Book Jacket

 

rank 824
word count 16688
date submitted 20.03.2010
date updated 12.10.2011
genres: Young Adult, Non-fiction, Harper Tr...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Homocidal: A Memoir

Ryan Holden

300 bottles of cough syrup, three psych ward stays, and a 1.5 GPA later, I was in rehab at age fifteen.

 

"Homocidal" is a memoir about a suicidal DXM addict's road to recovery, which began at age fifteen in a treatment center. The story is explained through first person narrative as well as original journal entries.

With its harrowingly-honest tone, vulgar and realistic dialogue, teenage angst, scandals, tragedies, unrequited loves, and heartfelt confessions, the memoir is an indelibly unprecedented story of love, addiction, and recovery.

"Homocidal" not only accurately portrays a unique case of teenage drug addiction, but through all of its pitfalls and triumphs, it touches the reader's heart and leaves him or her with the idea that there is hope for anyone, anywhere, at any time. Holden's memoir is a prime example of the saying "it's never too late [or early] to change."

 
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tags

addiction, chestnut, dextromethorphan, disease, drugs, family issues, gay, homocidal, illinois, memoir, mental illness, overcoming, recovery, rehab, r...

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28 comments

 

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andrew skaife wrote 1328 days ago

This is a stark picture painted for the YA audience and something that treats them in a sophisticated and mature way; which I know they appreciate.

BACKED

Jayce wrote 1330 days ago

Ryan

I can't think of anything to put here that others haven't already said. I think it's a brilliant and powerful account of the tragedy of drug addiction and the uphill battle to overcome it. Your pitch is at once pulling me in and yet not revealing too much of what will happen in the story. Your writing style is at once powerful and full of raw emotion. I'm eagerly await the next chapter to see what happens next. I'm more than happy to back and help this book on the road up to the top!

Craig Roberts

missyfleming_22 wrote 1327 days ago

Brave, gritty writing. I think there are a lot of kids out there that could read this and it would help them. This is powerful stuff, you've done a great job of writing this and I could feel it right along with you. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Missy

name falied moderation wrote 1331 days ago

Dear Ryan

I have started to read your writing and must say that it is compelling. Already you have established your animated characters in my head, ( they are not leaving soon) and i feel strongly to back your book now. I do wish to be part of your climb to the top on this site. CONGRATS and I will comment more as I read more

BACKED BY ME FOR SURE.
Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK also

The VERY best of luck to you

Denise
The Letter

Andrea Taylor wrote 469 days ago

Riveting; yet incredibly sad, yet incredibly brave. An eye opener for those of us who haven't been addicted to anything. A brave and fearless story very well told.
Andrea

A.L.Michael wrote 750 days ago

Just realised I left the book comment as a message to you- gah sorry.
This is an excellent book, the writing is sophisticated and the subject matter compelling. Really rare that I automatically connect to a book on Authonomy, so wishing you the best of luck with this!

Bill Scott wrote 935 days ago

Deathcab,

Your title drew me in.

I take notes as I go, usually to pointout what's awkward or off to me. Then at the end I'll tell you how brilliant you are. :)

These are of course just my opinions, suggestions, blah blah blah. I would never in any circles be mistaken for an expert on anything other than running my mouth and the deliciousness of a pale ale. So feel free to disregard whatever you like

"Whomever I saw in the mirror" may be gramatically correct but is weird. Perhaps - -The person in the mirror

saying you recalled the refrigerator magnet may be enough do you need 'my eyes falling upon"

Dextromethorphan, who knew? I had no idea that at large doses had a euphoric affect.

Why is whiskey in the refrigerator? Not common to keep it cold, for most folks anyway. Sure, sometimes I'll keep a bottle of jack in the frezzer if I don't want it to melt the ice too quick, but if I had gallons of it I wouldn't store it there. Just struck me as odd.

Reread the sentence that starts "It wasn't fair that I had . . ." I think the meaning would be more clear if you replaced the comma with a period and deleted the because.The way it reads now, he has to stop drinking BECAUSE he wasn't the one who nearly recieved the dui.

I'm not sure eviscerated works. You eviscerate a person or animal. (remove their viscera) I know what you mean here, but it reads as though the stomach has organs it lost. It's just worded a little awkwardly but it's a nice visual.

Would your MC say defecate and urinate?

Non-menthol? That's just a cigarette. Unless there is some backstory about her wanting a menthol cig, to say non-menthol seems odd.

You've done two things a lot of people on here fail to do 1- tell a story 2- entertain.

Don't take my suggestions to mean I didn't enjoy the story. I did. It's a great start just needs a little polish to really shine. IMHO

Best
Bill
HAKTAW HEART

Momma Bear wrote 935 days ago

I clicked on this book randomly because the title caught my attention. WOW! A descriptive masterpiece of an addicted youth. I only read the first chapter and found it to be well written and very thoughtful. Dark, frightening, and beautiful. Although I have never had a substance abuse problem, someone close to me has. And I realy felt connected to this character right off the bat. High stars and a shelf.

strachan gordon wrote 941 days ago

Extremely well-written with an artful ability to maintain and exploit tension . The future's not imminent , its here - brilliant - where did you get that from? its also a testimony to your strength that you have survived all these experiences and turned them to your advantage - sweet are the uses of adversity! I've had something of a slightly similar experience - but it is connected with a lost romance which I recreated in a fictional form , which is now getting people to read my book! Nice.Watchlisted and starred. I wonder if you would be kind enough to take a look at the first chapter of my novel'A Buccaneer' , which is an historical adventure , romance set in the 17th century and includes lost love , the Great Plague of London, a five handed duel , Spanish Gold and much more . Watchlisted and starred. With best wishes from Strachan Gordon

blue-eyed-princess wrote 952 days ago

Ryan, I enjoyed this book very much I have only read the first chapter but I am hooked! I can't wait to read more and see what happens. It's an excellent read. I'll gladly back the book! Best wishes
Patricia

eloravelle wrote 961 days ago

There are some words I just don't understand in here, but I have read it all. I will be backing it, and am wondering if you will upload more.

Frank Talaber wrote 970 days ago

Hi Ryan
Haven't heard back from you since I sent you the Shaman's Lure novel in its entirety. Have you had a chance to read it yet?
Frank

MelissaMWolff wrote 970 days ago

I really like the story so far and I like you're raw depiction of everything. I can't wait to read more if you choose to publish more. I also wanted to tell you that I think you're very brave not only to go through this but to have the courage to write about it.

Nicole Ellis wrote 980 days ago

Ryan-

I was hooked from the start of chaper 1 until the end. The writing is crisp and authentic, and your descriptions create vivid scenes that are both emotionally captivating and visually panoramic...Details you give about the cabin, the frat style bathroom, it's almost like watching scenes in a movie unfolding. I feel this is the start to a very brave, very gripping story. Our protagonist is relatable and sympathetic. I normally read fiction but I have enjoyed this immensely. I am highly starring and backing. I will continue reading. Well done.

Red2u wrote 986 days ago

Addiction, what a tragedy but I must say I commend you for the courage to sit down and write about it. I only got tthrought the first chapter and could not find anything wrong with it, its concise and clear. Well done. I've given it a high rating. I also notice that you submitted another book as well. I hope to get to that one too.
Red

Joshua Jacobs wrote 986 days ago

Fascinating and life-changing memoir. I was intrigued the second you set the stage as he's searching the cabin. Your descriptions of his urge for a high are convincing and they move this opening right along. In fact all of his emotions are powerful as he deals with the guilt and as he's worrying about the treatment center.

The ending of the first section packs a powerful punch. The repetition hits home, and you do a great job of keeping your reader hooked.

What a story you have to tell. The process of checking into rehab was interesting. This is one of those topics I've always wondered about, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I could see this selling well.

It was nice to be able to read this without stumbling over any mistakes/typos. You have a great grip on the English language.

Suggestions: Watch out for passive voice. Your very first sentence is passive. Try: "An eerie silence enveloped the cabin..." You'd have to reword to include the "led me to believe..." but you want to steer clear of passive voice when possible. How about cut the "of" from "best of drugs." I'd comb through this for unnecessary adverbs. You use them often, but your writing is strong enough without them. Make sure to show instead of tell. There's quite a bit of telling in here. For example, "I was extremely please..." "I was dismayed..." Show me this. It'll bring your reader in better. I wonder if you can make the narrator's voice a bit more frantic as he's searching for the drugs. I find it strange that he would stop to comment on "a living room where a few sets of vintage, yearn-like furniture..." Up the tension. Try not to start so many back-to-back paragraphs with "I." At one point, you had four in a row.

You have a great story here. My main suggestion is just to tighten this. Cut unnecessary words, info, and descriptions.

This is a strong start. I was immediately captivated by the subject matter, and your writing style drags your reader along for the ride. With a bit of a polish this will be even stronger. Good start!

AntoinetteBergin wrote 993 days ago

Hi. I read some of Homicidal and was very impressed. Your writing is descriptive and vivid. It took me back to a time I had totally forgotten (a time before you were born). This should be required reading in middle schools.

Andi Brown wrote 1007 days ago

HI Ryan,

As promised, I've had a chance to look at your work.

This is clearly a work filled with genuine emotion and feeling. You do a great job of getting us inside your head, and to understand the desperation of an addict for one last fix. This is a brave and passionate work. Kudos to you for telling your story.

I think it could actually be riveting, and I have some suggestions for making it even better. My biggest concern was the number of odd word choices: feasible shower, mundane mirror, knees buckled systematically, yarn-like furniture, ignoble something. I don't think these are the right words to convey what you want. I would say that simpler is better than using an incorrect word.

I am also a firm believer in the writer's maxim "show, don't tell." I found some examples of "telling," such as "It was the perfect night, the weather was somehow ideal." Showing would be "The night was crisp and clear, the stars flickering across the sky,with just a hint of a breeze which kept the air from being too stuffy. Instead of "yarn-like furniture" (I had a hard time picturing that), you could say "strange furniture that was upholstered in a knitted fabric, almost as if the couch were wearing a custom-made sweater."

I think you have the potential for a terrific book here, and if you tighten up the writing, you'll get there. I'm giving you stars, and wishing you all the best.

Thank you so much for your kind comments on and, especially backing of Animal Cracker.

Have a great weekend and all best,
Andi

DylanSpicer wrote 1010 days ago

Ryan-- this was a piece I enjoyed very much- I read it in one sitting, so there must something really good here. I think you are very honest with your feelings, but never lapse into self indulgence. I might cut down some of the description in places, but I look forward very much to reading your next piece of writing!

Frank Talaber wrote 1013 days ago

HI Ryan
Very well written, read the first two chapters. Can't help but wonder from the depth of knowledge and detail if this isn't more autobiographical. If it isn't then you've done a excellent job of making this person feel and sound like someone hooked on drugs. I can't imagine what would possess someone to do that, but I'm sure if I read on we'd find out. I think that as great as our society is there's too much room for people, to get themselves into trouble. It shows in this story. If anything there's too much detail, but I couldn't help but be drawn in and want to read further. Well done. The writing is concise and grammatically correct. Again very good. I can feel this person's need to want to take more drugs and his revulsion at the same time. If this hadn't happened to you then this is extremely brilliant writing. It is anyways, well done. I hope the end result is good. There's too many books written with a downer ending. Let me know. I'll give it me five star rating.
Well done
Frank

2004carlt wrote 1051 days ago

Lots of narrative but very well told all the same. Really felt the drama and desperation before being shipped off to rehab and the strange limbo he was in of wanting company but pushing people away and then being pissed when they did leave. The bold text may not be a good idea, as I found it hard on the eyes against the white screen. Other than that you have a good talent and should keep writing. Good luck.

tyleradams wrote 1264 days ago

I enjoyed reading this, Ryan. You have a good voice for reaching your peer group. A couple of things that I think would help you reach a broader audience is to define your acronyms for those of us who are older (thank god for www.urbandictionary.com - as I was able to use it to understand the language).

Another thing is to read this out loud to yourself as it will help you to catch redundant words and the few awkwardly writter phrases.

tyler (Almost Straight)

missyfleming_22 wrote 1327 days ago

Brave, gritty writing. I think there are a lot of kids out there that could read this and it would help them. This is powerful stuff, you've done a great job of writing this and I could feel it right along with you. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Missy

andrew skaife wrote 1328 days ago

This is a stark picture painted for the YA audience and something that treats them in a sophisticated and mature way; which I know they appreciate.

BACKED

Jayce wrote 1330 days ago

Ryan

I can't think of anything to put here that others haven't already said. I think it's a brilliant and powerful account of the tragedy of drug addiction and the uphill battle to overcome it. Your pitch is at once pulling me in and yet not revealing too much of what will happen in the story. Your writing style is at once powerful and full of raw emotion. I'm eagerly await the next chapter to see what happens next. I'm more than happy to back and help this book on the road up to the top!

Craig Roberts

Burgio wrote 1331 days ago

HOMOCIDAL
This is an interesting account of adolescent rehab (thought at first the title was spelled wrong, but then grasped the idea that was intentional – well done). The author is obviously a fan of Holden Caulfield (good) and it shows in the writing style (good again). An account more detailed in places than I wanted to read about, the read is graphic and easy to follow. I think you’ll find an audience for this among young adults who want to know what goes on in drug rehab so will want to follow this to the end to see how it all plays out. I’m happy to add it to my shelf. If you have a moment, would you look at mine (Grain of Salt)? I’m in 3rd place but only holding on by my teeth. Burgio

Andrew Burans wrote 1331 days ago

You have written a powerfull, gripping and gritty story about your life and the tragedy of drug addiction. I like your choice to use the first person narrative voice because it strongly conveys your wide range of raw emmotions as well as your thoughts. Backed with pleasure.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

name falied moderation wrote 1331 days ago

Dear Ryan

It is so good to see that your book was well received. I have already commented and backed your book, and as at times the backing have not shown, i will back your again, just to MAKE SURE.
I do wish you the very best with your writing

Denise
The Letter

SusieGulick wrote 1331 days ago

Dear Ryan, I got so excited when I saw that you had backed my memoir book, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. :) I really appreciate it. :) Could you please take a moment to back my other memoir book, "Tell Me True Love Stories?" Thanks so very much. :) Love, Susie :) p.s. I'll be #3 to put your book on my watchlist. :)

Walden Carrington wrote 1331 days ago

Ryan,
I applaud your bravery in writing a true life account. It could be helpful to someone struggling to overcome an addiction. I look forward to seeing the complete work. Backed with enthusiasm.

name falied moderation wrote 1331 days ago

Dear Ryan

I have started to read your writing and must say that it is compelling. Already you have established your animated characters in my head, ( they are not leaving soon) and i feel strongly to back your book now. I do wish to be part of your climb to the top on this site. CONGRATS and I will comment more as I read more

BACKED BY ME FOR SURE.
Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK also

The VERY best of luck to you

Denise
The Letter

SusieGulick wrote 1331 days ago

Dear Ryan, I love that I don't have the problems that your character has :) - one more thing for me to be thankful for, even though I am so sick - that's the last things I need is to have all of those problems, too. "Lord, please help all of with these severe problems." I've backed your book :) hope you'll take a moment to back my 2 memoir books. :) Thanks. :) Love, Susie :)

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