Heroin: A True Story of Drug Addiction, Hope, and Triumph – Julie O’Toole

Hey everyone! I’m back with another review and another book from my TBR list! I’ve started the new year well, definitely been working off the list as much as possible.


Read Harder Challenge: No

Popsugar Advanced Challenge: 51 – A book about a difficult topic


Published 8th May 2008

Goodreads rating: 3.47/5

My rating: 3/5

Julie grew up in the heart of Dublin’s north inner city, in Sheriff Street. Living in this tough area, she was exposed to crime and drugs. She started using heroin when she was 16. By the time she was 18 she was a chronic addict. This story details how she spent the next four years living on the streets of Dublin; dealing drugs and stealing to feed her habit. It is a snapshot of how a young girl became a victim of circumstances. It happened in Dublin, but it could have happened anywhere in the world. Her life was saved by a chance encounter with a drugs counsellor who brought her to first to London, and then to America where she de-toxed and slowly began to rebuild her life.

This was an interesting read. I actually picked this up in a second hand book store for 50p, what a bargain! I picked it up because I wanted to read more non-fiction this year. I’m also looking to read more short-stories and this only 194 pages long.

I read this in a couple of hours. It was really interesting to see drugs from the side of an ex-user. There is so much out there and so many opinions, but not a huge amount from the users themselves.Everyone wants to have an opinion, but I think those who have struggled and overcome will be more realistic in what drugs are and what they really do.

It shows just how easy it is to let drugs take over. It may start as a small bit of weed at the weekend, that stops working and it escalates so easily and quickly before you’ve even realised. It also shows the sheer strength it takes to overcome this addiction.

Parts of the writing I wasn’t the biggest fan of. The author repeated herself in certain facts quite a few times, facts that weren’t necessary to repeat. The book went from being a story of her childhood and drug abuse to an extremely religious ending. It escalated pretty quickly and I wasn’t really prepared for it to be honest. I have nothing against religion at all, but it was more telling us that religion had saved her rather than explaining how and the reasoning behind it like the rest of the book had. It just seemed to change in tone so quickly that it kind of threw me off!

All in all, it was a good read. I’m definitely glad I read it and I have a different opinion now on those who use drugs after reading this book. We shouldn’t all be so quick to judge. They may want help but just don’t know how to ask. They may not realise how far down they’ve gone. Definitely one to check out and a quick, easy read as it’s so short!

Love & Laughter

Cheryl xx

One thought on “Heroin: A True Story of Drug Addiction, Hope, and Triumph – Julie O’Toole

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