How to Grow an Addict by J.A. Wright is a page turner without a doubt. From the very first page, you’re drawn into the main character Randall Granges world and how her story will end.
Randall’s story is a heartbreakingly beautiful one. From getting drunk at the age of 10 to being 23 and full blown addict on her way to recovery. I personally was drawn to the way Wright shows weak moments in Randall’s life and why she felt the need to reach for alcohol or pills. Wright does an amazing job of showing Randall’s progression in being an addict. Coming from a dysfunctional family In no way helped her but she (at least for a while) had her Aunt Flo and Uncle Hank until tragedy strikes. Going to her aunt and uncles house really kept Randall busy and away from her home troubles. It was sad to see Randall return back home with her mother, father, and brother.
I feel as though Randall’s father was the biggest contributor to her addiction. At the age of 10, at a birthday he serves her whiskey, getting her drunk for the first time. Now although she did have her mother, she wasn’t in any way a great mom. She was never emotionally there for Randall and would give her sleeping pills because it was convenient which ultimately led to Randall’s addiction to narcotics. Now, her brother Robbie never helped her with anything and blamed her for everything. He treated her awful even though Randall was there for him always and looked up to him.
One can understand why Randall felt the need to depend on something to make her feel better or take her mind off things. Near the end, we’ve learned a lot about Randall and can’t help but want to run up to her and give her a hug she so desperately needs. From being sexually harassed more than once to being in an abusive relationship and not having a support system, you want to tell Randall that maybe she doesn’t know it now but everything is going to be fine.
As How to Grow an Addict comes to a close, we find Randall has been involuntarily put into a rehab institution. Of course, she wakes up there and wants to immediately leave, but the more time she spends there and the more people she talks to, she has a new sense of wanting to change her life around. Ultimately in this life and what I learned from this book is that sometimes you get chances to fix your life and it’s up to you to jump on them. This book brings you on a beautiful but tragic journey of a girl who couldn’t find her way in the beginning but gets a second chance at life and gets a retry, something she so desperately needed. I think the message of this book is to learn from your mistakes. Randall made many mistakes and paid for them, but what How to Grow an Addict shows is that you learn from mistakes and thankfully Randall did learn.
Rating: 4 out of 5