Search Me!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Everything I Never Wanted to Be by Dina Kucera

Everything I Never Wanted to Be: a memoir of alcoholism and addiction, faith and family, hope and humor
 Publisher: Dream of Things
ISBN: 0982579438
Pages:  216 pgs
Genre: Memoir
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Summary from publisher:
Everything I Never Wanted to Be by Dina Kucera is the true story of a family's battle with alcoholism and drug addiction. Dina's grandparents were alcoholics, her father was an alcoholic, she is an alcoholic and pill addict, and all three of her daughters struggle with alcohol and drug addiction--including her youngest daughter, who started using heroin at age fourteen. Dina's household also includes her husband and his unemployed identical twin; a mother who has Parkinson's Disease; a grandson who has cerebral palsy; and other people who drift in and out of the household depending on their employment situation or rehab status. On top of all that, Dina is trying to make it as a stand-up comic and author so she can quit her crumby job as a grocery store clerk. Through it all, Dina does her best to hold her family together, keep her faith, and maintain her sense of humor. As you might imagine, a story filled with alcoholics and drug addicts includes a number of horrific events. But in the end, Everything I Never Wanted to Be is an uplifting story that contains valuable lessons for parents and teens alike, and a strong message about the need to address the epidemic of teen drug addiction in our nation. It's a book that can change behavior and save lives--and make you laugh along the way. 

My Review:
I tend to avoid memoirs. Memoirs are the grey areas in my reading life where I love to read them once I start reading them but tend to passive aggressively avoid them most of the time. It’s very rare that I like one and this one was most definitely one of the rare ones. 

A common thread of all of the memoirs I have liked is brutal honesty. Call me na├»ve but it’s what I expect when I read memoirs. Not sugar-coating or over dramatization. Kucera tells her family’s story of alcohol and drug addiction without pretense. She tells it like it is. I admire Kucera’s honesty about her family’s struggle with addiction and I admire her strength when confronting it. 

I love how Kucera was able to inject humor into an otherwise very serious book. I sometimes found myself chuckling and wondering why. The humor balances out the subject matter really well because it can be quite harsh and sad. Kucera also told her story with a sharpness and wit that I really loved.  

Everything I Never Wanted to Be is one of the best memoirs I have ever picked up. Highly recommended. 

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. Who loves you? I do:) Have a beautiful holiday!!!!:)
    Dina Kucera

  2. Oh I agree! Brutal honesty is really the best part of a memoir - if I don't feel that from the author, I can't connect with the book.

    I'm glad this one turned out to be a great read. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  3. Grace: Thanks for reviewing "Everything I Never Wanted to Be" on Books Like Breathing, and thanks for seeing that this is not your typical really is a special book. Thanks again! Mike O'Mary, Dream of Things



Blog Template by In Between Design Studio