Description from the publishers through Netgalley
From Cat Marnell, “New York’s enfant terrible” (The Telegraph
), a candid and darkly humorous memoir of prescription drug addiction and self-sabotage, set in the glamorous world of fashion magazines and downtown nightclubs.
At twenty-six, Cat Marnell was an associate beauty editor at Lucky, one of the top fashion magazines in America—and that’s all most people knew about her. But she hid a secret life. She was a prescription drug addict. She was also a “doctor shopper” who manipulated Upper East Side psychiatrists for pills, pills, and more pills; a lonely bulimic who spent hundreds of dollars a week on binge foods; a promiscuous party girl who danced barefoot on banquets; a weepy and hallucination-prone insomniac who would take anything—anything—to sleep.
This is a tale of self-loathing, self-sabotage, and yes, self-tanner. It begins at a posh New England prep school—and with a prescription for Attention Deficit Disorder medication Ritalin. It continues to New York, where we follow Marnell’s amphetamine-fueled rise from intern to editor through the beauty departments of NYLON, Teen Vogue, Glamour, and Lucky. We see her fight between ambition and addiction and how, inevitably, her disease threatens everything she worked so hard to achieve.
From the Condé Nast building (where she rides the elevator alongside Anna Wintour) to seedy nightclubs, from doctors’ offices and mental hospitals, Marnell shows—like no one else can—what it is like to live in the wild, chaotic, often sinister world of a young female addict who can’t say no.
Combining lighting-rod subject matter and bold literary aspirations, How to Murder Your Life is mesmerizing, revelatory, and necessary.
Here’s the thing, I have always had an interest in reading about addiction. I have a degree in school counseling and I have always wanted to continue to get my license in Substance Abuse Counseling. Therefore, I am always interested to read books that deal with this topic. I saw this book on Netgalley and was approved to read an E-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I struggle with my rating for this book because I thought the writing was very well composed. The author had a way in which she brought the reader into the story so that I could understand her experiences. However, I have never read a book in which drug abuse was glamorized in this way. Not once did I feel as if Cat wanted to stop using. I am mad that her father, a licensed psychiatrist, kept sending prescriptions and pills to her without really questioning the amount of use. I am in denial that all of the employers avoiding confronting the obvious until it was too late.
This is not a book for everyone. I saw a question posed on Goodreads that asked what grade level of student this would be appropriate for. My answer: None. Students can be very vulnerable and can take this book as an encouragement to abuse drugs. There are no visible feelings of regret from Cat.
You have to read the Afterword to see how she is currently doing but there is still no mention of wanted to remain sober. I am baffled at this memoir and then again, I enjoyed the writing. This reminds me a bit of the James Frey/ Oprah debacle with his book, A Million Little Pieces. Is this really an accurate memoir?
All things considered, I gave this 3 crowns.