Cover Image: Leaving Breezy Street

Leaving Breezy Street

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a tough book to read due to the content of human trafficking, a variety of abuse, and prostitution. But it is also an inspiring book that shows these young women can change their lives for the better. It's so sad to think there are 12 year olds (or any age, really) that are already caught up in the lifestyle. Non-profit organizations such as Dreamcatchers are incredibly important.
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It seems like anyone with an millisecond of reality television airtime gets a memoir deal, making us often wonder what some people could POSSIBLY have to say. Leaving Breezy Street is the reason why memoirs exist! Brenda Myers-Powell truly went through it all and has A LOT to say about it. She endured heinous abuse consistently throughout her life, from her grandmother to her boyfriends/pimps to complete strangers. With two kids by 15, she fell into the only life she saw fit— prostitution. Her life by the time she’s 18 is trauma-filled, and yet the author maintains a sense of humor and transfixing style of storytelling. Some memoirs feel like the author is grasping for straws. In this book, the author introduces us to a parade of characters, and yet it still feels like she hasn’t even scratched the surface of her wild life. The memoir culminates in a beautifully written send off to Breezy (the author’s street persona), with Brenda Jean’s consistently well-adjusted, self aware and positive reflection that without Breezy, Brenda wouldn’t have made it. Fans of urban fiction will love this!
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Brenda Myers-Powell's "Leaving Breezy Street" is a memoir about how events in the author's childhood led to a life of drugs, travel, and prostitution. The messages we receive as a society about people who grow up and become involved in drugs and prostitution neglect to mention the trauma that may lead to these choices. This book turns this incorrect narrative on its head through Myers-Powell's descriptions of the repetitive cycle of trauma in her life that started at a very young age and left her with few options. "Leaving Breezy Street" also highlights how human trafficking is very much present in our towns and cities and how difficult, or even impossible, it is for young girls and women to walk away. Myers-Powell is now dedicated to educating others about human trafficking in the United States and helping women find a new path."Leaving Breezy Street" can be hard to read but is really well-written and informative.
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A naked look at what happens when real life takes over and the system fails yet again. I it’s heartbreaking, true and might help some stop turning a blind eye to those not like yourself.
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Lover of Urban Lit or street lit will enjoy this harrowing true story of life on the streets. Ms. Myers-Powell's life story is heart stopping. Language alert, for those who dislike strong language. Violence, drug usage, prostitution, fair warning. It's not a pretty picture here, This is a very gritty short read that editing would have ruined.
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Leaving Breezy Street is an eye-opening, but brutally difficult, read. The subject matter -- human trafficking -- will rip your heart out. However, author Brenda Myers-Powell relates her life story in a humorous and salty manner that will have the reader laughing and gasping in horror at the same time. 

Myers-Powell gives us a memoir detailing her physically abusive childhood which led to a life of prostitution before she was thirteen years old. The obstacles that arise seem insurmountable, and the situation becomes even more dire when Myers-Powell develops a crack habit, cycles in and out of jail, experiences multiple health problems and is unable to raise her daughters. Abusive men play a starring role in her life as uncles, pimps and boyfriends. And the violence they perpetrate on Myers-Powell is very difficult to read.

However, the bright light in this book is Myers-Powell. With her faith in God and Divine Providence as her touchstone, she chronicles her escape from prostitution and drug addiction with the help of strong women, good recovery programs and devoted friends who loved her and always wanted the best for her.

Myers-Powell was finally able to leave this cycle of violence and start a non-profit called "Dreamcatchers" which provides counseling and refuge for children and young women between the ages of 12 and 24 who are victims of human trafficking. Her work with the cohort from which she came is miraculous and inspiring. Her superhero-like strength and resiliency is mind-boggling. Others who have endured such a lifetime of torture end up dead or mentally devastated. This woman is the definition of "survivor."

Although I thought the descriptions of life on the streets, and stories with the pimps and tricks was maybe a bit too extensive (story after story after story -- some could have been eliminated), Leaving Breezy Street is a testimony to the resiliency of the human spirit, forgiveness and the triumph of good over evil. 

Trigger warning: the language is very graphic along with detailed descriptions of rape and other types of violence against women.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Henry Holt & Co. for the advance copy of #LeavingBreezyStreet
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