Is it weird to start off a book review by plugging a different book? Probably.
But I feel, for context reasons, that it’s important to do so.
Beautiful Boy by David Sheff is a book that I discovered after seeing a trailer for a movie by the same title. In that book, David shares what it has been like to watch his son, Nic, struggle with a meth addiction.
After reading Beautiful Boy, I heard that both David and Nic wrote a book together focusing purely on drugs and addiction. The full title, after all, is High: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction.
One of the things I had loved about Beautiful Boy was what David had learned from studying addiction. He spent years learning what he could about addiction in an attempt to help his son, and that came across beautifully through his writing.
I figured that High would give me even more details that, maybe, hadn’t been shared in Beautiful Boy.
And while, yes, High does refer to specific drugs and how they affect the body, I felt like everything had been too oversimplified or dumbed down.
I realize that the book was written for teens. David and Nic are trying to arm teenagers with knowledge about drugs before (I mean, hopefully before) they’re presented with the opportunity to try them.
But I feel like, maybe, they took the oversimplification too far.
Sure, there is a lot of information that could be helpful to somebody who hasn’t taken the time to learn about addiction before. And, maybe as a teenager, that’s exactly who you are.
I, however, appreciated the way information was presented in Beautiful Boy more than in High.