This book is an easy read that I finished in two nights, but the topic of this book is not easy. This is the true story of sexual abuse that a young girl (Regina) had to endure. The book chronicles how she felt when it first started; scared and unsure, to a teenager who didn’t understand her own sexuality, to a woman who overcame the trauma.
There are excellent nuggets of wisdom and self discovery. Trauma can stay with you forever but Regina shows how you can use that trauma for good – by sharing her story.
The last few chapters were in-depth and I felt a real connection to the author. The first few chapters shared the story but were not as in depth as what was to come. Overall, for those that have suffered sexual trauma or are the parents to someone who has suffered sexual abuse this book gives great insight. Emotions can be difficult to explain and Regina does an excellent job of sharing those.
Children should never have to suffer, but the reality is that many children do. Many children endure a life that others can only fathom through nightmares. If those children are lucky they may end up in the foster care system, but that doesn’t mean that their nightmare ends. Not all foster homes are loving or supportive. There is a need for loving families to become foster parents.
Justin and Alexis were two of those children living through a nightmare. As a parent it was a struggle to read the pain that they had to endure at the hands of those who were supposed to protect and love them. It makes me want to hold onto my children even tighten.
Though they were both in the foster care system they had significantly different reasons for entering. Throughout the book they each share what caused them to enter the system and their experiences within the system. It is interesting to see how different their lives were but in the end found love with each other.
Each section has an ‘Alexis’ and a ‘Justin’ portion where the reader learns more about each of their pasts and understand how they are similar. Culminating in the ending section that is written together.
Trauma in the past does not need to define who we are in the present. For anyone who is struggling with their past this is an excellent book to read. Even if you were not in the foster care system this book has something to offer. If you have ever thought about fostering a child but unsure due to their past trauma this is a must read. Just because these children had traumatic experiences does not mean that they are not worthy of love and respect.
Given the chance most children will shine through. If you don’t put a plant in sunshine it will wilt and die but if you give it what it needs it will flourish and bloom.
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If I had to sum this book up in one word that word would be honest. There was no fluff, no pity party, no excuses; just pure vulnerable honesty.
Not only does J.T. share how stupid he was (his words not mine ; I think he was brave) but he shares why he got sober the stupid way. The stupid way was trying to do it alone. The body becomes so reliant on alcohol that withdrawing incorrectly can kill you. J.T. found that out the hard way (and I think we are all glad that it didn’t kill him). There are detox centers that will help you to carefully and safely get sober.
When J.T. did make it through the initial process of getting sober he had to get back to life – work. He shares how he was able to make it through the first shift, then the next and continuing in career in the hospitality business (where he had to be around alcohol nearly everyday). The system of counting to seven and forgetting to get drunk worked well for him; and perhaps it could help you as well.
Finally, one of the most interesting pieces in the book was when J.T. writes about having to decline a drink when socializing. Since alcohol is a normalized part of society when someone declines a drink they are often questioned. We need to normalize not drinking.
This book is definitely worth the read, whether you are struggling with your alcohol consumption or if you love someone who is struggling. This book not only talks about the process but the feelings that he had to deal with and why he continued for so long.
If you prefer to listen it is on audible (that is how I listened to the book) and J.T. reads it, which I find it extra special to hear his voice telling his story.
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Ever look at someone and think “yup they are an addict”? Ever think to yourself that you can always tell who is or is not an addict? If you have then this book will blow your mind because you can’t just look at someone and know if they are struggling with an addiction.
David shares his very personal story of leading a secret life of sneaking away to get high, going to work and having a stable intimate relationship. He shares how early on in his struggle his parents knew he had an addiction and he went to rehab. Then he shares how he continued getting high all while pretending he wasn’t.
This story is raw, honest and gives you a real glimpse into the life of someone who is struggling. Not just struggling with their addiction but struggling with who they are as a person. Struggling with living in their own skin.
The courage it took David to share his story shows through the entire book. Keeping the reader involved and wanting to see how it turns out. A little spoiler…. it turns out well.
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This book had a really interesting storyline and is a a great read for the teenager in your life that loves all things horror. At first it seems as though the monster is a vampire and yet he really isn’t. There are vampire-esque qualities but there is so much more t
o it than that. It was interesting reading the first few chapters getting to know the characters and trying to determine which ones would play the biggest roles in the book.
It doesn’t take long before you get to figure that out and I was surprised to find out who would be a main monster lead. There was great friendships developed in the book that made it all the more interesting to see how they either grew or deteriorated as the book progressed. The ending had some of what I expected but took on a life of its own with pieces that I was not expecting. Don’t worry I won’t ruin it for you but just know that there is more than you will expect.
Underlying all of this monster hunting and murder is a tale of a teenager overcoming his anxiety and trauma. It was interesting to read how this character developed from a kid who was scared of speaking with girls to someone who stood up against the great evil.
Overall I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next installment.
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