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May 3, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

Pill Head by Joshua Lyon

lyon, joshua - pill head( thumbs_up ) I’ve never read a memoir of a pain pill addict, but I can’t imagine one being any more informative or engrossing as this.

This author did his research – BEFORE he became clean. I can’t even guarantee he is clean now, only that he has researched the harms and benefits of his abuse to the nth degree. It doesn’t seem to be progressing him anywhere, but it’s so interesting reading about the research going into addiction studies, etc. For example, naloxone.

This author is well-written, highly detailed, and very attention-grabbing. He details stories with other addicts, not just his own. It’s really interesting. Give it a read!

May 2, 2015 / Melanie Rosson

A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown

brown, cupcake - a piece of cake( thumbs_up ) My god, if you want a memoir that packs it all in one book, this would be your go-to. This book describes what can only be considered a miracle for where the author is now.

From poverty to racism, prostitution, gangs, abuse, addiction, and everything in between – this memoir contains everything.

Cupcake Brown watched her mother die, became a foster child in many abusive households, and ran away multiple times. It wasn’t long before drugs and street crime filled her life. Soon she joined a gang, and experienced what it was like to get shot. Speaking to her higher power, she soon found “coincidences” that led her to better opportunities. She did not waste them. She got a job, but still fought addiction. After rehab was she only able to flourish through school and become an inspiring lawyer.

A great book that I had trouble putting down.

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.

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