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Teenage Degenerate

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  438 ratings  ·  68 reviews
In 1996, Scott was nineteen and lost in adulthood with an endless job and no future ambitions. Teenage Degenerate is his story about drug addiction, music and growing up. Over the course of ten months, he quickly descends into the dark and dangerous world of crystal methamphetamine.

Scott experiments with crystal meth in a dark, deserted parking lot in the suburbs of Denver
Paperback, 1st, 258 pages
Published January 18th 2016 (first published 2016)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  438 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Jen from Quebec :0)
This was a great memoir of a 19 year old struggling with crystal meth addiction. Often, addiction memoirs are hit or miss, as the ppl writing them are not actual WRITERS. However, Scott Sterling could have fooled me! This book has recurring themes, a distinct voice, great character development, and is written in the format of dated entries, like a diary, adding to the immediacy of the plot.

It is 1996 in New York City. Scott is 19, and has a core group of friends but no ambition or career or coll
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! A must read! Drugs, sex, danger..... I was intrigued throughout the entire book!
I don't want to quote any of the book, because the build up to some of the laugh out loud moments is just too good! ....but lets just say someone snorts a Dorito chip thinking it's crystal.
Mia Brand
Sep 03, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, the plot was interesting and kept me hooked through the whole journey. My only criticism is that i felt that the ending was a bit rushed in contrast to the slow paced story telling in the beginning. I will definitely be adding this to my shelf of favorites.
Jessica Wilhelmsson
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
A really important book

Every time I read one of this true stories about drug users that gone through hell and back again aka in recovery I felt so proud of them. Might sounds crazy but I have been unlucky to known a couple of addicted, really good friends that never make it back from hell. They didn't have the courage to change the things they could and the drugs sent them to death. I don't like drugs, I hate them most of all things in this world because they are such tricky things, just like th
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In 1996, "Teenage Degenerate"’s author Scott Sterling was nineteen and lost in adulthood with n thankless job and a future without any promise. The book is Sterling’s firsthand account of shedding his addiction to dangerous drugs as a way of growing up. His rapid decline once in the clutches of crystal methamphetamine addiction is a horror show magnified to highlight all the worst aspects.

"Up to that point, I had avoided getting meth sores or 'meth mites,' associated with meth addicts. The sores
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
Intense journal

I really like the way the book read as a journal. Very intense and at times exciting. Book was very well written
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Stepped out of my comfort zone with this book. Was pleasantly surprised. I liked the raw, non-nonsense approach although at times the graphic content was a bit shocking. As a reader I felt part of Scott's journey; the harsh reality of what he was going through could be felt throughout the book. Terrifying and sad. It struck me how he lost friends along the way "it was the last time I ever saw...." What a lonely place to be and it was depicte
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the exact kind of imposingly honest, spare-no-details retelling of a teenager's foray into the world of addiction that I was hoping it would be. Sterling's style of writing and the story itself made me feel like I was talking to a friend about this experience; just save the formalities and tell it like it is. I got so caught up in the story itself that I repeatedly had to take a step back to remind myself that this is true and that it all transpired within one year of a young man's life. ...more
Laura Michelle
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing.. I recommend this book to any one who is willing to take a walk in somebody else's shoes and see what addiction is REALLY about. This book is well written and for me it is really relatable.... so many parts of this book I was like DAM ME TOO.. the book really digs deep down into the feelings an addict eventually feels when your life literally turns to shit right before your very eyes. It was spot on. I read it in a day and a half I could not put it down, I just couldn't wai ...more
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drug-addiction
Sterling makes no apologies as he walks you through the reality of addiction. He blends his love of music into the story and, being of the same generation, his choice of music in itself tells the story. This is a rare book in a sea of addiction memoirs that stands out based on not only the style of writing, but also on the nearly perfect (is anything perfect?) editing job.
I read this in one sitting and was nodding my head in recognition for most of the book.
Nick Page
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drug-addiction, meth
Holy wow this was intense!! I have read a few addiction books/memoirs and this one ranks in the top 2 or 3. I would recommend this to anyone with an addiction, a loved one with an addiction problem or someone that loves the genre.
Sommer French
Feb 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book!

As a recovering Meth and Heroin addict I can say this was a great read .... Tho sometimes it made me sad because so much of this was like been there don't that! But great read!! Reminders of why ill never go back to that dark place!!
Destiny Jackson
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was amazing I have to say that but the last couple of pages I didn't get but maybe it's my fault i don't understand but this book was amazing and written by an amazing author. ...more
Brianna Pearson
Mar 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Wortman
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was given the book for an honest review. "Teenage Degenerate" is a roller coaster ride of emotions and events through the eyes of an addict. It was brutally honest and hard to put down. I felt every emotion as it happened. I read the book in one day. The book was incredibly interesting until it got to the end. The end was unexpected. I was kind of bummed about the ending. This book is still a great read and I would highly recommend it to anyone. ...more
Ava Mac
Feb 22, 2021 rated it liked it
Overall i thought the book was an okay read. Although the novel was a very slow pace, the plot was interesting and kept you wanting more. if the book thought me one things its how to properly cook and use meth, which may come in handy! I saw a review on this book saying all kids in high school should be required to read this book but i disagree. This book ,in my opinion, glorifies the usage of crystal instead of showing the dangers of it.
Ryan Johnson
Decent book, especially seeing how the Author gave me a free copy. He's done something I haven't been able to yet, write and publish a book, good for him, and good on his sobriety.

On to the next, Im going to Finish White Trash in America if it fucking kills me.
Siobhan Malik
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it

Absolutely shockingly honest account of how quickly you can get drawn in the deepest drug addiction and the horrible truths of meth (crystal) addiction in America in the 90s
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scariest book ever

I read this book to understand life led by substance abuse. Thank you for your detailed account. I guess as Scott says, the user has few choices as to getting clean. Our medical system offers extremely little help, so it's death, prison, or scared straight. Private help is expensive. These people are not throw away citizens.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It’s so we written. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. I just had to know what happened.
Lisa Harvey
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

It is an in-depth story of first hand meth addiction. Page turner for sure. I enjoyed it. Liked the realism
cynthia frisco
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Haunting Memoir

I honestly could not put this book down! I found myself rooting for a drug addict, which was not something I expected to do when I began reading this book! This memoir will stay with you for quite sometime!
Joe Thomas
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

A very grown up, insightful and entertaining book. Very worth the read. I believe the author is pretty young but writes like he learned a few lessons.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I stumbled across this because I am from Denver and enjoy reading books based in Denver/Colorado. That being said, I normally wouldn't read an addiction/drug memoir, but I am glad I did. This is a fantastic book and I feel the author represents Denver perfectly. ...more
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was sent this book by the author for an honest review and I must say I quite enjoyed this book. I loved that it was very honest he didn't try to hide what happened. He tells it like it is. I find the ending of this drug memoir quite diffrent from other drug memoirs. The ending was surprising and catches you off gard and I really enjoyed it. The story was interesting and I'm glad I read it ...more
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Insightful view into being a teenager spiralling into drug addiction and the chaos that runs its course around you, as you lose family members, friends, reputation, dignity as you find yourself mechanising ways to come up with your next score, day after day, your only daily motivation. Explores the fine line between delinquent drug experimentation spanning out into full blown addiction. I love the journal style of writing, feels very personal, no bullshit, no chaser type of approach and just an ...more
Sep 24, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
good quick read

It shows a trajectory of meth use. And what I liked is the end. No conventional ways just good old fashioned willpower
✵ Kas
Oh god that was an intense and scary and raw memoir.
I am incredibly glad that A) I've never become addicted to any drugs and B) there (mostly) aren't people running with guns in the uk.

I'm so glad that that Scott made it out alive.
Rowan Haldeman
3.5, I didn’t really enjoy the ending. 3 measly pages of his recovery…just didn’t give the book a great ending.
Lindsey Menschik
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book for a school literary paper about substance abuse. I liked the story a lot but thought the end was lackluster. He complained about 3/4 the way through the book that if he didn't do Cocaine he craved it and had severe withdrawal until he found another hit. But then at the end when he decides to quit he doesn't have any issues at all. I think it would have really added to the story for there to be more information about that part of the addiction/withdrawal process. ...more
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Scott C. Sterling is originally from Portland, Oregon, and moved to Denver, Colorado at the age of thirteen.

His first crime thriller novel, The Fear Of Winter , will be published in early 2023. It is Book One in The Fear Of Series.

Non-fiction books include Teenage Degenerate , a memoir about drug addiction and growing up, and 33 Percent Rockstar: Music, Heartbreak and the Pursuit of Rock

News & Interviews

"Autumn is as joyful and sweet as an untimely end."   This slightly unnerving quote, from the French poet and novelist Rémy de Gourmont, nicely...
50 likes · 7 comments
“My main concern was my teeth because they were in constant pain. Meth depletes the body of calcium, the vitamin essential to maintaining healthy teeth. It also includes acidic ingredients that can damage teeth. The ingredients include but are not limited to battery acid: Drano, over-the-counter cold medications like Sudafed, antifreeze, engine starter fluid, and brake fluid. Basically, pop the hood of your car and you can find the ingredients you need to cook meth. I’m no dentist, but I came to the conclusion that was the root of my tooth pain.” 7 likes
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