Nonfiction — Memoir
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 voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery. As we watch Nic plunge into the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, he paints a picture for us of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. It’s a harrowing portrait—but not one without hope. (Goodreads)
Every time I saw this book on the shelf at the bookstore, I felt compelled to pick it up and read. The title made me curious. It made me wonder “Oh my god! A kid grew up on meth? WTF!” The title worked for getting people to pick up the book, but once I started reading, Sheff pulled me in. I was just amazed and sometimes shocked at all he had been through due to his drug addiction. I felt sorry for him when he spoke about his struggle with addiction and to get enough money to feed it, and his struggle to get clean and heal his relationship with his family.
It was an interesting read, and Garcia did a great job as a narrator; however, the writing sometimes threw me off. Sheff’s writing about his experiences in California is different from how the book begins. I guess it was intentional to reflect his thought process when under the haze of heavy use in the early passages, but the sudden switch felt weird. Also, I get that this book is about his life and there’s no telling (at the time) what the future holds, but the end felt quite abrupt. Maybe it’s because I got caught up in the story of Sheff’s life that I felt a little disappointed by the end because I wanted to know what happens next. Does his family heal? Is he able to stay clean? Does he reunite his girlfriend? I couldn’t help wondering and wanting to find out. I must admit that I did a bit of googling to satiate my curiosity and it was then that I found out that the movie Beautiful Boy was about Sheff and his father. I had no clue, but I haven’t seen the movie and don’t think I will.
It was a decent read. I appreciate that Sheff shared his experience with addiction, which must have been difficult and probably painful to recall, write, and share with world.
Overall: ★★★☆☆ ½
These 3.5 stars are not a rating of Sheff’s life, but instead for the writing and story structure and other technicalities.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
I borrowed the audio book from my library.