Tweak by Nic Sheff


I read this a year ago, and thought it is never too late to share my thoughts.

If you ever have the desire to inject meth, cocaine, or heroin, or smoke crack – read this book first. It will make you run in the opposite direction. Tweak is Nic Sheff’s memoir about growing up abusing drugs. He has gotten clean and relapsed many times, and the book starts when he’s about to relapse again. He uses, has volatile relationships, and has to find ways to make money to cover his drug habit (obviously not ever pretty). Meanwhile, he puts his family through the ringer. 

It’s definitely a hard book to read, but really well written and it ends on a hopeful note. His dad also released his own book, Beautiful Boy, telling the story from his perspective, which I hope to read at some point. It is very graphic, and I would not recommend it to someone with a week stomach. Sheff is pretty honest and descriptive about the sex and drug use, so I wouldn’t recommend this for younger or more innocent readers.

This has been a GREAT book to hook reluctant readers, particularly guys. I’ve booktalked this more than once and always have more teenage boys who want to read it than copies to go around, and I’ve bought many copies for our library. I always give the warning of it being graphic, and if the mention of drug use does not grab them, the warning does. Every student who has read it has given me a great report back. They appreciate Sheff’s honesty and lack of a preachy quality. I keep getting asked for more books like this, but it has been difficult to find the honesty without glorification of the lifestyle. If anyone has suggestions, I’d really appreciate hearing them! I have had luck suggesting The Burn Journals as a follow up.



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4 responses to “Tweak by Nic Sheff

  1. Pingback: Update on Nic Sheff/Tweak « Dog-eared and Well-read

  2. Becky O

    I loved the book Beautiful Boy and had no idea that the son wrote this one. fascinating. I’ll add it to my list. Thanks so much.

  3. Pingback: We All Fall Down: Living With Addiction by Nic Sheff | Dog-eared and Well-read

  4. Roxanne Kelly

    I am a single mother of 4 and my 17yr old son is a heroin addict. He is in his 9th rehab. I have read Beautiful Boy and just finished We all fall down. I never knew there were other people out there that feel the way I do. My son and I are best friends and I will never give up on him. I lay awake each night wondering if he will make it to the next day. I am living these 2 books.

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