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March 13, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

In My Skin by Kate Holden

holden, kate - in my skin( thumbs_side ) Heroin was a very popular drug in the 80’s and 90’s. But addiction to heroin is one of the worse addictions you can develop.

The author experiences this. In order to pay for her habit, she turns to prostitution. First, out on the street by herself, then in brothels.

It isn’t until circumstances started becoming really dire that she finally turned to her methadone injections to help her cope with coming clean. With that, she soon develops aspirations again, and finds that her life is so much better off of heroin.

It’s good but probably goes far too in depth in the ins and outs of sexual scenes and the life of a sex worker. I feel like the addiction component and the emphasis of how drugs effected her (in more than just her career) could have been increased.

March 5, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

Normal Girl by Molly Jong-Fast

jong-fast, molly - normal girl(thumbs_side) Some people that are born with all the financial and social status privilege imaginable are lacking in the areas of self-worth and fulfilling relationships that are needed to develop a happy existence.

The main character of this novel is a spoiled, selfish 19-year-old who turns to hard drugs and alcohol to quell her pains. Anything you can name, she has been on it. It’s hardcore.

She goes to rehab, and tries to change her life. The typical druggie story.

What I really didn’t like about this book is how unrealistic some of the drug references were, like the writer really didn’t know what they were talking about for some of it.

The book just seems to be written in a hurry of passion, not really doing any of the artwork or research of going into details or character development. I mean, I got into it ok, but that was mostly for the overall theme – not really the writing.

March 5, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

Confessions of a Social Climber by Paige Troxell

troxell, paige - confessions of a social climber(thumbs_side) Okay, this was a gripping read. HOWEVER I cannot get past the typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors that can be found on just about every page. I know this is a self-published book, but DAMN – put some effort into proofreading please.

The story goes like this: the main character is in her early twenties and finds herself in rehab. Her story is mostly narrated from her therapists office, but somewhat in her own memories as well.

She goes through how she develops higher in the social scene, which also lead to the drug scene. She parties and clubs constantly, which damages her jobs and relationships. Anyone who has ever gone through a “partying too much” phase will relate.

If you can suffer through the horrendous presentation of the content of this book, definitely give it a read. I liked it for it’s story, but also didn’t for it’s careless composition.

February 13, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

lamb, wally - i know this much is truethumbs_up ) So Wally Lamb is my current favorite author, and he brought it to another excellent level with this book.

The story is told by the identical twin of a schizophrenic. It follows him through his fight for his brother’s rights and wellness, after a highly publicized incident where the mentally ill brother cuts his arm off in public in protest of the war.

The story is very detailed, drawn-out, and intricate. No wonder it’s 900 pages long. But it’s well worth it. The story has intense drama and twists and turn at every end, but still very gritty and down-to-earth.

I highly recommend this book if you don’t mind spending a long time reading one thing. It can be a bit slow in the first half, but it picks up with force and you’ll have trouble putting it down.

February 4, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

Hot (Broke) Messes by Nancy Trejos

trejos, nancy - hot broke messes( thumbs_side ) Now this is the first personal financing book I’ve ever read, so bare that in mind. Perhaps if I was more familiar with the other literature that is out there, I would have a different opinion.

I like that this book is tailored to helping one balance living life fully while getting out of debt (for those that have made big financial mistakes). I have only the standard auto and school loans to pay back, but I need all the help I can get in doing this asap as well as bringing up my currently negative net worth.

Trejos has a unique perspective to share with how she grew up with immigrant parents who penny-pinched and worked incredibly hard. However, she didn’t learn from their practices, and squandered her money. Even with an $80,000 plus salary, she was swimming in miscellaneous debt for her expensive lifestyle.

Ironically, she became a personal finance columnist. With this new assignment, she came to the realization she needed to practice what she was going to preach. So she hired a financial advisor as well as did her own research.

This book is a compilation of what she’s learned, experienced and gathered. Overall, it’s useful, but not great to the point that I’d recommend it to anyone. Also, it’s a little outdated in 2015 (it’s copyrighted 2010) with some of its references and facts.

January 16, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

The Defining Decade by Meg Jay, PhD

jay, meg - the defining decade( thumbs_up ) You could say I’ve had a bit of a quarter century crisis, and this book helped me navigate through some of it.

Nowadays it’s common for people in their twenties to care little about their jobs or families, and instead value socializing, slacking off, or partying. Society tells us 20-somethings are more of an extended youth.

However, Jay tells us this should not be so. She goes through the consequences we’ll face if we are to put things off in our lives for too long. Some examples include very little 401ks, children that will just become adults when you are a senior, lessening pools of singles, unexplainable gaps in resumes, and the list goes on.

The way she writes is down to earth. It has just enough science and real talk to make it a really great read. I highly recommend this to any 20-something struggling with progressing in life.

November 11, 2014 / Melanie Rosson

Wasted by Marya Hornbacher

hornbacher, marya - wasted( thumbs_up ) Hornbacher is a brilliant writer and has gone through hell with her mental illness. Wasted is what I believe is her first memoir on one of her dual diagnoses – a NOS eating disorder. Her second memoir is a chronicle of her struggle with bipolar disorder, Madness: A Bipolar Life.

This was written when she was only 23 years old. It begins by describing problems in her youth and warning signs of the disease to develop. First, she becomes extremely bulimic. Then, out of desire to have more restraint and more substantial weight loss, she devotes herself to anorexia.

At a very young age she develops habits and ways of thinking that obsess over food and her own body. She sees no limit on how thin she needs to be. She desires to wither away to nothing.

She becomes emaciated to the point where she is told she has one week left to live. Only this, did she see as a turning point to change her behavior. Now, she is living, but still in a continuous struggle with the disease.

I love this book for how much detail it provides, the plentiful research and observation it contains, and how much great analyses the author has put into to trying to understand her condition and circumstances. It’s intense and honest, and made me cringe the whole time I was reading it because I’m disgusted by the idea of someone starving to death – especially by their own will. It’s great – but like I said –  an intense read.


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