Book Club Pick: October 2018
Title: Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines
Author: Nic Sheff
Series: Stand alone memoir
Country: United States of America
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
First Published: 2007
Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. In a voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery. As we watch Nic plunge into the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, he paints a picture for us of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. It’s a harrowing portrait—but not one without hope.
Tweak is a memoir of the author’s recollections of his journey with drug abuse, treatment, relapse, and recovery.
The memoir is written in a conversational style as if Sheff is speaking directly to the reader. This gives the writing a very raw feel. Each chapter is labelled with the day e.g. Day 1, like we are reading his diary. He also peppers the book with flashbacks to his childhood.
Sheff does not glamourise his drug addiction nor does he sugarcoat it. It is gritty and graphic in its detail and language. It is marketed and published as a young adult book. I would recommend it for older high school students.
Nic’s father David Sheff has also written a memoir Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction.
It is these two memoirs that the upcoming film Beautiful Boy featuring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet is based on.
Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.