How to Grow an Addict by J.A. Wright – 2015

addictHow to grow an addict is quite an addictive read!  It is written in a naïve tone from the point of view of the ‘addict’, Randall Grange.  Randall is in rehab and the novel tells the story of how she ended up there.  What is totally intriguing about the book is trying to pinpoint what it is about Randall’s upbringing that has ‘grown an addict’ – why is it that one person is destroyed by being raised in a dysfunctional family and another not?  Randall’s Dad is a nasty piece of work – presumably naming Randall as the second son he would have preferred – he is a drunk, a bully and a bigot.  There is a bit of back story to give some explanation of his behaviour, but basically he is a shit.  Her Mum, much younger than her father, is unhappy, a flirt and survives by popping pills.  Both parents dote on Randall’s much elder brother – who is initially an ally but when Randall discovers he is actively gay he turns very nasty – and becomes a younger version of his father.  You start suspecting every adult Randall meets of less than kind motives – and often you are right, especially when she gets involved with Nick, a particularly predatory man that becomes her supplier later in the book.  It is all pretty predictable – but very believable due to the straight forward narration – and that fact that apart from a couple of outbursts early on in her life it is really neglect that Randall suffers from not abuse.  But the small start of taking pills and alcohol to calm down increasingly leads to Randall’s inability to make good decisions – and that is what leads to the horrendous downward spiral of her life.  The book is written so much from Randall’s perspective that you only get to glimpse at the intentions and motives of those around her – you see them totally through her eyes, which I suppose is part of addiction.  If you are addicted (to anything?) your only concern is the next hit and how those around you are either helping or hindering that.  Such a world view leads to Randall behaving in ways that she thinks people expect of her, further driving away those who might help.  How to grow an addict is not at all maudlin and reads so truthfully that that hardest thing to believe is that Randall might actually come through it all and survive. 

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One Response to How to Grow an Addict by J.A. Wright – 2015

  1. Jodi Wright says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review my novel. I really appreciate it. Kindest J.A. Wright

    Liked by 1 person

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