This book has been on my book shelf for the past two years. My mother sent it to me but she had not read it and I doubt that she even knew what it was about. So for years, it has been on my book shelf. Just waiting there waiting there waiting there. If you find my “dramatic” way of repeating words annoying, then this book will annoy the shit out of you.
I decided to read this long forgotten book when a friend of mine brought it up. We were talking about our favorite books and he mentioned that this was his. Curiosity got the best of me. Besides, I believe that a person’s favorite book speaks so much about his or her character. Note, I did not know that this book was fake so when I started reading it, I blindly believed that this was a true story. In my defense, I didn’t know about the whole fake memoir controversy, I was still 9 years old when all of that happened.
For the first few pages, I thought it was okay. I was curious to where the story would lead to, curious about what it was like being an addict. When he narrated about how he started drinking and using drugs at such a young age, I couldn’t help but wonder, “how could he still be alive after all that?” A decade of abusing your body would lead to more than just being weak and vomiting blood every day. His liver should have been dead. He should have been dead.
Another thing, the way James talks in his book, it seemed like he was so sure of himself, like he always knew the next step. His thoughts were so organized that I believed in him less and less. He always pushed that he was right and it got downright annoying. He also had a way of talking about his life and his problems, subtly comparing it with other people’s lives and problems which in turn makes the reader sympathize with him and simultaneously manipulating us into thinking that he’s not pathetic. He refused to be thought as someone pathetic. When in reality, he was. His development wasn’t even traumatic compared to others. He wasn’t forced into addiction, he did this on his own. He did it because he thought it was cool. He was even ungrateful to his parents, the parents who he stole money from to buy drugs. The same parents who did nothing but help him. Did I mention he was annoying and privileged? Even with all these not-so-positive thoughts in my head, I was still willing to give the book a three out of five stars.
Then, I started to search about the book. I read about the controversy and I felt more disappointed. I could have read this book for a day or two but I couldn’t stand reading it that it took me two weeks to finish it. Two weeks.
I thought that it would get better then lo and behold, he fell in love with a girl named Lilly. It got sappy and annoying and ugly. This part made me vomit inside my mouth, figuratively of course.
At this point (if you reached reading this point which I doubt you did), you can probably conclude that I hate this book. It’s an addict’s fantasy, if he really was an addict which according to the articles I’ve read, said he wasn’t. Conveniently, he met an attractive girl who fell in love with him. He supposedly never relapsed after only six weeks in rehab. It’s convenient how his roommate was a judge who has the ability to lessen his prison time. He supposedly impressed a big-time rich criminal. He was supposedly even adopted by said criminal. These things never happen in real life. I hate this book. And the Way this Book capitalizes Nouns like Sky, Child, and Van.
As for my friend who likes this book, I am so judging him right now. Nobody ever said not to judge a person by their favorite book.