Rebecca Grace's Reviews > Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir

Girlbomb by Janice Erlbaum
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's review
Mar 22, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: memoir-addiction, memoir-childhood, non-fiction
Read from June 10 to 25, 2010

This was a good book, but I will caution right from the start - if you have ever had issues with drugs or addiction, this might be a book you want to avoid. It was very triggering as a former addict, and although it did express some of the downsides of drug abuse, I felt the author glorified her usage and made much of her experiences seem like 'good times', the minority of the book being about how those experiences turned negative, and the method she used to quit hard drugs (cocaine) was to lock herself in her apartment and hide with her boyfriend in a cloud of pot, which is what I assure you, many who find themselves struggling with this issue fantasize will help them escape and get over these kinds of serious issues. If you are someone who also has a problem with smoking too much weed, than obviously, this will be extremely triggering as well, and if you are a smoker trying to quit cigarettes, or someone who has a problem with other drugs, (E, shrooms, etc.), then you should definitely stay away from this book, because she continues to use basically everything but cocaine without any apparent consequence.

For these reasons, I found this book difficult to read. It brought back a lot of personal memories, and brought up questions like, 'maybe this or that wasn't so bad afterall...' etc. BUT, that said, is only if you are someone who has a history of these kinds of issues. But THAT said, I feel the book didn't give an accurate portrayal of how quickly one can spiral out of control with the usage of any of all of these things, and does overly glorify substances.

This was not a story of abuse, not in the typical sense - unless you include self-harming behaviours, such as drug abuse, disordered eating, sexual promiscuity (with negative partners who treat the author like shit - she just doesn't get it and goes back for more and more, with whomever, whenever - this is obviously an issue much deeper than, say, sex addiction).

I'm not sure why I felt it was such a good book, I guess I felt that if you are a woman who identifies with what it is like to be an adolescent/young woman with these kinds of problems, someone who has dealt with their issues in totally negative ways, someone who has abused themselves more than they might ever be abused by others (and at times, that includes willingly engaging in relationships with those who you KNOW might be negative/neglective/abusive), if you are someone who has had the mentality of 'I'm going to fuck myself up before anyone else can do it for me', then it is a book that is very relatable. I feel the ending was somewhat... tame, I don't know if anyone goes through these kinds of experiences and gets away in such a... clean fashion, but it definitely reminded me of a life gone by, many aspects of it, many variations of it, and was a very accurate portrayal of what being in the types of situations presented and the types of mindsets described is like.

That said, it's not for everyone, especially if you are still struggling with any of these kinds of things, and especially if you have struggled, and have found it, well, a struggle. As I said, I think the author glorifies her lifestyle a bit too much, even if she gives a good impression of what it's like to live through her issues.

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