Bad Girlz by Shannon Holmes
A book that has been in my ‘pile’ for a while, just waiting to be listened to. For me, delving into stories that feature the underdogs in life, the seamier side of things and the struggles to just stay afloat require the right frame of mind to get into them. Shannon Holmes heads to Philadelphia – the parts that aren’t on the tourist maps with
Three young women and their less than wonderful lies become the focus of this story: lives of poverty in finances and education, a poverty of opportunity and the long-lasting aftereffects of abuse set these girls on a life-long struggle. Life isn’t always kind or fair, especially not to those denied a level playing field from the start: and these women all band together as a matter of necessity, a situation that exposes and feeds on the weak and naïvé. Yes, there is still a sense of naiveté from Tender, and a wish, perhaps even a need, to believe in Kat, the ‘leader’ of their little group, despite Goldie’s awareness of Kat’s motives.
Throughout the roller coaster ride that is this story, we see Kat’s selfishness that masquerades as care and concern: by becoming the entrée into the world for the new girls, Tender and Goldie. The sex trade is often a last resort for the broken and damaged, ones with limited or no options, or the inability to see other choices: truth for all here. While a sense of ‘we have control’ appears in all three, as they believe they are holding the cards and have taken some of their own back, the reality of the situation shows otherwise. With plenty of gripping moments, and several of tragedy, the details of each life are clear and their choices are understandable. While a story of addiction leads to suicide for one, the growth of Tender – admittedly a callous and harsh coming of age, is presented with honesty and care, and still shows a few moments of light.
Narration in this story is presented by Erica Peeples, and was a bit of a mixed bag for me. While her presentation was clear, each character presented seamlessly and all were distinct. The problem I had was some unneeded and often over-emphasized breaks in the presentation: periods and commas in the text were long (too long) pauses, and other sentences were broken without reason, emphasizing words that did little to nothing to impact on the story. A reasonably good performance that, were it not for the pauses, would have been very good.
Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 3 Story: 4
Title: Bad Girlz
Author: Shannon Holmes
Genre: 18+ Read, African-American, Contemporary Fiction - Adult, Dark-theme, Multi-Cultural, Romantic Elements
Narrator: Erica Peeples
Published by: Atria Books, Buck 50 Productions
Published on: 28 May, 2015
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Audio Length: 6 Hours: 46 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
About the Book:
The bestselling author of B-More Careful, Shannon Holmes, delivers Bad Girlz, another wild adventure into the streets. The setting this time is the Badlands, one of the toughest and poorest communities in Philadelphia.
Bad Girlz takes you into the mysterious and often dangerous lives of young women who turn to the streets and strip clubs as a means of survival. These are girls who, along the way, suffer bad breaks and find themselves ripe for exploitation by men and women who pretend to be their saviors.Tender and Goldie were taken under wing by Kat, a veteran stripper, who enjoyed the life and the risks she had to take to stay in the mix of the sex trade. Both of these young and beautiful girls had ended up in dire straits and in need of Kat's help in different ways, but ultimately for the same reasons: They lacked the love and support that most of us expect to get at home and in our communities. Where they live, illegal money is often the only money to be made, and the difference between the law and the outlaw is tough to discern.
Holmes tells a page-turning story of sex, money, and murder in the name of survival and reveals the many ways that good girls, trying to get by in desperate situations, become Bad Girlz.
A copy of this title was provided via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: