addiction

Opioid, Indiana

By Brian Allen Carr
5
Rated by Meghan F
Apr 29, 2020

After finishing Opioid, Indiana, I immediately wanted to read it again. Even though it's a fairly short book, Brian Allen Carr handles the difficult subject matter with so much insight and empathy that I was disappointed I didn't get to spend more time with all the characters.


Seventeen-year-old Riggle lives with his uncle in rural Indiana after his parents passed away years earlier. When Riggle gets suspended from school and his uncle disappears on a drug binge, Riggle must spend the week looking for him before the rent comes due on Friday. He interacts with several unique locals along the

Hook: A Memoir

By Randall Horton
5
Rated by Lisa A.
Oct 18, 2019

“We script our lives on reaction rather than action, meaning daily life is always in response to, or a reply to, a command or demand. The world uses us in that way...The world does this--holds us down.”― Randall Horton, Hook: A Memoir


Randall Horton and I have lived wildly different lives. His memoir, Hook, tells part of his story: as an undergrad at Howard University, as an addict, as a cocaine smuggler, as a prisoner, as a reader, as a poet, as an author, as an educator, as a mentor, as a friend. Yes, all of this is part of his story—and, like his story, the book itself is unique. It’s

One of the Boys

By Daniel Magariel
5
Rated by Chris K.
Jul 3, 2018

Wow. This little book packs a punch. One of the Boys is short, quick reading, deceptively simple, and deeply affecting.


The twelve-year-old narrator has always revered his affable, charismatic father. After witnessing a "war" of separation and divorce, he desperately wants to be "one of the boys" with his dad and older brother when they decide to leave Kansas for New Mexico. He wants to be there to experience his dad's promised freedom to be like a kid again. So he does what it takes to make it happen.


As they settle into their new lives, the brothers gradually realize their dad uses

Hillbilly Elegy : A Memoir

By J.D. Vance
4
Rated by Amanda C.
May 26, 2018

Hillbilly Elegy is unlike anything I've ever listened to. J.D. Vance grew up in the rust belt of America and was the first from his nuclear family to graduate from college. He speaks about growing up there and tells you extensively about the journey his family (grandparents and mother) made before today. 


He details some gritty stuff like an alcoholic grandfather and an abusive mom. I congratulate Vance for working so hard to create something for himself despite coming from a family that was torn apart by some challenging circumstances and, at the same time, held together by a grandparents'

Last Night I Sang To The Monster

By Benjamin Alire Sáenz
3
Rated by Scott S.
Sep 20, 2017

Having never experienced life in a rehab center I cannot speak to the authenticity or veracity of the setting Benjamin Alire Sáenz creates in, Last Night I Sang To The Monster. 18 year-old Zach is an alcoholic who comes out of a black out in a treatment center with no memory of how he got there. I can say the novel is populated by memorable characters who are engaged in emotionally resonant relationships in a visceral setting. And in those respects, Sáenz has succeeded in crafting a very effective and moving novel. While not all aspects of the novel work perfectly, it is clear that Sáenz has

It Was Me All Along

By Andie Mitchell
4
Rated by Melody M.K.
Jan 7, 2016

It Was Me All Along is a memoir about a young girl that turned to food for comfort, parenting, homework help, and to fill the empty hole she had deep inside herself. Andie Mitchell's struggle is not just with food, but also with turning her unbalanced childhood world into one she could live in normally.


After Andie's father lost his job, he slept all day and ate and drank all night. Before Andie started school, she stayed up with him participating in the eating--gorging on unhealthy fat- and calorie-laden foods before falling asleep in front of the television. While Andie's father was out

The Art of Crash Landing

By Melissa DeCarlo
5
Rated by Helen H.
Dec 2, 2015

Despite her best efforts, I love Mattie Wallace. She often behaves badly, and she knows it. But it’s who she believes she is, so she behaves badly.


Finding herself in a delicate condition with nowhere to turn, she embarks on an impossible journey to collect an unlikely inheritance. Immersed in the secret lives of her mother and the grandmother she never met, Mattie unwittingly starts to heal. The wounds of her past begin to scab over, and the broken places start to mend. As she skitters down the road of her family history, she drags an entire town, bucking and skidding, along with her.


R

Sep 30, 2010

Grab your tissues, ‘cause this one’s a tear jerker. In place of his senior year of high school, Zach is in rehab. He doesn’t remember why he’s there, so we learn about his circumstances as he works through remembering in group sessions, talking with his roommates and his counselor. What makes this book so powerful is that Zach, despite his addiction, sadness, and loneliness still manages to be a neat kid. You really want to see him succeed.