Tweak: (Growing Up on Methamphetamines)
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Tweak: (Growing Up on Methamphetamines)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  16,848 ratings  ·  1,735 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, Large Print, 543 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Thorndike Press (first published February 19th 2008)
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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 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by coollibrarianchick for

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
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
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.
Apr 14, 2008 Jeremy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
I just wanted to choke the guy. Shows addiction in a brutally honest way, but had to keep putting the book down.
Mar 17, 2009 Cheyenne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 09, 2008 Deb rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Scholling
Apr 22, 2008 Melissa Scholling rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Michelle Bouchor
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
Anina Ertel
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I don't like Nic Sheff. But he is okay with me not liking him. In fact, throughout this entire memoir, I believe he is pracitally daring me to hate his superficial, self-absorbed, rentable ass. Showing us all his past faults is part of the theraputic nature of memoir writing, I guess, and I don't actually resent him for that. God knows he's entitled to his therapy. And actually... I don't think I resent him all that much. He knows his problems. He's very intelligent, and able to look at himself...more
Nic Sheff holds nothing back, exposing his secrets and the secrets of the ones in his life. Tweak is an honest, raw book about Nic’s life as a drug addict.
Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at eleven years old. As he grew older, he started regularly smoking pot, and was no stranger to cocaine, ecstasy, and many other drugs. He eventually took on an addiction to crystal meth and heroin.
No matter how many times Nic tries to get clean and sober up, he always finds himself falling back into th...more
I really love this book. I have read it three times. Nic Sheff is so honest in telling his story. He brings us on a whirlwind ride through addiction and all that goes along with it. Nic's journey takes us through the secret life of a drug addict that nobody ever hears about or sees. Even through the worst parts, Nic's likeable personality always seems to shine through.

Nic Sheff shows both sides of addiction, how it effects him and how it effects his family and those around him.

He tells his sto...more
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 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  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
I read "Beautiful Boy" first and was so moved by the father's story that when I found out the son had written his version of the events, I couldn't wait to read it. Nic has a totally different style of writing, which is in keeping with his age. It is rare that you get to read two memoirs about the same events told from different perspectives. This book is not for the faint of heart. It is graphic and dark, but painfully honest. I am haunted by Nic's story.
I read some of the other reviews and I...more
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
Jun 15, 2008 Jamie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: memoir lovers
I love the way that Nic Sheff portrays himself in the most unflattering way possible. And that you can (somehow) continue to root for him. I'd like to read Beautiful Boy now because I had NO sympathy for David Sheff by the time I got to the end of the book.
Maybe it's because I know too many people who are like Nic, it was so accurate at times I was picturing my friend. (who luckily got out of it too)
The book does get a little long and repetitive at times, but the end is so satisfying, and I thin...more
Jay G.
Kinda sucks but its readable mostly bc of the subject matter. Even the worst episodes of 'intervention' are better than the best episodes of some 'real housewives' show. (Personally, its my favorite inadvertantly hilarious Kristy, the one on meth that runs around naked, has a catfight with her sister over ramen noodles and thinks that shes either God or 'a god', shes not sure).. That said, I get the same feeling from this book that I got from 'A Million Little Pieces of Made Up Bullshi...more
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ZELDA?? 1 65 Jan 05, 2012 10:52AM  
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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. ” 135 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.”
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