Reading List: Addiction Fiction

This is the fourth blog in my series on reading lists about mental illness. Previously published:

Young Adult books about Psychosis

Young Adult books about Depression (including Bipolar)

Fiction about Personality Disorders

I will again start with my own books featuring main characters with Addiction:

Questing for a DreamQuesting for a Dream

Nadie is a bright but rebellious teen growing up Manitoba Cree. Living in abject poverty, she tries to help care for the younger children in the band. Devastated by the drowning death of her little cousin and unable to overcome her grief, Nadie leaves the band.
 
How can she find her own place in a foreign world where she is abused and discriminated against, and for the first time in her life, completely alone?

Ruby Between the Cracksruby-3d-mockup

Winner of In the Margins Top Ten Books for Teens award.

If you asked Ruby, she’d tell you she’s happy with her life. She’s tough and independent and doesn’t depend on anyone else. The road that has led her here has not been easy, and she’s blocked a lot of it from her memory.

But things aren’t as rosy as she would have everyone believe, and the road ahead of her is filled not only with gangs, drugs, and depression, but other challenges that Ruby hasn’t even imagined.

 

June & Justinmockup-1

Justin had made a mistake. A big, life-changing mistake.

He already failed June once. He wasn’t there when she needed him, and because of him, their lives will never be the same. June is everything to Justin, and he must be everything to her. He must protect June at all costs. Justin is prepared spend the rest of his life keeping her from getting hurt again.

But it seems they are always falling behind, barely keeping one step ahead of the nightmares.

There is always one more hazard, just around the corner.

dev-mockup1-newDeviation

“You’re a good kid, Henry.”

Everyone knew that he was a good guy; geeky, responsible, hard-working. Henry has had a lot to deal with in the past. Now, as he should be focusing on his schooling and preparing himself for the future, he is hindered by abuse, the challenge of raising his baby brother while dealing with his mother’s deep depressions, and the return of a ghost from the past Henry has tried his best to forget.

But it seems that Henry can’t avoid the nastiness of life. As hard as he tries, it’s one more disaster after another as his life spirals out of control.

Can Henry escape the darkness, or is he doomed to be consumed by it?

div-mockup1-new copy

Diversion

Raised to a life of crime, Sandy is a teenage prostitute, junkie, and con artist. She always joked that her Da taught her a trade, that it hadn’t hurt her to be brought up like she was.

But things keep getting more complicated, more dangerous, and Sandy doesn’t want to admit even to herself that she longs for an honest, normal life.

Even when she tries to change, things don’t go smoothly. Sandy’s past keeps interfering with her new relationships. In the end, if she and her family don’t pull together, Sandy will not be able to escape yet another ghost of her past. Do they have what it takes for her to change her life completely?

steven mock-up-1Don’t Forget Steven

He never told what went on behind closed doors. But this time, he can’t remember.

Things never have been easy for Steven. He accepts that, and just makes the best of things. He might not have parents or a happy home. Or enough to eat most days. But at least he has a couple of loyal friends who stand by him and help out when they can. At least he has school, someplace he can go to escape the abuse.

But just when he thought things couldn’t get much worse, they did.

Steven is accused of murder. But that isn’t the worst part. The really bad part is not even knowing if he did it.

The other books that I have picked out are:

41hYMaMVw+LGo Ask Alice

A teen plunges into a downward spiral of addiction in this classic cautionary tale.

January 24th

After you’ve had it, there isn’t even life without drugs….

It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city. It was a journey that would rob her of her innocence, her youth — and ultimately her life.

657371Tweak, Growing up on Amphetamines

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 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.

270730Crank

In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.” Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne’er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: “there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree.” Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won’t, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank.

 

 

9293020The Elephant Tree

Mark Fallon is an overworked detective investigating a spate of attacks at a string of high profile city centre nightclubs. Scott is a dejected 24 year old struggling to make ends meet working for his brother and supplementing his income with a small-scale drug dealing operation. Angela is an attractive 23 year old, raised by her father, a career criminal and small time drug dealer who supplies Scott with cannabis. This is a chilling tale spanning a few months in the lives of Scott and Angela, where realizations about the present combine with shocking revelations from the past leading to an apocalyptic climax where they no longer know whom they can trust.

Comments

  1. Wren Carter says:

    I am so glad I found you! If only there were books like these when I was younger. I can’t wait to share them with my daughter. You truly are a gift to the world of writers, and brave enough to write these books that most parents would like to shove under the rug. Sorry for the fangirl ramble, I’m still just blown away by your books, recs, and website in general!
    Best, Wren

    • Thank you, Wren, you don’t know how much that means to me! And thank you for sharing with your daughter, what an awesome mom! I hope you enjoy them. Let me know!

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