Book Reviews of Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood

Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood
Smashed Story of a Drunken Girlhood
Author: Koren Zailckas
The Market's bargain prices are even better for Paperbackswap club members!
Retail Price: $17.00
Buy New (Paperback): $13.29 (save 21%) or
Become a PBS member and pay $9.39+1 PBS book credit (save 44%)
ISBN-13: 9780143036470
ISBN-10: 0143036475
Publication Date: 1/31/2006
Pages: 368
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 356

3.4 stars, based on 356 ratings
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

51 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
I didn't finish the book... I quit reading at page 209. I was expecting this book to be more of a cautionary tale of how excessive drinking can be damaging to young women. Maybe if I had kept reading, I would have gotten to that part. But the first 200 pages were nothing more than a girl with low self-esteem recounting her drunken escapades. I found it very difficult to like Koren or feel any empathy for her.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 133 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
An honest, hard look at alcohol abuse. I saw in Koren bits of myself, and many a past friend. Heck, parts of it even made me miss getting drunk, but mostly it makes me realize how easy it is and how acceptable society makes it for anyone to abuse alcohol. I think it's a great book that everyone should read.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I thought this book was awesome. I read it very quickly and always looked forward to getting time to read it. The author and many of her friends reminded me so much of so many of my peers. All teenagers should read this book! It is both an entertaining and heartfelt memoir as well as a cautionary tale on the "harmless" binge drinking fad running rampant in so many high schools and colleges in our country.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This isn't just one girl's story of sneaking drinks in junior high, creeping out for night-long keg parties in high school and binge-drinking weeknights and weekends through collegeit's also a valuable cautionary tale. At 24 (her present age), Zailckas gave up drinking after a decade of getting drunk, having blackouts and experiencing brushes with comas, date rape and suicide. She weaves disturbing statistics (from Harvard School of Public Heath studies and elsewhere) into her memoir: most girls will have their first drink by age 12, and will have the experience of being drunk by 14; teenage girls drink as much as their male peers, but their bodies process it badly (they get drunk faster, stay drunk longer and are more likely to die of alcohol poisoning); and date rape and booze go hand-in-hand. Zailckas had alcohol poisoning at 16 after a night of downing shots at a party with friends, but having her stomach pumped in the emergency room and enduring a month of being grounded didn't check her desire to drink. Fraternity keg parties led to drunken sexual encounters not-quite-remembered; drinking began to replace intimacy. Alcohol defined Zailckas's adolescence and college years to such an extent that, as she tells it, she lacks the tools to be an adult: she's unsure how to maintain relationships and unclear about sex without an alcohol buzz. Zailckas is unsparingly insightful and acutely aware of what drinking can and does do to girls. She explains that while kids are taught that drugs are always dangerous, alcohol is perceived as an acceptable rite of passage. Her book is deeply moving, written in poetic, nuanced prose that never obscures the dangerous truths she seeks to reveal.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on
Helpful Score: 4
This was okay... I kind of drudged through it. It bothered me how low her self-esteem was.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Very good read! An interesting story about a womans in and through alcoholism. I think that people will read this book and see many of the main charachters traits within people they know. It can be a real "eye-opener" to your life and those around you. A must read for mothers as well as highschoolers and college students.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 473 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
For many college and highschool days are a blure. I can relate to this book. Smashed is very eye opening. Any parent should read it as well as any young person who thinks drinking a few drinks can not turn into a nightmare.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A very descriptive look on alcoholism in young women,and the dangers of partying to much...
The book doesn't at all try to preach to you, however in parts it does lag (as far a "good read" goes), but the message is way to powerful to let that stop you from reading it.
She does set herself apart from all of the other "friends don't let friends blah blah blah" books on the shelf that you might glance at.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 80 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
It started fine, but got sluggish told the middle. Perhaps I have read too many of these types of books lately, but I felt it completely lacking in empathy. It just seemed to be a matter of fact account of her life.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was almost my college experience word for word! It was strange hearing it through someone else, and also a great learning experience. A great read.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 82 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I actually really enjoyed this book. I think its a very important book for moms of teenage girls to read and for teenage girls themselves. Its sad but many of the things she writes about are very true. Its a quick read and its amazing to see her quick downfall into alcohol.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on
Helpful Score: 1
This was a big fat YAWN FEST! It was SO boring, I didn't even finish reading it. It was hard to feel sorry for Koren. She was so self absorbed and had very low self esteem. I know some girls are like that, but I would rather not read about how much your life sucked. She didn't even describe much of her drinking and I thought that was what the book was about? This book just didn't do it for me.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a memoir about a young woman who told us about her drinking and how she started on her road of drinking and alcohol abuse. The story was pretty thoughtful and well written and it showed how distructive alcohol can be.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I thought that the author glorified and made her youthful drinking into a much bigger deal than it actually was. I can't imagine that most teenagers (myself included) haven't partied like she did and survived. It was an OK book, but I found myself irritated with the story.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I think they should make young girls read this in school! It's a very true account of the life of a girl who starts drinking at a young age and learns about alcohol abuse.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 161 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Though I related quite a bit to some of Koren's drunken escapades, the book itself seemed to drag. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but it might have something to do with not liking the author's personality. I preferred Heather King's "Parched" MUCH better.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 410 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A disquieting memoir of heavy drinking from the author's young teenage years till after college; she's lucky to be alive--or even have a functional liver! A cautionary tale for young women of the partying persuasion. Didn't love it, but it certainly held my interest.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 68 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I bought this book because I saw it on display and thought that I would give it a try. It seemed interesting enough. The first couple of chapters were good. I was disturbed, however, how this author claimed to not to be a drunk or anything else. I'm sorry, but you can clearly tell she had a drinking problem. In the middle of the book it gets slow, then all she does is skip through to all of her drunken rampages. I do not feel sorry for her what so ever. She knew what she was doing, she even says so in the book. This is just my personal opinon. You might or might not like it, but to me it just seemed crazy and not in order.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on
Helpful Score: 1
First of all, this is a book about a girl and her abuse of alcohol...not addiction. Secondly, it was AT BEST an "ok" book (although well written). I didn't find it to be page turning, insightful, or horrific. I found myself having to drudge through it, hoping it'd get better. It never did. It was hard to connect with and/or like the author.
In my opinion, there are way better addiction and/or substance abuse memiors out there.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 91 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
0 star is what this book deserves
i find it very disturbing that in the preface she denies being an alcoholic and says she has no effects from her years of drinking. and in this same preface she talks about her feeling of immaturity and disconnect with her age/role in society- duh, that is a symptom of your alcoholism... as is her low self-esteem. as were the trips to the hospital. the black outs. the injuries. the degradation of body, spirit, and mind...
i feel this is a dangerous and disappointing book-disappointing because she refuses to understand that she is indeed an alcoholic and will forever and always be in her state until she comes to some very basic understanding about alcoholism. dangerous because i shudder to think that other people with an alcohol problem might find strength in her tale.
if you think you might have a problem with alcohol- you probably do. help is available through a 12 step program. if you choose to get help through a 12 step program and really work at it your self-esteem will improve, your life will improve, your maturity level will rise, you will reconnect with yourself and society as a whole. no- you might not become a best seller, but your mind will be clear.
i hate this book and all the misconceptions it embodies. i think it is a dangerous and irresponsible book. but hey- how would she know? she has not received the help she needs to understand this.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Terrific book about a young girls drinking.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 215 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was rather depressing. It also wasn't the tale against underaged drinking that I thought it'd be. Yes, Koren is honest about the various consequences of her behavior, and mixes her honesty with true facts about underaged and college drinking that she researched, but that's where it ends. You get a girl with low self-esteem telling you the story of how she got into using alcohol, and used it as a crutch for several years, relying on it to enable her to have the social and professional life she imagined she wanted. Meanwhile, she also tells you about her blackouts, getting sick in the toilet (or not in the toilet), hangovers, and other consequences (the boys especially). While reading this book may scare someone into questioning their behavior, there's also very much a theme throughout the book that almost makes this behavior seem normal. This is partially a consequence of wanting to give the reader honesty and facts. While this is a good thing, it partly backfires, since it certainly makes it seem like everybody her age was and is drinking like this, and consequently makes it hard to use as an argument against drinking, no matter how honestly the negatives are portrayed. Nobody likes being the odd man out.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Every parent of a teenager, girl or boy, should read this book. Amazing insight into one of the most widespread problems facing youth today.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
pretty good book..some things about the story reminded me of my youth
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is an excellent book. Well written and descriptive!
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not your typical growing up novel, this book shows the affect of alcohol on a young girl's life as she moves through the stages of her life. Very entertaining and educational.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was quite compelling...a must read!
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
a witty look at the perils of alcoholism in a young woman
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The book is well-written, but teens might fall in love with the ideas in the beginning, without reading all the way through to get to the 'bad' stuff.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I couldn't get into it. It was not well written and it just seamed that she was so overdramatic making the whole thing worse than what it really was
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Book dragged on and didn't change, basically 300 pages of college drinking to excess.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wonderful story about an alcoholic. Good for girls in college. The girl in the book is only 26 or so. Easy to relate to if you are around that age.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fascinating and frightening at the same time. Very well done, especially considering the author's relative youth.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Amazing to read the honestly and the reality
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Mesmerizing, and quite sad, tale of a young girl and her alcohol addiction, and what it finally took for her to realize her problem and how she went about stopping.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on
Helpful Score: 1
This book was a little hard to get into at first, but it was a very heartbreaking story the about addiction of a girl my age. It made me realize just how hard it is for people to battle their demons.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Good book. The author definitely strikes a few chords of just about any of our lives growing up at some point. Could see myself in some of her recollections. A must read for anyone who even "partied a little" as a teen.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 23 more book reviews
This is an eye-opening true story of a woman's journey through life with alcohol addiction. It will have you laughing and crying through and through.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 2 more book reviews
Kept me interested, although the writing was somewhat juvenile but I was still entertained. Koren tells her story of her journey through drinking for most of her life and if you began at an early age it is easy to relate to.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 16 more book reviews
This is a powerful story of addiction and the havoc it can create in a person's life. I'm a college professor who teaches courses on addiction, and this will be on my book list.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 3 more book reviews
This story is a true story of a girl who is an alcoholic. It gives you great insight into what a young alcoholic goes through and what they are thinking. I found it to be quite helpful in that it helped me to understand a little bit better about the alcoholics in my family.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 13 more book reviews
An interesting commentary on drinking and young women.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 4 more book reviews
This book was a little fun, but mostly felt as if the writer was too busy looking in the mirror thinking "poor me" with a huge sense of entitlement. I thought it was a waste of time.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on
An excellent reminder of growing up and recovering.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 59 more book reviews
I enjoyed it because I had a similar "girlhood". Her character was easy to like and her writing style is good.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 32 more book reviews
A modern look at alcoholism. I could relate Zailckas to people I knew in HS and college. Couldn't put it down!
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on
A little histrionic.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 42 more book reviews
very interesting story.
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 58 more book reviews
An affecting memoir. Zailckas does well in her description of her addiction and the escalation from normal college student to alcoholic. Enjoyed the book enough to pick up her next book at a bookstore!
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 43 more book reviews
The author has very low self esteem..sad story. It's sad how little she seems to care about herself. It sounds like she had everything growing up but felt like she had to drink to the point of blackout to make herself feel good. Get over it!
reviewed Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood on + 7145 more book reviews
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!

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.

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.