader, California~

 

“This book just left me speechless. It was really an eye opener to read about someone who becomes homeless. Most people don’t know the story about homeless people and judge them as people who just are too lazy to work. I recommend everyone to try out this book, especially if you think homeless people are lazy, to read the other side of the story…I can only add that during the book I just gained huge respect for the author. I just couldn’t stop reading after I started the e-galley. Don’t miss out this impressive memoir that will hit bookstores April 26!”
 

~Marjolein Book Blog, Netherlands~