I would never have walked into a bookstore and bought this book. It wouldn’t matter how well-reviewed or marketed it was. The sole reason I wouldn’t have bought it would be that it isn’t in the genre that I am typically drawn to.
If you are like me, and never really venture outside your reading comfort zone, please let me tell you what a HUGE mistake that is.
On the recommendation of my sister, I read Crank by Ellen Hopkins. Though a work of fiction, this book is based on her own family’s experience with Crystal Meth, among other things, and gives a raw, unfiltered glimpse into the mind of someone with addiction and how it affects them and those around them.
In my own novel, the main character battled addiction and will be required to face those demons again down the road, so I read this book to better understand what someone in that situation would feel like, think like, and act like. I want my character’s experiences to be as close to authentic as possible.
I didn’t include addiction in my story to glorify it. As ever, it is my hope that maybe someone will read my book who may be struggling with something, find the characters relatable and by witnessing the character’s journey, find their own path a little clearer or easier to tread.
I may not be an addict (mercifully) but this book educated me in a way I hadn’t expected. It opened my eyes to how anyone in the right set of circumstances can lose their way. I have more empathy after reading it than I did before I picked the book up. I have a deeper understanding of “the monster” and I hope I will be able to accurately and respectfully portray addiction in my own writing when the situation arises.
This book is written in a poetic style and is therefore a quick read, so do yourself a favor and read it. It’s totally worth it.
In Libris Libertas,