Ok, so first of all I have to tell you that I know the author of this book, Jennette; I met her at Blogher one year and I’ve been reading her blog FOREVER and I consider her a friend, and so even if this book was stinky, I’d probably not write a review saying it was tres terrible, but luckily that’s not really an issue because I really really liked this book.
Her first book (Half Assed) was about losing half her body weight, and it was interesting and well written and funny, and I think I liked this one even better. It had more soul, somehow.
Anyway, Chocolate and Vicodin is about a headache Jennette woke up with one morning and how it wouldn’t go away and all the things she tried to get rid of it, and how it changed her life, and I found it just…profound. It’s so interesting to see how the unexpected changes someone’s life when they have already worked on changing their own life by with something so controlled like losing lots of weight. I cannot imagine the challenges she faced, and it was fascinating to read about all the things she tried and where they led her and how she came to a sort of resolution, even without a magic “this is what is wrong with me” answer that she desperately wanted.
This book was also funny and well written, Jennette has a snarky unique tone of voice and sense of humor that no one else I know really has, and it makes her writing very real and honest. And because I’m a blogger and she’s a blogger it was really educational to see the back end of things – to connect times in the book with blog entries she’d written and to see what was really going on at the time and why she was blogging about it or not blogging about it. You can feel her frustration with the whole “You should try this” advice from every person she meets, and at the same thing you can’t help it, you’re doing the same thing! You’re thinking to yourself “She needs to try acupuncture!” (Spoiler: she does). Which is another thing I find so fascinating – the endless cycle of advice giving that we just can’t stop ourselves from perpetuating. We are fixers! But to be on the other end of that can be so tiring, too.
Chronic pain is just so all consuming. I never get headaches and I got a terrible headache last week and all I could think about was this book and how if I’d had a headache for years that would not go away about how I would LOSE MY EVER LOVING mind. How on earth you’d write a book and keep a sense of humor about the whole thing, I have no idea, but I really admire that she made so much out of such a bad situation.
More than anything else, I really just wanted to give Jennette a hug the entire time I was reading it. It was just so raw and sad and vulnerable and unfair. Poor girl.
Anyway, I really liked it. I think you should read it too! And if you leave me a comment on this blog telling me you’d like to read it I will randomly pick someone to win their very own copy. (Or alternatively you can buy it here, at Amazon).
P.S. The publisher sent me a copy for free, but no one asked me for anything besides a request to write something about the book.