Reviewed by Jessa L.

Dina Kucera comes from a long line of addicts and alcoholics. At an early age, Dina started her own downward spiral and became and alcoholic as well as a pill popper. Her daughters followed Dina’s unfortunate path: her oldest daughter struggles with an alcohol and drug addiction, and her middle child has similar problems  and lives in an abusive relationship which she refuses to abandon. Her youngest daughter dabbles with alcohol and various drugs, and these habits eventually develop into a full fledged heroin addiction by the time she is fourteen.

Dina lives with her unemployed husband as well as his equally unemployed identical twin brother, her daughters, her mother (who suffers from Parkinson’s), and her grandson, who has cerebral palsy. Along with her hectic and crazy home life, Dina works endless hours at a tedious job as a grocery store clerk. She wants to be a stand-up comic and author so she can finally quit the drudgery of her current job.

Everything I Never Wanted to Be is a true recollection of Dina’s personal life and the complications of her own addictions, as well as dealing with and trying to solve everyone else’s problems. She wants to fix everything and make it all better with loves and kisses. However, she must realize that all she can do is support and love her family while focusing on solving her own addiction.

I have never read a funnier and at the same time heartbreaking tale of a family’s struggles. It had me laughing my face off one minute and crying in sympathy the next. I never knew that someone’s personal hell could be so hilariously conveyed. I felt her Dina’s pain, but as she says, if you can’t make a joke of it, you’ll never survive.

If you’ve ever suffered from addiction or had a loved one suffer through it, Everything I Never Wanted to Be is definitely a book you’ll want to pick up and read. It gave me so much insight into my own life; I came away with a positive attitude and realized that what Dina said is true. If you can’t laugh at yourself and look to the future with a positive attitude, you’ll never survive.

Rating: 4.5/5

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 cats, and 2 dogs. She goes to school full time as an English major with a focus in creative writing. She likes anime and reads books and plays video games in her moments of spare time.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Dina Kucera. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.