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Saturday, July 10, 2010

UnSweetined by Jodie Sweetin

Release Date: October 6, 2009
Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment
Genre: Memoir
Age Group: Adults, Older Teens
Recommended for: Fans of Full House
Pages: 256


Once Danny Tanner's bubbly daughter on America's favorite family sitcom, Jodie Sweetin takes readers behind the scenes of Full House and shares her terrifying -- and uplifting -- real-life story of addiction and recovery. Jodie Sweetin grew up in front of America, melting our hearts and making us laugh for eight years as the cherub-faced middle child on Full House. Her ups and downs seemed not so different from our own, but more than a decade after the popular television show ended, the star we knew as goody-two-shoes Stephanie Tanner publicly revealed her shocking recovery from methamphetamine addiction. Even then, Jodie still kept a painful secret -- one that could not be solved in thirty minutes with a hug, a stern talking-to, or a bowl of ice cream around the family table. The harrowing battle she swore she had won was really just beginning.

In her deeply personal, utterly raw, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Jodie comes clean about the double life she led -- the crippling identity crisis that began at her birth, the hidden anguish of juggling a regular childhood with her Hollywood life, and the vicious cycle of abuse and recovery that led to a relapse even as she wrote this book. Jodie traveled the country speaking to college kids about her triumph over substance abuse, yet she partied nightly, spending tens of thousands of dollars on her habit. Her addiction tore her family apart and alienated her from her former Full House cast mates until becoming a mother gave her the determination and the courage to get sober.

Today, Jodie's life is a work in progress. Resilient, charming, and funny, she writes candidly about taking each day at a time. Hers is not a story of success or defeat, but of facing your demons, finding yourself, and telling the whole truth -- unSweetined.

My Review:

If you read my blog you’re probably thinking why on earth have I reviewed this book, a memoir, when I review mainly young adult novels. Well good question, I was over at my friends house the other day who happens to be a huge Full House fan who basically handed me this book to me and said and I quote “you HAVE to read this book OMG it is so good”, me being me I couldn’t let her down and say no so I took it even though I have a huge TBR pile at the moment. I’d been sitting on this book for a week before I picked it up after receiving yet another text message from my friend asking me if I have read it yet, so I decided I’d better bunker down with the book. I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical at first (surely this book couldn’t be as good as my friend said it was) because 1. I never really was into Full House (I know shock horror!) and 2. I generally steer clear of books written by ‘celebrities’. Well I’ve finished it (in record time – a couple of hours, so its a very quick read) and I wasn’t blown away by it but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, over all I could take it or leave it. I do however commend Jodie with her honest and often candid writing.

The book felt rushed to me and the part I was most interested in, what is was like on the Full House set, seemed to be skimmed over. There wasn’t much detail about the cast dynamics on set, I know she was only young at the time but I imagine most people reading this book would be interested in these dynamics because they were fans of Full House and want to know about all the shenanigans that went on during filming.

Most of the book focuses on Jodie’s life after Full House which is basically all about her drug habits and boy did she have a huge issue, this girl was wild and out of control. She’d go to rehab them relapse then go to rehab again and relapse again. I felt sorry for her at first, she definitely lost her way after Full House I mean being apart of a TV show for most of your formative years and then suddenly having it disappear, having to go back to your old life again would be hard to adjust to but I felt time and time again she used this excuse to justify her bad behaviour. I mean yes she had issues after Full House, she never felt like she could understand her peers, she felt different and the way she dulled this was with drugs but I’m sure many people feel this way but don’t go down the path she chose then again many do.

I was talking about this with my mum the other day (a very intellectual conversation if I can say so) and we came to the conclusion that who are we to judge someone’s actions, we’re not in her head so we don’t know what she was feeling at the time, I can only imagine that being in the public eye and then suddenly disappearing form it can only magnify the situation. Whilst I say who are we to judge her actions I must remember that by writing this book many people will be judging her and there will be a multitude of opinions about her life (some positive some negative) thus far because when you write a book people will come to their own conclusions. I only hope that through this book people stop and really think about how addiction can completely destroy someone’s life and talk about it with someone, because with talking comes a better understanding of addiction and it’s effects. I genuinely hope that Jodie’s desire to stay clean once and for all for all is achieved because she’s not the only one whose life will be destroyed if she doesn't.


Connie said...

Man, all the reviews of this book make it seem so raw and powerful! I can't believe that Sweetin is the same little girl who was on Full House. I'm glad she seems to be getting her life back together.

Great, honest review. I'm new to your blog, but I am really enjoying it. Keep up the great work!

-Connie @ Constance Reader

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Romy @
Greetings fellow blog readers, welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by. Now you may be wondering who is Well is also known as Romy, a 23 year old graduate student from Australia who loves to read. I read (maybe devour would be a more appropriate word) largely young adult novels, with a particular love of fantasy and paranormal novels, however I am also a sucker for a good romance.
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