Kelly H. (Maybedog)'s Reviews > Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines

Tweak by Nic Sheff
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May 10, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: what-bio-or-memoir, what-nonfiction
Read from May 10 to 14, 2010

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 whatever is available. My daughter is a recovering meth addict and she read it and suggested I read it. When I brought this fact up she said, "Oh yeah, it's really not about meth at all. It's just really scary."

I didn't think it was that scary. I think he got off really well considering what he did. During the course of the book's narrative, he never slept on the street, he never actually had nowhere to go. There were always people willing to help him. He relapsed several times after the worst thing he did which was prostitution and O.D.'ing on GSB. I felt a disconnect from his emotions in the book like he was telling us what he should be feeling rather than how he was actually feeling inside. He also only very very briefly mentioned his probable bi-polar diagnosis and it didn't sound like he was properly medicated for that. Until that is taken care of, no amount of therapy is going to prevent him from relapsing.

Basically, I didn't buy that this was the last time he had relapsed and somehow he was now going to change. The time between his last rehab stint and the time he wrote the book was shorter than other periods he'd been sober. There was no sudden epiphany and realization of self about anything really significant. He didn't hit bottom. There was no real explanation or apparent understanding of why he relapsed in the first place. He only briefly touched upon his other addictive and self-destructive behaviors. The only really positive change I saw was moving away from L.A. and San Francisco where the majority of his drugging behavior happened.

Sadly, I think this book was an attempt to capitalize on his father's success with Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction telling us what he thinks we want to hear. The title feels like marketing ploy (and I grudgingly admit it worked: I would have been less likely to read it if it was purportedly about heroin addiction which has been written about to death). This book covers no new ground and really just left me irritated with this man who was raised in a life of privilege who just kept playing a big dangerous game. I wanted a book about a teenager like mine, who had a rough start in life and got sucked into the world of meth and what it was like. This isn't that book.

All that said, I did read it to the end pretty quickly.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan I guess I'm glad that a while back I removed this from my to-read shelf.


Nicole Jakubowski "I felt a disconnect from his emotions in the book like he was telling us what he should be feeling rather than how he was actually feeling inside." YES! I came away with the same lack of emotion.


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