Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Broke Diaries

The Broke Diaries: The Completely True and Hilarious Misadventures of a Good Girl Gone BrokeThe Broke Diaries: The Completely True and Hilarious Misadventures of a Good Girl Gone Broke by Angela Nissel
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sum it up in a sentence (or two): Angela Nissel's diary of her senior year in college definitely lends support to the idea that "being poor is expensive," but something is lacking in this otherwise honest and clever memoir.

First thoughts: There were times when I was reminded of Nickel and Dimed (Barbara Ehrenreich), but I wanted more of that style and less of Nissel's narration of her days. Memoirs are hot or cold for me, and this adaptation of a blog felt like a straight copy and paste from the online platform into print pages - while tidbits of daily life are common in blogs, where they're doled out in small chunks over days and weeks, that same text crammed into a book read in three days feels dull. I would've enjoyed more examples of "broke" dilemmas, even categorized: broke eating, broke phone bills, broke entertainment. The book would've felt more useful then.

First questions: How did Nissel become "broke" in the first place? Was she always, or did it come as a result of student loans?

Recommended for: Perhaps college students could relate better - I know I'm not that far removed from college, but I had to remind myself that she was "still in school" every time she made a money blunder.

Final thoughts: Disappointing overall, though maybe it was a better read in 2001. It's definitely dated. The humor didn't quite translate on paper - the wording of things is clearly how she speaks, but it's my guess that her delivery is what makes her words funny, not the words themselves.

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