Sunday, September 15, 2013

Memoirs Aren't Fairytales: A Story of Addiction by Marni Mann (CBR-V #39)

Cannonball Read V: Book #39/52
Published: 2011
Pages: 256
Genre: Fiction

First of all, this book is not an actual memoir, contrary to the title. It's the fictional account of a young girl's descent into drug addiction. Nicole was sexually assaulted her freshman year of college and decides to flee her home in Maine and make a new start in Boston with her friend Eric. They both experiment with other drugs before eventually becoming hardcore heroin addicts. 

This book is dark and ugly. If you've ever read anything by Ellen Hopkins, this book is very similar to her books (minus being written in verse form). It's just one horrible thing happening to these people after another. It's also beautifully written and you can tell the author did her homework. It was very hard to distinguish between this novel and an actual memoir. 

The characters seemed so real. The people that flow in and out of Nicole's life are just as broken as she is. There's Sunshine, the prostitute who teaches Nicole how to make some extra heroin cash and my favorite, Claire, the elderly lady who lives in the same building as Nicole and forms a peculiar friendship with her. Their relationship is so heartbreaking to watch as Nicole tries and fails again and again to get clean for Claire. 

The ending is bittersweet. Don't read this book if you're expecting a nice, wrapped up ending where everyone goes to rehab and has a happy rest of their life. There's plenty of death and heartbreak. Like the title says, memoirs aren't fairytales. 

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