Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sweet Tooth: A Memoir, by Tim Anderson

As a teenager, Tim started to realize that he was different, that he was attracted to other boys.  He knew he needed to keep this a secret, so he started daydreaming; just when he thinks he is beginning to deal with his sexuality, life throws him another curveball, when he discovers he has Type I diabetes.  Tim struggles to learn how to deal with this life altering disease, and along the way he suffers severe reactions when his blood sugar drops dangerously low.  People in his life learn how to spot the signs and take care of him, but between his disease and his sexuality, he spends quite a few years as a big, sloppy mess.  Eventually, however, he learns to manage life, as well as any of us do.

I am a sucker for a great memoir; real, personal stories are the ones I find most interesting. Which is exactly why I loved this book so much.  I felt like this book can really speak to people.  A reader needs to look past the specifics- one does not need to be a Type I diabetic, or gay, or a boy with curly swoopy bangs, to relate to this book.  One needs only to have struggled with something, anything, that made them feel different, defective, outcast.  And who among us has not, at some point, had such a struggle?

I found the book to be incredibly well written, a perfect balance of wit, self deprecation, and seriousness. The chapters are interspersed with vignettes of Tim suffering severe reactions, and I found those to be highly educational.  I never realized, despite the fact that I too have seen Steel Magnolias, the drastic shifts in personality and behavior that can occur when a diabetic person's blood sugar bottoms out.  I wonder how many times we think someone is drunk or high or crazy, when really, they are just a diabetic in need of some juice.

I found this book to be brave, and honest, and raw.  I wish more people had the courage to tell their stories the way Tim has.

I received a review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours, in exchange for my honest review.  See the rest of the tour here.

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