04 September 2008

Books, books, books!

I've started my last year as a grad student at Simmons GSLIS. Yippee! I've also started what will most likely be my most enjoyable semester at GSLIS as I'm taking 2 literature classes. Yippee again! I miss being an English major and this is probably as close as I'm going to get (unless I convince Scott to let me do the dual major in Children's Literature, but I think it'll be a cold day in hell before that happens).

So, as part of my YA(young adult)literature course I have to do 15 book reviews/journal entries. My professor is cool enough that she's allowing us to blog these if we want. So I want! It's the whole reason I started this damn thing in the first place, even though I've failed miserably at it. I think I got maybe one review in the very beginning. Most likely because I was pissed at Terry Goodkind and his overuse of the word "diaphanous" and the overly long monologues his main character would give. Anyway, you can read it here if you give a damn. I just reread it and it's really kind of funny, at least I think so.

Anyway, I've been really bad about reviewing the books I've read. Now I'm gonna HAVE to do it. And that actually makes me happy.

Sheff, Nic (2007). Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamines. NY: Antheneum Books for Young Readers. 322 pages.

Nic is one fucked up kid. Growing up the only child with divorced parents, one in LA the other in San Fran, Nic spends his childhood being treated more like an adult than a child. He starts drinking at age 11 and by the time he's 18 he's been admitted to his first treatment center for meth addiction. What follows is a story of Nic's continuous downward spiral of drugs and really bad sex.

I don't think it was particularly well written. It was very disjointed and jumped around quite a bit. You could say this is to be expected when reading the memoirs of a tweaker, but I don't think that's a valid excuse. I think his editor should have made him pay more attention to the flow and sequence of the book. I do think that the self discovery and realizations that Nic comes to in the book are valuable and thought provoking.

While this book is specifically published with the teen market in mind, I think you could make the argument that this book is geared more toward the 20-something crowd. Yet, with the things that teens are facing today I think many of them could relate to Nic's struggles. I personally want to read his dad's side of the story in his book Beautiful Boy.

This is not a book that I would booktalk. Instead it is one that I would recommend to teens that came to me looking for memoirs, or even fiction, of other teens dealing with tough issues like drug addiction.