Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

When I’m not burying myself under a tsunami of dystopian novels, I’m balls deep in the pages of some kind of memoir. Usually about drugs and/or alcohol addiction. Love it. Absolutely infatuated by it. There is nothing I love more than reading about how drugs and/or alcohol viciously destroyed a man’s life, and inevitably, changed them for the better (most of the time. Sometimes they die. Drugs are a gamble, people.) That statement may or may not hint at some deep-seated, underlying mental health issues but ignore your gut, for I am one healthy, mentally stable lady. I just like to peek inside the brains of fucked up individuals from time to time. Tweak by Nic Sheff is one of my all-time favorite books (read it) so when I found out his goddamn gem of a father wrote a book documenting his side of Nic’s grueling methamphetamine addiction, I cried to the book-gods and immediately purchased it on my kindle so I wouldn’t have to wait for it to be delivered. Patience is not a friend of mine, this we already know.

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff has everything you’re looking for in an addiction memoir. We got your meth, a family struggling to keep their shit together, a little brother sitting at the window, baseball mitt in hand, waiting patiently for his drug-addled brother to come home and play catch with him. However, this memoir was different than the other millions I’ve read: it offered a different perspective on the ol’ junky spectrum. After reading Nic Sheff’s take on his addiction, David Sheff (his daddio) gives us his side of the story which, spoiler alert, is monumentally HEARTBREAKING. Here’s a quick synopsis from Goodreads:


“What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. David Sheff traces the first warning signs: the denial, the three a.m. phone calls—is it Nic? the police? the hospital? His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every treatment that might save his son. And he refused to give up on Nic.”

As someone who comes from a family well-versed in all things addiction, I instantly connected to everything David Sheff had to say on the subject. It was a different take on my usual addiction-memoir-benders, and one I very much related to on a deeply personal level. Addiction is wack, yo.

I’d like to point out that since reading this novel, I found out Beautiful Boy was made into a movie and released this past October, starring everybody’s favorite actor, Steve Carell. I haven’t had cable in over four years (streaming is life), and therefore had no fucking clue this masterpiece was in the making. Legit the only time I realize we don’t have cable is when someone brings up a movie trailer. Save your money, kids, cancel your cable bill.

That’s all she wrote. Click here to buy the book so we can chat about it together. Subscribe or I’ll rip your arms off.

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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

I hate book series.

I hate waiting for sequels.

My brain forgets what I read in the previous book, and I’m left stumbling around all nimbly bimbly trying to figure out what the actual fuck is going on during the first half of any follow up.

It’s for this reason I usually hold off on reading any book series until every single book in the series is actually published and available. I’m the queen of impatience; I need instant gratification. I read too many books to actually remember the plot line of one I finished eons ago.

EXCEPT FOR THE HAZEL WOOD. My LAWD, this book is yummy. First of all, the cover of the book should be displayed in every museum across the country. Just look at that bad boy. Not to mention the graphics adorning the top of each new chapter page, similar to my beloved Harry Potter books. The detail put into this novel is worth its own review alone.

She’s a real beauty, folks. Of course, being the impatient fuck I am, I flipped through to every new chapter immediately after starting the goddamn book just to admire the artwork. You gotta do what you gotta do. Imagine my astonishment when I realized not only is the book beautiful, but the storyline was even better. Here’s a quick synopsis from Goodreads:


Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

COOL. Basically, this book contains a bunch of super dark fairy tales that come to life and stalk Alice on her journey to rescue her kidnapped mother. These are not your ordinary Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid type tales. We’re talking gruesome, murderous characters that put the Brothers Grimm to shame. I love me some dark magic. Gimme all that witchcraft, mama like. The author puts the actual fairy tales in the novel, scattering them between chapters as you continue to read on (obviously adorned with more kick ass graphics, because one book can never be too goddamn perfect). As I said before, I hate sequels, but The Hazel Wood gripped me well enough to highly anticipate the release of it’s sequel, The Night Country, coming in January 2020. Never in my life would I think I’d be clamoring to get my hands on a book sequel again.

Buy it here, I need to talk to somebody about it before I have a brain aneurysm.

Subscribeyyy xo

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Top 7 Book Dedications of All Time

By far, my favorite part of any book is the dedication. They make me laugh, they make me cry, they give me goosebumps because I am weird and this is the brain I’ve been blessed to navigate this planet with. I’ve had my own personal book dedication written for 3 years now, despite the fact my book is 3% complete. Currently, I’m dedicating a collection of half-finished novels, one of which I wrote while tripping on mushrooms (this one is, by far, the best one).

Because of this obsession, I’ve comprised a list of my seven favorite book dedications of all time and I’m here to cram them down your throats. They each hold a very special place within the depths of my cold, dead heart and bring my lifeless soul joy. When you’re a human woman who despises 95% of the world, that’s a big fucking deal. Carry on.

  1. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

When I was 7, a car drove past me and the driver stuck his tongue out at me FOR NO REASON. I think about this moment at least once a week. I’d like to dedicate a future book of mine to that man’s tongue.

2. Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler

As the oldest of six children, we are an eight-book series waiting to happen. Most of them will lead to arrests. 80% of us are okay with this.

3. Dark Days by Derek Landy

Currently 7 months pregnant with our first child, I’d like to share a conversation my husband had with our child while in vitro: “See kid, in the comedy world, I’m a ten. Your mom, she’s a solid 6. She likes to think she’s a ten, but I think you and I will both agree when you get here that she’s definitely a solid 6.” I am hilarious, Sean.

4. No Thanks by E.E. Cummings

E.E. Cummings self-published this book with the help of his mother after being rejected by 14 different publishers. He dedicated the book to all 14 of them. There goes my hero.

5. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

As the self-proclaimed queen of the messy bun, this dedication broke straight through my rib cage and crucified my heart the second I read it. It speaks to my messy self.

6. This Book Is Full Of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It by David Wong

This is a favorite for obvious reasons: we are not worthy of the sweet angel babies that are dogs. My dog is undeniably a better person than I could ever even hope to be. I love you, Maxy. Forever the greatest boy.

7. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Remember when I said some book dedications make me cry? This fucker did it for me. As someone who spent the majority of their childhood writing story after story and forcing her siblings to read them, I have a feeling this book was specifically dedicated just for me. Bet.

What are some of your favorite book dedications? Send them to me. I’m seven months pregnant and, I shit you not, will cry happy, heartwarming tears over just about any book dedication you send me. I wish I was kidding.

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The Circle by Dave Eggers

First things first- how ya’ll digging the new logo? I needed some color up in this bitch, this website was looking a little sickly. Not anymore! Compliments of yours truly and my extensive html knowledge from the ol’ myspace days. (forever missing myspace, luv u bb)

A co-worker recommended I read The Circle by Dave Eggers approximately a bajillion months ago. Taking her word for it, I purchased it that day and immediately threw it on my bookshelf to encourage the growth of a solid, pristine layer of dust before even thinking about gracing it with my shitty eyeballs. That’s how I read books, if you care to know. Purchase, marinate on bookshelf, read half a year later. Reading 101. Naturally, once I picked up The Circle and fully submersed myself between the pages, I kicked myself straight up the asshole for waiting so long to start it. This book is solid gold, kids. Here’s a quick plot synopsis from Goodreads:


When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world–even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. 

What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

Let me just put this out there. The Circle is Amazon. I don’t give a shit what you say, I’m right about this. What’s super disturbing about that is the fact that Dave Eggers published this book in 2013… a couple years before Amazon truly became the super power we all know it to be today. Did Jeff Bezos read this dystopian novel? Is this his actual business plan? Did he present this to his investors over coffee and donuts, a nice casual conversation about complete world domination? Is Amazon destined to become as powerful as the Circle? Is every layer of life slowly morphing into a single media platform? I fucking need answers. In the book, every facet of life is performed through the Circle. They bought Facebook. They bought Twitter. WhatsApp? I’m a crippled old woman with no knowledge of WhatsApp, but you know they went and bought that shit too. Nobody carries around purses or wallets anymore because all commerce is done through the website. All voting is done through the Circle. Your value as a human being is based solely off your Circle rating. As someone who’s happiness relies solely on daily Amazon deliveries, I’m both intrigued and freaked the fuck out.

I’m uncomfortable. But like, a comfortable kind of uncomfortable. That book was really, really interesting and kept me on the edge of my lazy boy throughout the entirety of the novel. I may only be 10 books deep so far this year, but The Circle by Dave Eggers is my favorite book read in 2019 and I stand by that wholeheartedly. Buy it, read it, and get back here. I need to talk to more people about it ASAP because the parallels between the story and real life are s h o c k i n g and I’m scared.

That’s it for today, nerds. I hope to have another review posted by the end of this week. When I’m not reading about companies plotting the demise of our civilization, I’m reading about alcohol/meth addiction because mama misses adderall and booze. Two more months until our sugar baby is born!

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Spilled Milk by K.L. Randis

amazon | buy me


“Just remember, rain doesn’t seem all that threatening at first, but too much rain can turn into a flood.” 

K.L. Randis | Spilled Milk

For over a year now, every book I’ve finished has been fiction. And to be more specific, I would say about 90% of my read pile in the past 365 days have been a dystopian novel of some kind. I needed to switch it up to expand the old noggin’. So what genre do I turn to next? Incestuous rape, of course! This is because I am a normal, healthy, American woman who, also, has an overly eager fascination with Stockholm Syndrome, as well. Call the police I don’t care.

I remember reading A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer when I was like, I dunno, 7? And I was completely enthralled by the subject matter. I’m aware of the fact that that sentence may lead some to believe I’m a psychopath, or some sort of adorable serial killer. But I promise you, I am h e a l t h y. I’ve always been interested in the dark side of people. The person you never get to see because they’re constantly kept on lock down, hidden behind closed doors. Maybe that’s the writer in me, or maybe a psychiatric evaluation is in order. Potatoes, potahtoes. Whatever the case, knowing people have demons larger than mine is both fascinating and mind consuming to me.

Cue Spilled Milk by K.L. Randis:


Brooke Nolan is a battered child who makes an anonymous phone call about the escalating brutality in her home. 

When social services jeopardize her safety condemning her to keep her father’s secret, it’s a glass of spilled milk at the dinner table that forces her to speak about the cruelty she’s been hiding. In her pursuit for safety and justice Brooke battles a broken system that pushes to keep her father in the home.

When jury members and a love interest congregate to inspire her to fight, she risks losing the support of family and comes to the realization that some people simply do not want to be saved.

Goodreads

I flew through this book so fast, I’m amazed the pages didn’t catch fire amidst my frantic reading. For a moment there, I forgot how amazing memoirs are, and this one was screaming at me from my “want to read” list on Goodreads. Brooke was the oldest of 5 children (I’m the oldest of six), and my soul hurt when she describes her experiences and actions as the leader of the pact. I felt that. Although both “parents” were around, she raised her siblings among chaos. I know what it feels like to be a psuedo-mama bear with children that are technically not your own, but that fact would not stop you from single handedly ripping the limbs off of anyone trying to cause them harm. The majority of her childhood was spent making sure her siblings were safe, while putting herself in harm’s way in order to defend them (girl I see you, I feel you, and I get it). Brooke’s story is one of absolute disbelief and honest-to-god sheer horror, and I found myself physically and rooting out loud for the girl who penned the pages.

The ending of Brooke’s story is one of triumphant, and her ability to somehow overcome incredible odds. The things that poor girl went through… jesus christ. I respect the hell out of you, Brooke Nolan. Keep fighting that good fight.

Buy her book here. 

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xo g

If you or someone you know (or suspect) is a victim of child abuse, call The Childhelp National Abuse Child Hotline – (800) 422-4453. We support you, and we’re here for you. ❤

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