Review Detail

Young Adult Nonfiction 2159
A Million Little Reasons to Read James Frey
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
1.0
I highly recommend this book for anyone of any age who wants to be inspired.
Good Points
James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, caught headlines in 2006, three years after his book was released, subsequent to an interrogation on the Oprah Winfrey Show about the truths, and non-truths, of his acclaimed memoir. Winfrey, who had recently made the book a “Book Club Choice” in 2005, retracted her praise for Frey’s work and vituperated him on national television, forcing him to apologize for embellishing on the details of his beautifully written memoir. ??A Million Little Pieces recounts James Frey's journey to sobriety in a rehabilitation center in Hazelden, Minnesota. Frey, then a 23-year-old drug and alcohol addict, meets many people in the program who ultimately change his life, specifically Lily and Leonard. While the twelve-step program proved successful for Frey, his determination throughout the memoir is inconsistent, but he finds the will to persevere. A Million Little Pieces is awe-inspiring.??After many malicious reviews surfaced about A Million Little Pieces, Frey responded, “..So let the haters hate, let the doubters doubt, I stand by my book, and my life, and I won’t dignify this bullshit with any sort of further response." (Seaman,2008,34) However, James Frey did not adhere to his statement. On his final interview with Oprah Winfrey on May 17, 2011, Frey apologized for exercising his creative freedom and even expressed, "I had no respect for form." Undoubtedly, the stylistic conventions that Frey utilizes throughout A Million Little Pieces are what encourage the reader to continue turning the pages. The repetition, lack of punctuation, vulgarity, and shifty sentences allow Frey to illustrate the angst he experienced during his time in rehab.??Yes, Frey does alter some details about the people he met in rehab as well as the events, but does it really matter if he was or was not numb during a root canal? The actual occurrences are true, and so are Lily and Leonard. Lily, the woman who Frey falls in love with during his experience in rehab, truly did commit suicide, although Frey alters the method by which she dies. Frey alters the characters of Lily and Leonard to respect their identities in the real world.??James Frey should not apologize for writing A Million Little Pieces, but instead be proud that his piece encouraged many other addicts to seek sobriety. His memoir also resonates with those who have no addiction, but who simply need to be told, "Never give up."  A Million Little Pieces is courageous, confessional, and even crude, but most importantly, it is inspirational.

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