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5.0 4
by Katherine Holubitsky

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Sixteen-year-old Gordie Jessup is a good kid but he's living a nightmare. His eighteen-year-old brother Chase's two-year addiction to crystal meth has left their family emotionally and financially drained. And just when Gordie thinks he can no longer stand the manipulating, the lying and the stealing, things get even worse. Chase is arrested for aggravated assault,


Sixteen-year-old Gordie Jessup is a good kid but he's living a nightmare. His eighteen-year-old brother Chase's two-year addiction to crystal meth has left their family emotionally and financially drained. And just when Gordie thinks he can no longer stand the manipulating, the lying and the stealing, things get even worse. Chase is arrested for aggravated assault, released on bail and sent home to his family. But his dealers are after him and Chase appeals to Gordie for help. Gordie, disgusted with his brother and fully aware that it's a gamble, risks everything he has in the hope of bringing his family some peace.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennifer Waldrop
Gordie can pinpoint the weekend his life began to fall apart; it was two years ago when his brother Chase became addicted to crystal meth. Chase's transformation is dramatic. Within months, he has deteriorated, sold all of his own possessions, and moved on to stealing from his parents. Gordie puts a lock on his closet to guard his valuables, but nothing can protect his family from the effects of his brother's illness. When Chase puts a man in intensive care, their problems come to a head. The family is forced to face the emotional consequences of continuing the fight to save Chase from himself. In fourteen riveting chapters, Gordie struggles to lead his own life as his brother's addiction causes the family Gordie knew to disappear into the world of drugs. Tweaked is a powerful story that demonstrates the power of addiction and the weakness of those under its influence. It is a bleakly fascinating insight into the darkness that absorbs Gordie's brother, parents, and nearly himself. Reviewer: Jennifer Waldrop
KLIATT - Lorie Paldino
Gordie Jessup appears to be a happy, normal teen. His dad, a college professor, and his mom have provided a loving home; his band is practicing for a battle of the high school bands; and he works with a girl who seems to return his affection. But Gordie's home life has been unraveling for the last two years, ever since his 17-year-old brother Chase became addicted to methamphetamines. Chase's addiction has become a tornado, taking down everything in its path. Chase has destroyed himself: his teeth have fallen out; he has broken out in "speed bumps" typical of a meth addict; he is emaciated, sleep deprived and frequently homeless. He has destroyed his family financially and emotionally with his stealing and lying, running up credit card debt and needing legal assistance. He even stole Gordie's most prized possession: the bass he had purchased after years of savings. But the culmination of his havoc is Chase's attack, while tweaking, on an innocent family man who is now in intensive care. It is this tragic event that ultimately will be Chase's undoing. The question is: will Gordie let it destroy him as well? Tweaked tells a gruesome tale of the all-encompassing, destructive nature of methamphetamines. Holubitsky paints a horrific picture of the complete annihilation left in the wake of addiction. Her graphic descriptions and startling statistics will extinguish the glamour or excitement some teens might associate with meth. Because Gordie is witness to this life and he is a sympathetic narrator, the story never sounds preachy—something a teen would quickly be turned off by. Tweaked is an easy read and a gripping story. Recommended for reluctant, more mature readers.Reviewer: Lorie Paldino
Katie D'Souza
The story follows the struggies of 16-year-old Gordie Jessup, as he tries to deal with his family's breakdown. Gordie's 17-year-old brother is addicted to methamphetamines, has stolen valuables and money from him and his parents, and has taken to the streets. Their parents are heartbroken and barely speak to one another or even to Gordie. The only friend Gordie has is Jade, whose situation at home is not much better. Holubitsky's book contains issues on murder, drug addiction, family relations, and severe illness. It encourages adolescent readers to consider the consequences and damages drug addiction can cause, not only in the individual using the drugs, but also in the struggles, pain, and abuse in a family of a drug addict. Gordie and his friend Jade put on this front while in the company of others, when in reality their lives are full of suffering. Keeping in mind the content of the story, this book, although easy to read, should be considered for mature readers. Reviewer: Katie D'Souza
VOYA - Christina Fairman
Life is challenging enough for a teen without the pressure of a family member who is dying from drugs. Gordie Jessup knows this firsthand as he watches his seventeen-year-old brother Chase collapse under the weight of alcohol and crystal meth. Told from Gordie's perspective, the story portrays a suburban middle class family that involuntarily becomes a part of the addiction. Their path takes them on a series of futile attempts to gain control, from denial of the problem to enabling behaviors that they hope will rescue Chase from his nightmare. Gordie, meanwhile, is trying to preserve his own life, which includes friends, school, and a fledgling rock band. This compelling book is written in clear, age-appropriate prose. Notably the end of the story does not bring a happy resolution; two people are dead, the family is bankrupt, and a marriage lies in tatters. Drug-related violence appears sporadically, but it is not gruesome and it strengthens the story line. The tale most likely will appeal to readers in middle school and junior high, although the subject matter might also attract older readers. Reluctant readers will find this book a suitable choice as a result of its fast-paced plot and conversational tone. Educators and parents could consider this book for drug education programs as a basis for discussions about families who struggle with addictions. Reviewer: Christina Fairman
VOYA - Emily Olive Petit
Tweaked is a compelling read, despite its watery prose (particularly annoying is the shift from past to present tense, which draws attention from the powerful story line) and unresolved subplots (this reviewer longed to know what happened to Jade's ill mother). The book plays out like a soap opera, with several sob-story moments whose regularity robs them of impact. Yet in spite of its shortcomings, it has a lot to teach for such a quick read. Reviewer: Emily Olive Petit
CM Magazine
"A story of hope tempered with a dose of hard reality...Effective and compelling. Highly recommended."
Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy
"A fast-paced, cohesive story...Holubitsky's writing is solid and the story well-paced, making this book a viable option for reluctant readers and students, ages 13 or older who prefer realistic fiction."
"Portrays the overwhelming combination of anger, sadness, and bewilderment that families experience in the face of the wily yet irrational behaviour of a crystal methamphetamine addict...An important and difficult story...that leaves an indelible mark.
The Brandon Sun
"While it could be moralizing, this fine writer's ability to tell a powerful and heartbreaking story does not allow for that...This is a book that should be shared in high school classrooms. Kids would be well served to hear it and to talk about its issues."
The Globe and Mail
"Eye-opening... riveting."
Resource Links
"A powerful novel."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A painfully authentic exploration...Poignantly demonstrates the fact that the addict's agony is only the beginning."
"A powerful book about addiction, its wide-ranging effects, and the toll it takes on all those it touches."
Canadian Children's Book News
"The novel is fast-paced, compelling and highly readable, and should be used as an essential text for drug education in high schools."
Southwest Ohio and Neighboring Libraries (SWON)
"Gordie tells a heart wrenching story of what it is like to have an addict in the family and watch the destruction this habit is causing himself and his parents...Very realistic."

Product Details

Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
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Barnes & Noble
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

It's around three o'clock when I hear the jingle of the bell attached to the door. I am moving boxes in the storeroom. Wiping my hands on my jeans, I walk through the doorway to the front of the store. At first, I think I'm seeing things. A ghost is coming toward the counter. It's running toward me: a skeleton covered in jaundiced skin. Quick and spastic, it has started talking before I realize it's my brother. Still, I can't stop staring at this weird and jerky marionette. There are deep hollows where his cheeks used to be and his arms—dangling from the sleeves of his T-shirt—are freakishly thin. A ripe odor makes me take a step back when he comes up close.

Meet the Author

Katherine Holubitsky's first novel, Alone at Ninety Foot, (Orca), won the CLA Book of the Year for Young Adults and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award. Katherine lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

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Tweaked 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
TWEAKED is a powerful book about addiction, its wide-ranging effects, and the toll it takes on all those it touches.

Gordie's older brother is addicted to crystal meth. He has watched his brother go from a normal teen to a strung-out junkie. At first, Gordie was the only one in the family to recognize the symptoms, but soon everyone had fallen victim to Chase's habit.

Gordie watched as Chase skipped class to get high. Then his grades tanked and he dropped out. He sold or pawned everything he had, and then he started stealing from their parents and "borrowing" from Gordie. When crimes outside the family ended in Chase's arrest, things began to sink in for their parents.

Now the unthinkable has happened. Chase brutally attacks a meter reader - a young man with a wife and child. The man is in intensive care hooked up to machines. If he dies, Chase will be charged with murder. All Gordie can hope is that this will turn things around for Chase. Court-ordered detox should help him clean up his act so he can return to school and some sort of normal life.

But that's not the story with crystal meth. Addiction is often too powerful to beat.

TWEAKED is a hard-hitting story of the power of a very popular drug. Katherine Holubitsky tells a truthful and emotional story. Readers will sympathize with Gordie and marvel that he can hold on to his own values as he watches his brother self-destruct. Although the novel is filled with harsh details, Holubitsky is able to communicate her story without using the vulgar street language of the drug scene. By doing so, younger readers, even some tweens, could read and learn from this powerful book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Next result actually
Anonymous More than 1 year ago