Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: Almost Home by Jessica Blank

Almost Home
By: Jessica Blank
Pub. Date: October 23, 2007
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 256
Source: Library

Why would anyone choose to live on the streets?

There is Eeyore, just twelve years old when she runs away from her priveleged home, harboring a secret she's too ashamed to tell anyone. Rusty is a sensitive gay teen who winds up alone when his older boyfriend ditches him in Hollywood. Squid has gone through too many foster homes to count. There's Scabius, a delusional punk from Utah who takes the "me against the world" motto to dangerous extremes. And Critter is a heroin dealer with movie star looks and a vulnerable heart. Laura should be home studying, but she can't face another one of her mom's boyfriends.

And then there's Tracy, the damaged thread that ties them all together, irrevocably changing each life she touches.

This unlikely band of characters form their own dysfunctional family, complete with love and belonging, abuse and betrayal. Each will make their way home, wherever it may be.
I’ve heard good things about Almost Home for years now, but I just never got around to reading it, but I have to say that I was a little disappointed. It’s not that it was bad, but I think I was expecting more.

The story is told in seven chapters, each in the point of view of a young runaway who, for the most part, has fled an abusive home. Each one does what he or she has to do to survive. Their life consists of dumpster-diving to eat, panhandling for change, trying to avoid the cops, selling drugs and it some cases, selling their bodies. It is always sad to read stories about children that have it so bad at home (or lack of home) that they would rather live on the streets. I think the main issue that I had with this boos was that I didn’t know enough about the characters. I wanted to know more about what their life was like before they decided to run away. Except for Eeyore, the 12 year old girl who runs away to escape from her stepbrother, I didn’t feel like I knew enough about the characters.

I guess I am just being overly critical. I was just expecting more background information on the characters. The story is such a sad one, and it is horrible to think that this is a reality for so many kids today. I’m glad that Blank brought attention to this horrible situation. Many people don’t realize how much of a problem this is and I hope that this book opens up people’s minds to this sad reality that so many children face everyday.

1 comment:

  1. It's hard when you finally pick up a book that you have heard so many fantastic things about for so long. I find for myself my expectations get really high and I almost always find that the book doesn't measure up!


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