Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Year in Books: UnSweetined

At that wedding, with the alcohol, I wasn’t a kid in high school who struggled to fit in. I wasn’t Stephanie Tanner. I wasn’t the actor who played Stephanie Tanner. I was Jodie Sweetin and I was an alcoholic.

This is not the story of the Tanner family. There is no talk of Elvis or Laundry Mondays (though there are several “How rude!”s). This is the story of how Jodie Sweetin—also known as Stephanie Tanner from Full House—became addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Jodie holds very little back in this memoir, taking the readers through her life on the Tanner family set, how she struggled to find her place in high school, and her first experimentations with alcohol and drugs. Not to mention the years of drug abuse that followed. This book is a whirlwind of marijuana, cocaine, and even crystal meth. It made my head spin just to read, and I can only imagine the mess of emotions going on in Jodie’s head during that time.

Actually, I can imagine it, because Jodie explains it all. She tells the readers how she drank alcohol for the first time at Candace Cameron’s (D.J. Tanner) wedding to find her self-confidence, hosted wild afterparties in Vegas and Hollywood for attention and control, and never let herself come down from a high long enough to realize that without the drugs, she had nothing.

Though this book centers around Jodie’s life post-Stephanie, there are several chapters dedicated to the time she spent on Full House, including some cool behind-the-scenes moments with the cast. One of my favorite parts was when she mentioned the entire cast coming to her high school graduation party. The rest of the Tanners are mentioned in some of the other chapters, particularly Bob Saget, John Stamos and the Olsen twins.

The entire book is a real eye-opener, and I learned what happened after the final episode of Full House. It’s sort of sad to watch the episodes now, to see her and know what happens down the road, but according to Jodie, she’s in a better place in her life now. The last few pages of the memoir are a letter to her daughter, Zoie, and it really shows how far she has come. I recommend UNSWEETINED to Full House fans who aren’t afraid to learn the truth, or to anybody who wants to see a real life picture of someone hitting rock bottom and slowly working her way back to the surface.

1 comment:

  1. I was such a Jodie Sweetin fan during the full house days. I heard she wrote a memoir but I never got to read it. Thanks for reviewing it.

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