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Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  23,700 Ratings  ·  2,059 Reviews
Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. In a vo ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 19th 2008 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Some Are Sicker Than Others by Andrew SeawardGo Ask Alice by Beatrice SparksCrank by Ellen HopkinsA Million Little Pieces by James FreyEvery Silver Lining Has a Cloud by Scott Stevens
Substance Abuse & Addiction
9th out of 555 books — 1,225 voters
Trainspotting by Irvine WelshRequiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.Scar Tissue by Anthony KiedisJunky by William S. BurroughsTweak by Nic Sheff
Addicts
5th out of 186 books — 374 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anastacia
Jul 28, 2009 Anastacia rated it did not like it
I wish to God that Goodreads had a category or designation for THE WORST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ, because this would definitely be in it. The schtick is a pretty good one - the drug addicted son writing his version and his father writing his own version, but the execution is just awful. The kid, Nic, is just one more selfish, entitled kid (who brand-name and name drops excessively) who goes down a wrong path and has a family to keep picking up the pieces for him, giving him chance after chance. It ...more
Marianne
Apr 25, 2008 Marianne rated it did not like it
I tried reading this book after reading Beautiful Boy and I couldn't get through it. This guy's writing was published in Newsweek? Once you get beyond the extremely graphic quality of it, I thought it was terrible. He touts himself as an accomplished writer for his age, yet he uses "amazing" to describe things at least 3 times in the first 50 pages. Come on.

However, it was interesting to read the opposite side of this story after reading Beautiful Boy. Nick is more honest than his father about t
...more
Jenn Dawn
Jul 11, 2008 Jenn Dawn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers of Beautiful Boy
Shelves: non-fiction
I heard about Tweak/Beautiful Boy through the provocative NY Times book review a few months ago. The idea of having such a harrowing story told from two opposite perspectives really piqued my interest.

Tweak is nothing if not engaging. That being said, I find the writing to be sub-par, at best. After listening to a Nic Sheff podcast, I learned that Nic writes exactly how he speaks. Filled with "like, you know"'s, I found myself frequently wondering if this was the caliber of work that landed him
...more
Buggy
Aug 24, 2011 Buggy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Opening Line: "I'd heard rumors about what happened to Lauren, I mean, I never even knew her that well but we'd sort of hung out a few times in high school"

There's been a lot of buzz around Nic Sheff's bestselling memoir TWEAK and for good reason, its un-put-downable. This candid, gritty and detailed struggle with addiction is an amazing story but what entranced me most here wasn't Nic's decent into methamphetamine hell or his subsequent struggles to remain sober and find some kind of peace with
...more
Andria
Mar 05, 2008 Andria rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2008
A book in need of an editor. But maybe that is the definition of an out of control life of a teenage/young twenty drug addict, a life in need of an editor.
Jennifer Wardrip
May 12, 2008 Jennifer Wardrip rated it really liked it
Reviewed by coollibrarianchick for TeensReadToo.com

Methamphetamine use, commonly known on the street as crystal, tweak, the New Prozac, and crank, has become a growing problem in the U.S. in the last several years. From what I have read, there is no worse drug addiction than crystal meth. It not only affects the person using but the personal relationships they have, as well. It is not just my humble opinion when I tell you that these drugs have the power to kill or cause great harm. A great exam
...more
Beth
Jun 29, 2015 Beth rated it it was ok
I'm not sure what to make of this book. It felt like at times it was trying too hard (to sound cool, to be edgy, to be desparate), and at times it was not trying hard enough (Sheff alludes to his "troubled past" that is supposed to be even more messed up than his present relapses, yet never gives any real details to back it up). Ultimately, the book ends up reading like a cliche that we've read and seen and heard too many times to make it fresh anymore. And although the book is "true," there are ...more
Melissa Field
Jun 19, 2008 Melissa Field rated it did not like it
Honestly after reading Beautiful Boy this book was a let down. I felt our writer was one of the most selfish, self-inflated narrative voices I have read in a long time. By the end of the book I hated the kid--and found that he glamorized and legitimized his meth addiction. I am curious if this book was only published thanks to Nic's father's connections. A cliched story of an addict who really is too concerned with his California land of plastic existence. Barf. I am sure the movie starring so g ...more
Ellen Hopkins
Aug 30, 2009 Ellen Hopkins rated it liked it
I just wanted to choke the guy. Shows addiction in a brutally honest way, but had to keep putting the book down.
Spider the Doof Warrior
Nov 13, 2014 Spider the Doof Warrior rated it really liked it
Read this book again. It's still good but it reads a bit like On the Road, only the consequences are more realistic. Nic flushes his life down the toilet, claws his way back, and you cheer for him, but he relapses and ruins his life again.I want to read the next book he wrote but if he got with Zelda again I'd be SO FRUSTRATED and I'd YELL at the book and people would see me do this.

Also his father's book Beautiful Boy is good too. Illegal drugs don't just affect the person doing them but their
...more
Moira Russell
The Twit-like update box is not enough to contain my ennui and annoyance at this point(p 259). OH MY GOD. You can just tell when Zelda enters his life again everything is about to totally fall apart, and lo, it does. Story of an addict's life. But, just as the writing about drugs is sort of totally emotionless, this has a real I-was-at-a-movie-and-it-went-like-this quality now -- it's told _about,_ but the people are really hard to get a handle on, or even to see, and therefore to care about. Th ...more
Jeremy
Apr 14, 2008 Jeremy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All
Recommended to Jeremy by: Dennis Miller
Shelves: people-biography
This is the memoir by Nic Sheff that accompanies his father, David's, memoir. The book is an extremely honest look at addiction written by an addict, Nic Sheff.
This book is heavy emotionally. Everything from details on cooking meth to abcsessed arms the size of baseballs are included. Along the way Nic prostitutes himself, steals from strangers, and in a heart-breaking scene, takes $5 from his little brother's piggy bank.
Nic holds nothing back, and what is left on the page is something that is c
...more
Cheyenne
Mar 17, 2009 Cheyenne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone.
Recommended to Cheyenne by: a friend.
I don't mean to put down other people's opinions but you all are being incredibly harsh. This is Nic's true story, of growing up on Meth, and unless you have also overcome such a drug, it's not your place to call him a horrible, pathetic person. And to say that throughout some of the book, he's putting the blame on other people is wrong and you've obviously misunderstood. He looked up to his father a great deal. I remember him writing about how him and his father used to go on walks together and ...more
Shana
Aug 28, 2008 Shana rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed this book. I just finished it and I am excited to write this review. I had just finished Beautiful Boy, which is written by this author's father regarding and is about his son's (the author of Tweak, Nic's) battle with drug addiction prior to picking up Tweak. Both books were compelling and it was amazing to read about the same story from the son's perspective after reading about the experience from his father's perspective - a rare experience. Having read his father's book first ...more
Deb
Jul 09, 2008 Deb rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: parents of teens and teens who think they are too cool to listen to warnings about drugs
Here is the story of David Sheff's Beautiful Boy from the son’s perspective. He is not the writer that his father is, but hearing his voice, so clearly the voice of a damaged soul, and also possibly a narcissist, fills out the picture. In its own way, this book was hard to put down, despite its shortcomings. (Poor editing?) I gained a great deal of insight into the devastation of addiction. And I find that helpful in many ways. Despite all the damage he wrought and his desperate struggles to go ...more
Christina
Mar 06, 2014 Christina rated it did not like it
If you look up DOUCHEBAG in the dictionary, you're likely to see this guy under the main entry. I love memoirs about addiction, they are fascinating and usually serve as a nice reality check whenever my often troubled mind veers into darker territories. This one just irritated the hell out of me and made me badly wish I could punch the guy in the face. Sheff spends a lot of time boasting about how great a writer he is, which is strange because this book reads like an immature 14 year old wrote i ...more
Mike
Feb 17, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny
Apr 22, 2009 Jenny rated it liked it
I definitely prefer the father's book over the son's, not to say that the son's memoir isn't powerful, it just isn't enjoyable to read. First, it clearly reveals the seedy, dangerous and horrific underbelly of drug abuse and addiction in American cities.

It's hard to say if it is by design, but you begin the book expecting to feel sympathy for Nic and his drug addiction, but as you ride the roller coaster of addiction, sobriety, and relaspe with him, you begin to feel the frustration that his par
...more
Julie
Tweak is a tale of addiction describing the experiences of Nic Sheff, who was for many years addicted to various drugs (meth and heroin to begin with, later coke and various prescription medications). This book was actually written in response to a book by David Sheff called Beautiful Boy, about the experience of dealing with his son's addiction(s) and their consequences for his family.

The first third of Tweak is a demonstration of the kind of depraved lifestyle Nic's addiction leads to—a study
...more
John
Jan 21, 2014 John rated it did not like it
Never has meth addiction seemed so boring. Or as Nic Sheff, with his fondness for trifold redundancies, would put it: boring, boring, boring. Sheff wants so badly to be the next dark, dangerous, and doomed druggy genius, but he's going to have clean up more than his act if he ever wants to belong in the same company as Burroughs, Bukowski, Miller, et al. His child of privilege, friend of the stars routine gets old very quickly, and one can only take so many repetitions of the same description, s ...more
Michelle Bouchor
May 11, 2008 Michelle Bouchor rated it it was ok
I'm currently reading this book and I'm not sure I'm going to finish it. I have a hard time feeling any sensitivity toward the author who is a basic train wreck. It's so incredibly obvious (after reading Beautiful Boy) that his many problems start out with his parent's divorce, his dad having an affair and his mother abandoning him to move far away. How hard could it be to figure out the kid was going to end up on drugs? I think there has to be a point when someone has to take responsibility for ...more
Michael
Apr 02, 2010 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Scholling
Apr 22, 2008 Melissa Scholling rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who doesn't mind a good cry :)
Recommended to Melissa by: a friend
So this book is written by the son from the book "Beautiful Boy". Some people who know me and know that I have read both of these books now think I might be torturing myself... However I found this book to be helpful in understanding why people make mistakes. I'll admit it was extremely emotional for me, a roller coaster really, complete with tears, breathlessness, and fright! It's amazing to see how drugs can change a person, how their lives can be overtaken in such a powerful way. It's scary t ...more
Cassie
May 13, 2008 Cassie rated it it was ok
Being that there is drug addiction in my immediate family, my mom has been researching. She's bought videos, watched tv broadcastings, attended NAR-ANON meetings, spoken with drug&alcohol rehabilitation centers...you name it. Coincidentally two books came out recently: one based on a father's telling of dealing with his son's crystal meth addiction and the other one the son tells his story. TWEAK is the son's book and I've begun reading this one first. Within the first 20 pages it becomes ob ...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Surprisingly poorly written, especially considering the author was allegedly published in Newsweek while in high school. It was all over the place and there were contradictions in his timeline. The book also said very little about his growing up. In fact, it doesn't start until he's in his early 20's and the worst of his drug use sounds like it was in college. Plus, there was almost nothing about meth. He uses a mixture of meth and heroin through half of the book but most of the time he uses wha ...more
Becky
Dec 09, 2008 Becky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-5-star-books
Incredible story from the view of the addict, at times this was very difficult to read.....I hope this young man can stay clean.....Read this first & then I read the father's book , Beautiful Boy.

Not sure what makes one person become an addict & another a casual user & someone else have no interest at all. While I read this I got a feeling that there was a lot of impulsiveness from Nic & from his dad. There seemed to be no or very little boundaries with Nic when he was young &
...more
Anina
Jun 25, 2008 Anina rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
In my neverending pursuit to read other random things and never get through Hunger Games (it's good but depressing!) so I can give it back to Elissa, I read this.

I love to read about methheads. I don't find it depressing, which probably means I am a bad person. When I worked for Medicaid in upstate NY they made us take a class about meth because it is a big problem there. And I am just really into teeth, so I got really into learning about meth-teeth. My interest was peaked and now anything abou
...more
Amy
Jul 01, 2008 Amy rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub
Overall, it was just an..."eh, so what" feeling about the book. I wasn't incredibly impressed with Nic or his writing. While it was very difficult to read and he bared a lot, he mostly came off as whiny and self-absorbed. It could be that we are dulled by movies and the plethora of personal grief stories about the impact of drugs and how they suck the soul from people. Specifically: Spun, Trainspotting, Go Ask Alice, Girl Interrupted and even A Million Little Pieces, although it was fake.

I am l
...more
Aalia Rehman
Apr 09, 2015 Aalia Rehman rated it liked it
I came across this book while walking in the non-fiction section of the library, looking for a nonfiction book for this specific assignment. The book is called Tweak, and its about Nick Sheff's life as a young man who ends up having to battle his addiction to different drugs, his weapon of choice was Meth.

He was a smart, successful man with a future ahead of him, wealthy parents and a pretty happy home life, when he was younger though he had to witness many things that kids shouldn't be exposed
...more
Madalyn
Jan 21, 2016 Madalyn rated it really liked it
This book was extremely chilling. The fact that the author was telling his own story in such a deep and dark way- made it all the more real and hard to put down. Page after page he told his life with electrifying honesty. Some of his tales were gruesome to read and hard to think about but it taught me a lot about trusting people and self-awareness. Nic Sheff had really toxic people in his life and in the end he was able to exclude them even though they all meant so much to him, especially Zelda. ...more
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Due to his parents' divorce, at age 4, Sheff spent much of his childhood bouncing back and forth between the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. He began using alcohol and drugs early on, even before his teen years. By high school he was a regular user of ecstasy and cocaine. Living on the street much of the time, Sheff became involved in various destructive behaviors such as selling drugs and ...more
More about Nic Sheff...

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“It's like if the music is loud enough I won't be able to listen to my own thoughts. ” 158 likes
“And though I have done many shameful things, I am not ashamed of who I am. I am not ashamed of who I am because I know who I am. I have tried to rip myself open and expose everything inside - accepting my weaknesses and strengths - not trying to be anyone else. 'Cause that never works, does it?

So my challenge is to be authentic. An I believe I am today. I believe I am.”
117 likes
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