I didn't finish the book... I quit reading at page 209. I was expecting this book to be more of a cautionary tale of how excessive drinking can be damaging to young women. Maybe if I had kept reading, I would have gotten to that part. But the first 200 pages were nothing more than a girl with low self-esteem recounting her drunken escapades. I found it very difficult to like Koren or feel any empathy for her.
An honest, hard look at alcohol abuse. I saw in Koren bits of myself, and many a past friend. Heck, parts of it even made me miss getting drunk, but mostly it makes me realize how easy it is and how acceptable society makes it for anyone to abuse alcohol. I think it's a great book that everyone should read.
I thought this book was awesome. I read it very quickly and always looked forward to getting time to read it. The author and many of her friends reminded me so much of so many of my peers. All teenagers should read this book! It is both an entertaining and heartfelt memoir as well as a cautionary tale on the "harmless" binge drinking fad running rampant in so many high schools and colleges in our country.
This isn't just one girl's story of sneaking drinks in junior high, creeping out for night-long keg parties in high school and binge-drinking weeknights and weekends through collegeit's also a valuable cautionary tale. At 24 (her present age), Zailckas gave up drinking after a decade of getting drunk, having blackouts and experiencing brushes with comas, date rape and suicide. She weaves disturbing statistics (from Harvard School of Public Heath studies and elsewhere) into her memoir: most girls will have their first drink by age 12, and will have the experience of being drunk by 14; teenage girls drink as much as their male peers, but their bodies process it badly (they get drunk faster, stay drunk longer and are more likely to die of alcohol poisoning); and date rape and booze go hand-in-hand. Zailckas had alcohol poisoning at 16 after a night of downing shots at a party with friends, but having her stomach pumped in the emergency room and enduring a month of being grounded didn't check her desire to drink. Fraternity keg parties led to drunken sexual encounters not-quite-remembered; drinking began to replace intimacy. Alcohol defined Zailckas's adolescence and college years to such an extent that, as she tells it, she lacks the tools to be an adult: she's unsure how to maintain relationships and unclear about sex without an alcohol buzz. Zailckas is unsparingly insightful and acutely aware of what drinking can and does do to girls. She explains that while kids are taught that drugs are always dangerous, alcohol is perceived as an acceptable rite of passage. Her book is deeply moving, written in poetic, nuanced prose that never obscures the dangerous truths she seeks to reveal.
I'm not sure what to think of this book. In places it made me laugh thinking back on old college days, but mostly I was disgusted. I can't imagine how she made it through college. The book just goes on and on about how much she drank. I think I would have gotten the point in half of the pages.