A List of Things That Didn't Kill Me

Book Information
Rating: Cannot Recommend
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Jason Schmidt
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
Year: 2015
ISBN: 9780374380137
Pages: 419

Jason grew up in a difficult environment: his mother was physically and emotionally absent and his father was addicted to drugs and alcohol. Compared to the other people that lived around him, Jason's life was very challenging and painful. In this honest and explicit memoir, author Jason Schmidt relates various events in his life, including his house burning down, his exclusion from a catholic church, and his father's arrest, and how he was able to overcome his unstable environment and find peace in his life as an adult. 

Although this is a memoir and is unflinchingly honest about the hardships and personal revelations that Jason endured and received, this book is very graphic and not well-suited for young adult readers. Jason's story is a difficult one, and the author does not hold back while describing his experiences with violence, drugs, sex, and other abuses he witnessed in his family life. Adults should be extremely cautious about letting younger readers, even teens, read this memoir. Perhaps readers who have grown up in a similar environment can find comfort that someone actually made it out of such an unhealthy situation alive and okay, but this is not a light read by any means.

* Contains severe language, severe violence, and severe sexual content.