Title: Everything I Never Wanted To Be
Author: Dina Kucera
Publisher: Dream of Things
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Paperback: 216 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Everything I Never Wanted to Be by Dina Kucera is the true story of a family’s battle with alcoholism and drug addiction. Dina’s grandfather and father were alcoholics. Her grandmother was a pill addict. Dina is an alcoholic and pill addict, and all three of her daughters struggle with alcohol and drug addiction—including her youngest daughter, who started using heroin at age fourteen.
Dina’s household also includes her husband and his unemployed identical twin; a mother who has Parkinson’s Disease; a grandson who has cerebral palsy; and other people who drift in and out of the household depending on their employment situation or rehab status. On top of all that, Dina is trying to make it as a stand-up comic and author so she can quit her crummy job as a grocery store clerk. Through it all, Dina does her best to hold her family together, keep her faith, and maintain her sense of humor.
As you might imagine, a story filled with alcoholics and drug addicts includes a number of horrific events. But in the end, Everything I Never Wanted to Be is an uplifting story that contains valuable lessons for parents and teens alike, and a strong message about the need to address the epidemic of teen drug addiction in our nation. It’s a book that can change behavior and save lives—and make you laugh along the way.
Beautiful, raw, and brutally honest, Everything I Never Wanted To Be by Dina Kucera is an absolute must read memoir. Kucera is quite blunt when sharing the facts of her life, yet while the book could easily be a dark and depressing read, Kucera makes certain to add in her wit and charm to keep the reader from becoming depressed as the struggles of the author are described. Kucera opens her book as a grocery store cashier, she and her husband have been sober for almost a decade and are dealing with shortage of money, an overflowing home and fighting an ongoing battle with their youngest daughter Carly’s drug addiction. Kucera writes about growing up with alcoholic parents, her teen pregnancies and alcoholism, but focuses primarily on life, as it currently is, three wonderful daughters each with severe issues. I found the book to be very informative and at times rather uplifting as Kucera shows the power of love and humour. Everything I Never Wanted to Be is a book that should definitely be read by parents and teens alike as all too often we think addicts happen to other people and never dream it could happen in our own home. Kucera does not state she did not make mistakes, but rather she owns up to them and proceeds to offer advise to readers through the stories of her life and her struggles as an addict and as a quite sober and loving wife, mother, daughter, and grandmother. I highly recommend Everything I Never Wanted to Be to any reader, for it not only offers advise but answers questions as to how and why people become addicts and how one addiction can ruin many lives. Its most important message however is that through the adversity of addiction, survival is possible through love, strength, and having a sense of humour.
Dina Kucera was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After completing a project to collect and identify fifty insects, she graduated from the ninth grade and left school for good. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Her first job was a paper route, and she has worked as a maid, bartender, waitress, and grocery store checker. Dina has also been a stand-up comic for twenty years, for which she receives payment ranging from a small amount of money to a very, very small amount of money. When it comes to awards and recognition, she was once nominated for a Girl Scout sugar cookie award, but she never actually received the award because her father decided to stop at a bar instead of going to the award ceremony. Dina waited on the curb outside the bar, repeatedly saying to panhandlers, “Sorry. I don’t have any money. I’m seven.” Dina is married with three daughters, one stepson, and one grandson. She currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
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I received a complimentary copy of Everything I Never Wanted To Be by Dina Kucera from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.