Do you follow Juggling The Jenkins on Facebook? Tiffany Jenkins runs the page, and while I don’t find every single thing she posts relatable, she has some really truthful and funny videos. I really love how she tackles difficult topics like depression and anxiety in a humorous manner. I also have depression and anxiety, so I totally get it. On her page, Tiffany talks about life as a mother and wife, and her struggle with addiction. When I saw she wrote a book, High Achiever: The Incredible True Story of One Addict’s Double Life, about her experience as an addict, I knew I wanted to listen to the audiobook version or read it. I ended up listening to the audiobook and enjoyed it.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you click on and/or purchase from some links, I make a portion of the sale. This helps keep Bitch Bookshelf running.
Find out more about how I review books here.
The summary, from Amazon:
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • An up-close portrait of the mind of an addict and a life unraveled by narcotics—a memoir of captivating urgency and surprising humor that puts a human face on the opioid crisis.
“Raw, brutal, and shocking. Move over, Orange Is the New Black.”—Amy Dresner, author of My Fair Junkie
When word got out that Tiffany Jenkins was withdrawing from opiates on the floor of a jail cell, people in her town were shocked. Not because of the twenty felonies she’d committed, or the nature of her crimes, or even that she’d been captain of the high school cheerleading squad just a few years earlier, but because her boyfriend was a Deputy Sherriff, and his friends—their friends—were the ones who’d arrested her.
A raw and twisty page-turning memoir that reads like fiction, High Achiever spans Tiffany’s life as an active opioid addict, her 120 days in a Florida jail where every officer despised what she’d done to their brother in blue, and her eventual recovery. With heart-racing urgency and unflinching honesty, Jenkins takes you inside the grips of addiction and the desperate decisions it breeds. She is a born storyteller who lived an incredible story, from blackmail by an ex-boyfriend to a soul-shattering deal with a drug dealer, and her telling brims with suspense and unexpected wit. But the true surprise is her path to recovery. Tiffany breaks through the stigma and silence to offer hope and inspiration to anyone battling the disease—whether it’s a loved one or themselves.
Buy High Achiever here!
If you follow Tiffany on social media, you know how funny and kind-hearted she is. That’s why I was absolutely shocked to hear some of the things she did as an addict. She experienced some really rough times too. Tiffany went to jail for stealing from her boyfriend and his family to feed her addiction and pay back others she’d taken drugs from, and then rehab afterwards. In her signature hilarious style, she tells her story, but there’s also a real side to her in this, where she gets truly emotional talking about her experiences, including thoughts of suicide.
Honestly, I can see some readers finding this side of Tiffany unlikable. At times, she was. But Tiffany is honest about her addiction and the awful things she did while under its pull.
I want to note that I really enjoyed her narration in the audiobook version. I wasn’t sure I would, because in Tiffany’s comedic skits she tends to stutter and do funny things with her voice (totally on purpose). She is very clear and precise in her reading of this book, however. Tiffany does do voices for each and every person that makes an appearance, which I found to be amusing and to help me really dive into the story. However, I can see how that might be offensive to some listeners. I don’t think Tiffany meant offense or was malicious in doing her voices, but I’ve read some reviews where listeners didn’t appreciate her take on Black and brown voices in her reading. I get where they’re coming from. It’s a very valid opinion.
Tiffany’s story isn’t totally linear, which at times was a little confusing to me, but overall it makes sense. She covers so much, focusing on her experience in jail, her experience in rehab, and then finally the series of events that led up to her arrest to begin with. She touches a little bit on her previous experiences with drugs, before she got clean and then relapsed, and very briefly on what happened after she got out of rehab. But overall, this story is about how she got clean and what she was like at rock bottom. Overall, I liked this book and her narration, and give it 4 stars.
Find out more about how I rate books here.
High Achiever: The Incredible True Story of One Addict’s Double Life by Tiffany Jenkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Tiffany is so funny on her Facebook page “Juggling the Jenkins”, and while her story keeps that humorous tone, it’s also harrowing and inspirational. I had no idea she had done and been through all these things during her addiction. Some might not enjoy her Valley Girl-ish tone. In the audiobook, she does voices for all the people she meets in her story, which is really fun – but I can also see how her voices for some of the POC she meets can come across as racist. Overall, if you think her Facebook page is funny, relatable, and inspirational, you’ll probably like this book, but keep in mind there are some problematic aspects.
Book Club Questions
- Why do you think Tiffany started the book off in prison, then went back to explain who she was and how she got there?
- Tiffany shares a lot about her life on her social media today, but this book focuses on her experience during the months prior to her arrest and her time in prison. Do you wish she had shared more about other aspects of her life? What else would you like to know about Tiffany? If you follow her on social media, what aspects from her posts would you have liked to see reflected in her book?
- How did this book impact your opinion on addiction and the opioid crisis?
- Tiffany’s humor is apparent throughout the novel. Did you find it inappropriate or did it surprise you at any time? How do you think her sense of humor impacted her experience?