Posts Tagged ‘Memoir’

Book Club Pick: October 2018

Tweak

Book Details:

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

Pages: 322

Publisher Description:

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.

Review:

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.

BeautifulBoyBanner

Links:

Nic Sheff on Twitter

 

Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.

Book Club Pick: August 2016

AWorkInProgress

Book Details:

Title: A Work in Progress

Author: Connor Franta

Series: Stand alone memoir

Country: United States

Publisher: Keywords Press / Astria – imprint of Simon & Schuster

First Published: 2015

Pages: 212

Publisher’s Description:

In this intimate memoir of life beyond the camera, Connor Franta shares the lessons he has learned – so far – on his journey from small-town boy to Internet sensation. Here, Connor offers a look at his midwestern upbringing as one of four children in the home and one of five in the classroom; his struggles with identity, body image, and sexuality in his teen years, and his decision to finally pursue his creative and artistic passions in his early twenties, setting up his flourishing career as a YouTube personality, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and tastemaker.

Exploring his past with insight and humor, his present with humility, and his future with hope, Connor reveals his private struggles while providing heartfelt words of wisdom for young adults. His words will resonate with anyone coming of age in the digital era, but at the core is a timeless message: don’t be afraid to be yourself and to go after what you truly want.

Beautifully designed and including photography and childhood clippings provided by Connor, this is a must-have for those seeking inspiration on their own journeys.

Review:

Up until now I have only selected fiction for my blog. This month I decided to do something different and picked Connor Franta’s memoir A Work in Progress.

Connor-Franta-A-Work-in-Progress

At the time of publishing his book Connor was a 22-year-old YouTuber, who uploaded videos on random topics to his channel each week. Connor is much more than a Youtuber he has a music label, a clothing line, and a coffee brand under his lifestyle brand Common Culture.

Some people may be critical of a 22 year old writing a memoir but as the title suggests his life is a work in progress and this book reflects that.

Don’t expect a tell-all-expose type of memoir. For anyone who has watched Connor’s videos you will know that is not his style. He pieces together a series of incidents from his 22 years rather than following a chronological autobiographical format. He peppers the book with his words of wisdom – these do feel at times a little cliché and are likely to only appeal to those younger than him.

The memoir is written as if Connor is speaking directly to the reader – just how he talks to the viewer on his YouTube channel.

Connor also includes many photographs – some are childhood / family photographs but many are photographs Connor took himself. Anyone who follows Connor on Instagram will know he has a passion and flair for photography. Although the placement of the photographs does not always relate to what he is talking about, so they are there to be artsy rather than thematic. He also includes some clippings of his school work.

While one does not have to be a massive Connor Franta fan to enjoy the book I would only recommend this to readers who are familiar with his YouTube channel.

 

Links:

Connor Franta on YouTube

Connor Franta on Twitter

Connor Franta on Instagram

Connor Franta on Tumblr

Connor Franta on Facebook

Common Culture Website

 

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my public library.