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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  • Posted February 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    AWESOME

    THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD...I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN...IT GIVES YOU A HEADS UP ON WHAT HAPPENS AFTER TOO MANY DRINKS AND THE THINGS THAT YOU DON'T REMEMBER JUST HAPPENED...ALSO IF YOU'RE GONNA BE READING THIS BOOK IN A VERY PUBLIC PLACE BE PREPARED TO GET DIRTY LOOKS. HAHAHA. GREAT BOOK. HAPPY READING.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Honest,insightful and true

    Smashed is a book about a girl that becomes almost a life-long drunk and her experiences. Starting at the raw age of 14, she is pressured into drinking and then slowly but surely spins out of control. After she begins drinking, she finds that her normal shy personality disappears and an outgoing fun side of her comes out while she is drunk. That feeling is something she loves and doesn¿t want to fade. As time progresses, her drinking evolves from being something she uses to be cool and fit in to an addiction. She begins to sneak behind her parents¿ backs, stealing their alcohol, and loosing relationships. And by the age of 16, she ends up in the hospital for alcohol poisoning. Even after having her parents discover that she has been drinking and going to the hospital, she still goes back to her drunken ways. Soon drinking is a daily thing and is the only way she can connect with people. Alcohol eventually becomes her crutch. While Koren is in college, her alcoholism becomes worse as she tells the stories of how she was date raped and how her drunken nights go wrong. Until about the age of 23, she continually decides to let alcohol control her life, and when she finally realizes that she must stop, she wrote this book about her experiences as a lesson to younger girls. <BR/> Some of the major messages and themes in this book are that underage drinking will destroy your childhood. Not only will you not remember your childhood, but as expressed in this book, until you realize how what you are doing will affect your life, then you will continue to hurt yourself, your life and the ones you love. This book is a memoir of what Koren had gone through and how her mistakes and bad judgments affected her. By writing what she experienced in her teenage years, she was able to show people how her life was changed and how her decisions drastically affected her life. <BR/> What I liked about this book was that it was very straight forward and truthful. All of the stories that were told were real-life stories that happened to her. I liked how people could relate to it more because it was a truthful and detailed description of her life. What I didn¿t really enjoy about this book is that stories all began to seem the same toward the end. As she told stories from her college experience, they all seemed to be basically the same story but at different places. It slowed the book down a little bit, but overall, that was the only thing that truly bothered me. <BR/> This book is a good read because it is one of the only non-fiction books that I find interesting. The stories that she tells are interesting because everyone likes to know about other people¿s lives, and that is exactly what this book does; tell you about how she lived her life as an alcoholic.

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  • Posted December 1, 2008

    Smashes

    I had to read this book for my Anatomy class. I got to pick a book, and this one was suggested to me as a good read. I like the way the book was written. So many of the facts remind me of my own highschool experiences around others, and what you see everyday. I was a very truthful and straight forward story. I respect the courage that Koren Zailckas had to tell her story, and how she turned away from it now. I suggested the book as a read to some people I thought would get something out of it. If you find real life stories of people and mistakes, and hard times that they come through you'll like this book. I'm a huge reader and when i read a good book I can't put it down. This book was a little different. I didnt want to put it down, I kept reading it, but slowly because I wanted to enjoy it and fully understand what the author was trying to portray. <BR/>I really suggest this book to any teenager, or person in or preparring to enter highschool or college. So many of us make mistakes that we look back on and say " I wish someone would have told me that sooner". well this book releals it all ahead of time. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2008

    a good true to life book

    This book is very true to life and somewhat comical. I like it becuase it is contantly interesting and funny in a dark humor kind of way.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com

    SMASHED is a chilling novel of female alcohol addiction. For Koren Zailckas, it started at age fourteen, and from her first drink of Southern Comfort she was addicted. Koren later joins a college sonority, which just gives her more of a reason to get really drunk -- and more people to do it with! <BR/><BR/>The writing isn't the most brilliant that I have ever read but the story is definitely good. Most alcohol addiction books are about a male, so this is a great book to read if you want to learn about this subject -- or even if you are just a curious reader. <BR/><BR/>There is not a lot that you can say about this book without giving the whole thing away! Even though she drinks excessively, Koren never goes to rehab or actually goes to an AA meeting! And unlike James Frey's embellished novel of drug and alcohol addiction, this one is the truth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    Easy reading

    I have a hard time finishing books this one was easy to finish...I feel there could of been a better ending but it was a book that was hard to put down cuz you thought she was about to get better

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2008

    GREAT

    I don't read books. I saw this book and completely 'judged the book by its cover.' I saw a book about a teenage girl going through high school and college while going through the cylce of friends, alcohol, and sex. I could not put this book down! I thought it was a great book and any high school or college girl can definitly relate to the main character.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2008

    LOVED it!!

    This book was great. Every young girl who asks herself if she abuses alcohol should read this book. Koren tells it like it is, painfully so at some points, but I'm sure a lot of us can identify with what she's gone through. I loved this book and I hope she continues writing because she has a great style.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2008

    Smashing.

    The book ¿Smashed¿ by Koren Zailckas was by far an amazing book to me. Most people find the book immature and superficial. Others found the book to be outstanding and very easily to relate to Koren¿s story. Koren is very honest about every situation that she was faced with while growing up. Some people mistake honesty for crudeness. I see honesty as bravery. Almost every girl will agree with Koren`s thoughts, whether they admit it or not. In the beginning of the book Koren talks about her first drink. She explains it as if it was her wedding day. Which in a way foreshadows the events that come after that. She talks about how she goes to a birthday party and once everyone realizes that she has alcohol she become everyone¿s best friend. In a way she starts to believe that alcohol is the only way for her to become social. This scenario happens to every kid growing up. Every kid makes that decision if they need alcohol to be social or if they don¿t need it. Some kids become dependent on it, they cant hang out n a crowd or ever be themselves without the alcohol in their system. This is how Koren becomes as she continuously drinks at every school function, or every time she is in public. Koren starts to go through friends like clothes. She eventually outgrows all her friends. She starts to think she is more mature than them because she is drinking. She looses friends because she is always drunk. Koren looses a lot of respect at one party she goes to. She looses her virginity, gets into a car accident and her parents have to pick her up. Not only did her body loose respect but her parents lost respect for her. They were oblivious, as are most parents, to her drinking problem. The next day she realizes all the bad that she had caused. She apologies to her parents and they turn the other cheek. Most parents tend to do this. Koren talks about how even though she apologies to her parents she doesn¿t really mean it, that she will still continue to drink. I like her honesty in this part of the book. She tells it straight. She admits what others (alcoholics) are afraid to ever admit. Does she get sober in the end? Or does she end her life as a miserable drunk? That¿s for you to find out. I strongly recommend this book. I think any girl growing up can relate to this book. Not saying that you have to be an alcoholic to read this or just to understand it, but just the experiences that are talked about in so much detail, I¿m sure anyone can relate. If you were that person in high school that thought low of social standards and were completely against parties ect. , You might not enjoy this book. You would be one of those people that see this book as immature and superficial. In my opinion I loved the book. If your going like it? Well that¿s another question, you will just have to find out for your self and read the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2008

    A reviewer

    Smashed a story of a drunken girlhood by Koren Zailckas. Viking Penguin is the publisher, and was published in the United States January 2006. Koren¿s story is one that thousands of teenagers can definitely relate to now days. Koren Zailckas¿ story begins at age fourteen in her best friend Natalie¿s kitchen with an old bottle of Southern Comfort. In the book Koren mainly deals with self-esteem issues and the addiction of alcohol abuse and her journey getting to that point. Just like every teenage girl, she wanted to fit in and she had curiosity of being drunk and the way it made her feel so worry free and numb. Natalie her best friend is the girl always flirting with trouble and could always persuade you to join. Koren is Natalie¿s sidekick for the time being. They have adventures of hitchhiking, stealing Hello Kitty t-shirts when the clerks aren¿t looking, becoming blood sisters, going skinny dipping, and smoking a pack of cigarettes in Natalie¿s mother¿s dress closet. By Koren¿s first year in high school she is looking for a friend¿s house to stay the night every weekend so she and a friend could drink. For thousands of teenagers this is their reality, and so many use alcohol as a short cut for courage, just like Koren did. I liked this book a lot because the author made good arguments about the generalization about teenagers and college students turning to alcohol as a cover up to their problems of self-esteem or stress. She breaks down her opinion of the difference between an alcoholic and an abuser of alcohol. In my opinion they are both very similar just one leads towards each other. Koren didn¿t really call herself either, but throughout the book tells us about many of her forgotten injuries for example scars from cigarette burns, sharp fences and nonstick grills. I recommend this book to any teenage girl. You will learn a lot, and I think any one can relate in a way to Koren¿s story, the book can definitely be a good eye opener.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2008

    The Real Deal.

    In my opinion, this book shows how alot of people i know will come out to be like. The first night i picked this book up, i stayed up all night reading it. What she talks about as a teen, i see everyday. It's completely real. It goes a little slow at some points, but the point eventually comes across.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2007

    Blew Me Away

    Yes, Koren's story is a bit of a downer and, yes, it doesn't leave you feeling as if something has actually been resolved by the end but this book had me completely taken. Although I didn't agree with a lot of Koren's opinions and some of her writing threw me off 'what's with all the tense changes?',I could barely put the book down. It was vivid, interesting and surprisingly well-written. I feel like I know Koren and she will probably stay with me for as long as I write my own stories. Although she did kind of make an unfair generalization that most college kids binge drink, I don't think she was bragging and I don't think this book was pointless. I look at alcohol abuse in a whole new light. I'd recommend this book to most of the young women 'and adults' I know.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2007

    I Felt Like A Witness

    This book was amazing. It made me feel like I was Koren, like I was there, experiencing these things. I was advised by websites to read this book but I was convinced it would be boring. Then when I finally had the guts to buy it and start reading it, I was amazed. I love the style of writing and how she explains things in a way you can understand. Her similies and metaphors were amazing, as were her arguements. She could convince me into anything with this style of writing. This book is pleasingly hypnotic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2007

    Smashingly good

    Normally one to choose some mind-bending and funny tale that will take my mind off my troubles (think Toole's --Confederacy of Dunces-- or McCrae's --Katzenjammer--) I chose instead this harrowing tale of one person's descent into addiction. Usually with these type of stories, the tale itself is riveting while the writing is mundane. Not so with SMASHED. I'd rank this book very high on my reading list and it is a MUST for anyone who is even thinking about drugs or alcohol. Not to be confused with Frey's --A Million Little Pieces-- this book tells it like it is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    Didn't knock my socks off

    If I were a school teacher, this would be a great book to make the kids read. As a 32 year old non-drinker, I was entertained at first, but by page 194, I'm over it. At this point, I give up because its starting to come across as college lecture-ish, and like the other reviewer said, there's better stuff to do. But I do think this book has a good purpose, and brings awareness to some serious problems in our society.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2007

    Awesome!

    This book amazed me with all the time and effort that Zailckas put into research and still manages to entertain me. I am a very fast reader and it took me a week to read, but it is so worth it. This book may change your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2006

    Good

    I think this is a good story. Every teenage person should read it. It will change the way you look at drinking and help you understand it more. If you have ever went through this and you read it, you will have a better understanding about what is going on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2007

    It was readable, but nothing super special.

    I feel like many other of the reviewers in that it seems like she is bragging. While I felt bad that she went through some difficult things, I also felt that she was asking for it. If you have time for a slow paced book based on the life of a teen/college drunk give it a ride, but other books are much more interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2007

    COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!!

    This book is a must read for every teenager out there. I could not put it down. So very true on every aspect. It was recommended by a friend of mine, and i will definitely pass it on also. A great example of teens abusing alcohol and causing an addiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2007

    An Eye Opener!

    This book should be required reading for every junior/senior high student in the U.S. Poignant and eye-opening, the author shows just how easy peer pressure affects teens daily lives and that parents need to be involved in their kids lives more. To say that a child can drink at home because the parent can keep tabs on them is very wrong. If you read no other book this year, please read THIS one!

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