MAF_YA_4Reviewed by Jessa Larsen

Nicole has escaped her stifling small hometown of Bangor, Maine and moved over to the bustling city of Boston. Hoping to start fresh and leave the nightmares behind, Nicole wants nothing more than a new beginning to help ease the pain of the past. Unbeknownst to her, freedom is not quite what life has in store. From dark crevices and scary shadows, something lurks and waits. What starts as experimentation and fun will soon send Nicole spiraling out of control thus taking away any and all hopes of prosperity and independence.

I was sucked in by Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales almost immediately. I’ve always been intrigued by the topic of addiction and how it affects the individual as well as the people around them. The title is slightly misleading with its usage of the word “memoir”, but you quickly forget that this is a work of fiction and really feel like you’re right there with Nicole as she struggles with her addiction and what it is doing to her life. Marni Mann’s style of writing is phenomenal in the way that she really pulls you in and makes you feel so emotionally invested. It really does make you forget that the characters aren’t actually real people.

Marni Mann definitely did her research. If you check out her website you will learn that she not only looked into the general subject of addiction, but she got a lot of information straight from the source. She interviewed addicts and typically the addicts were high during the actual interview. You can’t get any realer than that without becoming an actual addict yourself which I obviously do not recommend.

Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales was an amazing story and I’m ready to jump headfirst into the sequel. I did originally have some curiosity as to the difference between the original release versus the YA editions, so I looked into it and found that any details deemed a little too dark and serious for a younger audience – such as cursing, sex, and the grittier details about rapes – were eliminated. However, the heart of the message was left intact and it didn’t detract from the story to have these details taken out which is something I really appreciated. I think it takes talent to tone it down like that and not end up ruining things here and there. If you enjoy memoirs (even fictional ones) of this genre, you’ll definitely want to add this book to your collection.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 dogs and a cat called Number One Boots Kitten. She is a full time mom and enjoys writing short stories in her spare time. She also likes watching anime, reading books, and playing video games.

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