Customer Reviews for

Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A SMASHING FEAT

What a breth of fresh air! There is nothing like the feeling of being ripped out of your day to experience a story like this. I couldn't put it down (I got caught reading at work, hunched over my desk), the writing sucks you in like a twister.

posted by Anonymous on February 7, 2005

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

What's the big deal?

I was disappointed with this book mainly because the only consequences noted by the author are black outs no real legal, social, occupational or family consequences were experienced. In other words, nothing out of the ordinary happened to this substance abuser. I've tr...
I was disappointed with this book mainly because the only consequences noted by the author are black outs no real legal, social, occupational or family consequences were experienced. In other words, nothing out of the ordinary happened to this substance abuser. I've treated substance abusers as a professional for close to twenty years. I've seen prison, divorce, job loss, mental institutions and death. The main character in this book graduates college in four years and gets a good job in Manhattan. If the purpose of the book is to let people know that there are a lot of young people drinking and using drugs out there, then I guess it has served its purpose, but I hardly think that's news to anybody. There are a lot worse things that can happen to someone than drinking herself through college and deciding at the age of 23 that enough is enough. And the main character points out that she is not even alcoholic, so what's the point? I apologize for the apparent shoddy punctuation, but the edit feature on this program is not working correctly.

posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2005

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2007

    Excuses, excuses

    The lack of substance makes Smashed very hard to read. It is overtly obvious that Koren superficially uses the experiences of high school, college, and being female to cover up for her own personal issues. She has extremely low self-esteem, is physically and psychologically addicted to alcohol, only keeps friends who will support her alcoholic lifestyle, and has parents who are not active enough in her life. She is more concerned with masking her own condition as a general problem of society than taking a deep inner examination of what is leading her to drink. Furthermore, I find it disturbing that this book prides itself as an example of the lives of young women. Just like there are alcoholics who are your neighbors, friends, family members, co-workers, and bums on the street, there are also college students who have alcohol problems. However, the fact that there are alcoholic or alcohol abusive students does not qualify as an overall representation of the majority of college students. Accepting this book as a sort of guide to college life only perpetuates the misconception of both incoming freshmen and the general public that alcoholism is typical to college life. Parents reading this book should not be scared to let their children out at night or send their children to college. Rather they should be encouraged to teach their children to deal with hardship and adversity and not look to alcohol or other drugs as a quick fix or an escape.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2006

    Total denial

    Koren does a great job showing us exactly what mental and physical addiction is - and then denies she has it. What??? She researched a great deal - but included only those facts that supported her contention that she is not alcoholic. That equals bad research. She talks about her cravings and getting the shakes, but never mentions these are clear signs of physical addiction. If she took the 20 question alcoholism test HONESTLY she would have passed with flying colors!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2005

    What's the big deal?

    I was disappointed with this book mainly because the only consequences noted by the author are black outs no real legal, social, occupational or family consequences were experienced. In other words, nothing out of the ordinary happened to this substance abuser. I've treated substance abusers as a professional for close to twenty years. I've seen prison, divorce, job loss, mental institutions and death. The main character in this book graduates college in four years and gets a good job in Manhattan. If the purpose of the book is to let people know that there are a lot of young people drinking and using drugs out there, then I guess it has served its purpose, but I hardly think that's news to anybody. There are a lot worse things that can happen to someone than drinking herself through college and deciding at the age of 23 that enough is enough. And the main character points out that she is not even alcoholic, so what's the point? I apologize for the apparent shoddy punctuation, but the edit feature on this program is not working correctly.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2006

    Who hasn't been drunk?

    This story's plot was basically about a girl's teenage/college life getting drunk. She comes from a respectable family, decides to betray her parents trust, gets drunk, gets through school, gets drunk, makes cheerleader in college, gets drunk.... Shows how somebody with potential to be a good kid, who has their life handed to them, can easily get away with things. And as for the reading level, it sounded like she took a thesaurus out and looked for the biggest words possible so she can show that drinking hasn't totally ruined her IQ. Appropriate for tweens, and irresponsible teenagers.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    Amazing

    It was not what i was expecting and i mean that positvely. I thought this book was amazing in the fact tha she shared about her life and in the book was able to establish the differences between alcoholism and alcohol abuse in a colourful autobiography

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    <3

    amazing book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not just another book about addiction!

    I love this book so much. As a female college student who fell prey to the allure of alcohol, this book touched me in so many ways. In some ways, you could even say it saved me. The author's writing style is so real and deep. She takes you into her innermost feelings and demonstrates vividly the hold that alcohol held on her life. For any girl in college, heading to college or post-college, it is a must read. It is also a must-read for parents of girls who have fallen into drinking or who are headed off to college. Professors could learn some things by reading this book, as could men who take advantage of drunk girls. It is a wonderful read. Even if you had no reason to read a book about drinking, it is a wonderful memoir of a young girl. READ READ READ!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2005

    A SMASHING FEAT

    What a breth of fresh air! There is nothing like the feeling of being ripped out of your day to experience a story like this. I couldn't put it down (I got caught reading at work, hunched over my desk), the writing sucks you in like a twister.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2014

    I purchased this book expecting much more from the story.  From

    I purchased this book expecting much more from the story.  From the information I had heard, it was a memoir of alcoholism and the struggle to overcome addiction.  However, what I actually read was a memoir of a girl drinking in high school and college.  There was hardly any substance to the story as it simply spoke of her being drunk. While not poorly written, the book lacks the intriguing pieces necessary to keep a reader interested. Unlike what you expect from a memoir, the story did not contain any thrilling, heartbreaking, or horrifying details.  I would not recommend this book because I was completely disappointed as soon as I started it.  If you are expecting an interesting or inspirational story of a woman overcoming addiction, you will be sorely disappointed with this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    Very good

    Eye opening

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  • Posted December 14, 2012

    Ok. Not what I was expecting

    Basically just a drunk-a-log.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    Insightful

    I love this book. The world of addiction is not so cut and dry as addict or not. The book is a smoothe read that is refreshingly honest. The author is human and brings her story to you in the same manner. Definitely worth the read for any who either has a complicated relationship with alcohol or knows someone who does.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Good read

    One of those bookd that i will read again

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Loved it

    Love

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    Great Book

    I enjoyed reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2011

    Okay

    I read lots of memoirs and this is nowhere close to one of the best. The author has a nice writing style and great, colorful vocabulary, but many of her stories go on too much, sometimes it seems, just so she can continue using her expansive vocab. I found it odd that she uses so much detail to explain her drunken escapades, but each time references her many blackouts...maybe she took too much liberty in adding some fictional details for dramatic effect. And many times, she would cut some of the most interesting stories short without enough detail. Odd.

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  • Posted March 3, 2010

    Couldn't put it down

    This book was absolutely gripping. The author describes her descent into alcoholism throughout her teens and twenties. Her character is very likable and relatable, and I could relate to the situations in which she found herself. Her "voice" just rings true. I am still touched by this book even though I read it several years ago. I hope we will be hearing more from this author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2009

    eh

    This book is okay didn't hold my attention for very long some parts felt as though they just dragged on and on.it's okay though.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    Smashed.

    Over the summer I read the book Smashed, by Koren Zailckas. It was a story about her early stages of alcoholism. The book followed her through high school and college telling us about her drunken adventures. So many incidents happen that make her want more and more alcohol. Alcohol to her was a drug, it made her feel like she was wanted, it let her be herself without knowing and most of all it made her comfortable. Soon it became an addiction and she was unstoppable.

    Koren, the main character was a mess. She went from flourishing colors to frumpy black. She seemed all but happy with her addiction. She didn't feel like there was anything wrong with it. Skip, an ex-fling was a jerk. He treated her like dirt and wound up leaving her making her addiction grow stronger. Just like any other male he ditched her and she was heartbroken. Then there's her mother, a kind woman who wanted nothing but the best for her daughter. Worried, she pays Koren a visit expecting the worst. Well she got it. In other words Koren's mother was nothing less than amazing.

    "I'm smashed", says Koren. Which is mainly the theme and name of the book. It represents Koren and her love for alcohol. She loved the feeling and grew to love the taste. "Smashed" meaning she's completely intoxicated, no matter where she was or wound up, Koren was always drunk and didn't really mind it.

    I chose this quote because well it explains it all. Smashed is a self-explanation of the novel and her childhood and early adulthood. Eventually realizing her problem she seeks for help with a little push from her loved ones. Her friends and family couldn't see her destroy herself any longer and decided "AA" was the best choice for Koren. With her head on straight she sobers up and finds true love and it's not with a bottle. Koren was finally ok.

    With this novel I absolutely would recommend it to high school students, but defiantly at a higher level. It's an interesting novel about what all teens might come in contact with in school, Peer Pressure. The book was well written and I would totally read it again and that's a surprise coming out of me. I'm one who doesn't enjoy reading and I absolutely loved this book. I feel very in-touch with the novel and it really interested me. A lot of her stories remind me of outrageous events that have happened to me as well.

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  • Posted September 13, 2009

    Smashed---A Sad Chapter

    The sad but very true story of Koren Zailckas all starts at the age of fourteen,when her friend Natalie comes upon a tempting and seductive bottle of Southern Comfort. After that, Koren's life soon takes off into a series of highs and major lows once she enters the world of drinking. From getting her stomach pumped to graduating college, Zailckas learns her fair share of lessons that are both compelling and horrifying to read about. The novel takes you through her teen years to post-college years, opening up about her several benders gone wrong and drunken mishaps that seem to become "the usual" after some time. What is so unique about Smashed is Koren Zailckas' honest and blunt deliveries of the occurences in her life, and her thoughts and feelings toward them. Even by reading just the smallest excerpt in the book, it becomes very obvious that Zailckas has every bit of the intelligence and wit that she often fails to see in herself through her younger years. Though she abused alcohol mainly to bludgeon her shyness and self-doubt throughout the book, the author spared no detail, whether fond or frightening, in the tale of her life. Her vivid recounting of events makes it more than easy for the reader to put themselves in her shoes and understand the several struggles that Koren would often encounter time and time again. Reading of the author's experiences throughout her adolescence and young adulthood gave a fresh perspective on how overindulgence, thoughtless actions and addiction can greatly impact a young person's life for the worse. Overall, Smashed was a stimulating and thought-provoking read.

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