Sunday, November 23, 2008


For some reason this book was difficult to get through. Due to the grammatically incorrect layout of the novel, I found it hard to really allow myself to dive in. I was focused more on the grammer rather than the text. Although I know this was the intention of the book, in order to show the reader a more in depth glimpse of what life was like for Precious, I think it took away from the emotional aspect of what she was going through. It was such a shame to hear of such a young girl being sexually abused by her own father, and physically abused by her mother. Both have contributed to her emotional abuse I believe, and her neglect as a human being. It's a shame that she was unable to receive positive reinforcement by her parents, but rather a destructive chain of events.

The worst part is that she is unaware of the full capacity of what is right and wrong. With her fathers sexual abuse, she says she hates it, yet it feels good sometimes. As for her mother, she gets verbally and physically abused, yet she finds similarities of herself with her mother. Overall she has a difficult time in understanding the events that have taken place in her life, and how those events have shaped who she has become. Although she has been faced with a great deal of pain, she learns to overcome some of this pain and this gives the book a sense of hope.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

WOW is all I have to say. I thought this book was a joy to read as well as very interesting. I finished the book within two days, and continued by reading the sons book Tweak by Nic Sheff. I think David Sheff did a wonderful job in bringing to life his story about his sons addiction. He frequently questioned himself throughout the novel, yet by the end it seemed as if he learned the painstaking reality that he can not choose what his son chooses for himself. He can wish and hope his son chooses a life that is fulfilling and filled with happiness, but he cannot force this upon him. It seems as though David's hardest thing to cope with was the control of his son's life. He felt he did was he could as a father to provide the necessary tools for a successful life, and he see's his sons addiction to meth as a way of throwing that away. Along with this, I think David feels like he has failed his son in many ways, whether it was the divorce or for causing him to constantly shift from his family during the year, to his mothers over the summer.

One of the most heart wrenching things is the impact his sons addiction had on his life, along with the rest of the family. There were some parts where I could completely empathize with the father. Here he was giving his son so many chances, as I am sure most parents would do, yet each time he was disappointed. Although you root for Nic to get better and overcome his addiction, I felt as if he was very selfish for putting his own needs before anyone else. He would leave for days at a time leaving his family in a panic, while he was carefree. I think David's story was one of a quest because he slowly comes to the realization that he needs to do what's best for himself and the rest of his family, and Nic can choose which life he chooses to live. Although this is very difficult for him, I think he is doing the appropriate thing. It makes me wonder if Jasper and Daisy will grow up and resent their brother for causing so much strife within the family? Will they resent the missed personal time with their parents because they were busy dealing with Nic? Although David touches on the notion that Nic was forbidden to see Jasper and Daisy while he was relapsing, I still feel as though they would have missed out on some things because of their brothers addiction. The one part that made me somewhat emotional was when Nic gave Jasper a letter saying how he was sorry and that " I will be here for you. I will live, and build a life, and be someone that you can depend on" (p. 233). Again he relapsed again...

Another interesting thing is how David always managed to stick up for Nic. He insisted that the Nic off of drugs was not the same Nic who was on drugs. But when I read Nic's book, ironically, he thought the complete opposite. He felt like no one when he wasn't on drugs, and when he took drugs he felt important and carefree. He felt like a completely different person, and although he liked some parts of his life when he was off drugs, he insisted that it was too hard, and he felt too empty to not have drugs. It was more than just the addiction to drugs and the high, but he felt that drugs filled a void. It makes me wonder where exactly this void originated from. Maybe from the divorce? Maybe from his two homes? It's hard to say though. He did well in school, he attended Berkely for at least a year and seemed like an overall good kid. It was sad to think that the father blamed himself somewhat for his sons addiction. He either believed it was caused from a situation that he produced or it was derived from his own experimentation from when he was younger.

The best part about the two books, was how, whether on purpose or accidental, the stories fit together like a puzzle piece. The fathers story layed out the framework for Nic's childhood and his divorce. The father also would speak of days in which Nic was gone for days at a time. Nic's book filled in those gaps. He mentions what he did during those days he was gone. It's amazing how much a drug can effect someones life. He prostituted his body for money. He tried stealing items from his families homes. He was completely desperate and vulnerable. He had a near death experience, yet says how he would wake up from blacking out and do more drugs. Along with that, it is also amazing to see how much a body can handle. The father even mentions a time when he found a journal entry listing a typical days worth of drugs: 1.5 grams speed, 1/8 oz of mushrooms, 2 klonopin, 3 codeine, 2 valium, and 2 hits of e. It's astonishing.

Overall I thought both books were amazing. I read both very intently and quickly. I have even recommended them to my friends and family because I thought they were so good.