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unSweetined Hardcover – Nov 3 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (Nov. 3 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439152683
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439152683
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16.1 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #135,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Jodie Sweetin is best known for her role as Stephanie Tanner on ABC's long-running, hugely popular sitcom Full House, which still airs in syndication. She has shared her story on Good Morning America, IdeaThe Big  with Donnie Deutsch, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and Chelsea Lately, and hosted Pants-Off Dance-Off on Fuse. She lives in California with her daughter, Zoie.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

chapter one


fuck it.

I was tired of trying. Tired of controlling myself. Tired of caring.

It was a Sunday night and my options were to sit home and get some rest for the big day I had on Monday or to go out, party, and not worry about anything. So when a friend called and asked me if I wanted to head to Hermosa Beach, I didn't hesitate.

Before I knew it I was smoking meth and doing my hair, preparing for a big night. I drove off solo with my to€‘go cup filled with alcohol. I never went anywhere without my to€‘go cup.

It was a typical night of partying. I met some people at a bar in Hermosa Beach that played house music on Sundays from 2:00 p.m. until around 2:00 a.m. I was friendly with the bar's owner so there was always a table waiting for me, and half-priced bottles for being such a good customer.

From the second I walked in, it was on. Some friend gave me a hug and put Ecstasy right in my mouth. That's how the night started. Simple as that.

Coke. No problem. We were doing it right at the table. Meth wasn't as socially acceptable so I did that at home, alone, or with a couple friends who were also using. But the coke, the Ecstasy -- the party -- went until closing. It almost always did.

Then it was back to my place in Westchester, a Los Angeles neighborhood around the corner from LAX. It was always back to my place. Somehow the group had grown to about fifteen or twenty people. I was playing the role of after-party host. Looking back, I think I liked the control. I was always the driver, the host; it was always my show. With people waiting to party, I went into the kitchen and returned with a bottle of Jack Daniel's in one hand, a bottle of champagne under my arm, and a big plate of coke in the other hand for all of my guests. The crowd went wild. Standing ovation. Just how I liked it.

As usual the party continued into the near-daylight hours. There was still a plate of coke on the living-room table and a handful of friends -- and I use that term loosely -- were making themselves at home.

The only problem? In seven hours I would be standing in front of a roomful of college students at Marquette University telling them how great it felt to overcome a drug addiction and how important it was to stay off drugs. I had a flight to catch and needed to be at the airport by 5:30 a.m., and at a quarter to five, I was still nose-deep in a pile of cocaine with a roomful of strangers listening to house music. And I hadn't even packed!

I was pretty good at pulling off this kind of thing. All my life I had given everyone exactly what they wanted. If Full House producers needed someone to look cute while eating Oat Boats, I smiled in my cereal. If my friends needed a house to party in, I opened my doors, supplied drugs, and broke up lines of cocaine with a credit card. And if America decided I was supposed to be a role model, I hopped on a plane, turned on my best Stephanie-Tanner-all-grown-up face-and gave a speech.

So at 5:00 a.m. I threw some clothes in a bag, probably forgetting socks or toothpaste or something important, and attempted to make a clean escape. But the night of partying really left me frazzled. I came into the living room with my packed bag in hand and started shaking. I couldn't speak. I couldn't think. I had been up for two days straight, partying without a care in the world, and now I was starting to lose it.

On the car ride I realized I was wearing a T€‘ shirt that said "Things you shouldn't take to the airport" with pictures of drugs, guns, and a toothpaste tube larger than three ounces. I was one for three; I was carrying a bag of cocaine because I knew I couldn't get through the next twenty-four hours without it -- and praying the stupid shirt didn't give me away to the airport security guard. That sort of paranoia comes along with drug use. The guard searching my bag will not see the humor in my T€‘shirt and will look extra hard through my bags. Oh my God! What am I going to do?

He did search pretty hard, but not because of the shirt. I took a deep breath and attempted to remain cool as the guard rummaged through my belongings. My friend who drove me to the airport told me I probably shouldn't talk to anybody because at that point I couldn't put together a complete sentence. The security guy took out my cosmetic case and asked me about every item. It took every ounce of energy I had to get out the words "lip gloss" and "mascara" without looking like a complete wreck. But I was dying inside. I thought this was it. I was going to get busted. How could I not? The guard then pulled out the compact where I kept my coke. My heart was beating through my chest. I thought for sure I was going to be arrested. And then it happened...

"OK, ma'am, have a nice flight."

I was safe.

I sat down at the gate and nearly broke down. What am I doing? What the hell is wrong with me? How did I become this person?

If I had had that gun my shirt warned against, I probably would have blown my brains out. I was miserable...and exhausted.

When I got to my hotel near Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I slept for a few hours but when I woke up I was still dead tired. I was a mess. Luckily I had the coke to pick me back up. I did a few key bumps and headed to the lecture hall, where a sold-out crowd waited to hear me speak. I thought for sure that one of the professors would take one look at me and kick me out. But none did. They wanted to hear about the trials and tribulations of Jodie Sweetin, or at least the Jodie Sweetin I had created by appearing on Good Morning America and talking to People magazine.

I stood up at the podium, looked around the room, and put on my best TV smile. I was so disappointed in myself. I was living a complete lie. But unfortunately, guilt doesn't make you stop. I talked about growing up on television and about how great my life was now that I was sober, and then midspeech I started to cry. The crowd probably thought that the memories of hitting rock bottom were too much for me to handle. Or maybe they thought the tears were just a way for an actor to send a message that drugs are bad. I don't know what they thought.

I know what they didn't think. They didn't think I was coming down from a two-day bender of coke, meth, and Ecstasy and they didn't think that I was lying to them with every sentence that came out of my mouth. That much I do know. The little bit of coke that I had done before the speech wasn't enough to make me forget how bad I felt for doing what I was doing. The guilt was eating away at me. I was struggling to keep it together, but no one realized that. I finished. They applauded. Standing ovation. Just how I liked it. And it was over.

I was just so tired. Tired of lying. Tired of pretending to be someone that I wasn't. I took a deep breath and walked out of the lecture hall. I went back to my hotel room and buried my face in my hands. I couldn't keep doing this. It had to end.

But not today. I wiped away the tears and finished the baggie of coke.

Fuck it. I'll quit tomorrow.

It had been a year since I went on Good Morning America and told the world that I was a recovered drug addict. And back then I really was recovering -- or trying to, anyway. I had been sober for a few months, but I knew in the back of my mind it wasn't over. I wasn't ready.

But the story was a good one and it landed me the speaking jobs I needed to keep my career going and the drug money rolling in. Drugs and alcohol don't come cheap -- especially when you are also buying for a group of friends who mooch off your residual checks. I didn't put up with eight seasons of Kimmy Gibbler so they could get high!

With the new income and a new house in Los Angeles it was all too easy to get right back into drugs.

It started one day, just a few months after my GMA spot, when I got a random phone call from a friend who I used with and who occasionally sold me drugs. I invited her to my place. I was in an apartment at the time. I knew it was a really bad idea to invite her over but I wanted to test myself, I guess. We hung out, played cards. I told her I hadn't done meth in a while. One thing led to another and just like that, I was back.

After trying to stay sober and then relapsing a number of times, battling the decision to remain sober for a couple of months, I began to give up on myself. Then, when I moved into the house, I stopped putting in the effort altogether. "You can do this again," I told myself about using. I wasn't in a relationship and I didn't have a good group of friends around me. I was frustrated and tired of trying. I had it in my head that I just wasn't done.

I was always up for any party, especially if it involved Las Vegas, but my newfound careless attitude often got in my way. I regularly lost cell phones, wallets, and other valuables. One weekend, everyone decided to head out to Vegas, but before I could leave, I had to get cash from the bank since I had misplaced my ATM card. I took out ten thousand dollars in cash to bring with me to bankroll the alcohol and drugs for everyone, as usual, and a little shopping for me.

In Sin City I spent two thousand dollars on makeup and an outfit for the evening and was ready to have fun. The night brought us to various clubs and then to a blowout back at the hotel. Random people made their way in and out of my party until the sun came up. The next morning I noticed that the remaining eight thousand dollars was gone. Maybe I lost it, or maybe it was stolen. I didn't care.

Whether in Vegas or in Hollywood, people would call and ask if I had plans, and even when I had had no intention of going out, I would say, "yeah sure" and it would be off to a night on the town. Outside of the speeches, I didn't have any responsibilities so I often blew off my family...

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Movie Crazy Girl on Nov. 25 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am still a huge fan of Full House and all the actors/actresses that were in the series. I bought this book expecting it to be like Dustin Diamonds, but thankfully it was much better than I thought it would be. She wrote about her drug and alcohol problems growing up, her two husbands and her daughter. The book is very heartfelt and a very good read. If you enjoyed Tori Spellings book "sTori Telling", you will like this one.
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By Missy O on June 16 2010
Format: Hardcover
I got this book yesterday and finished it today. It wasn't very long but mostly I couldn't put it down. I was never a fan of Full House but I wanted to read Jodie's story because I always find truth much more interesting (and stranger!) than fiction. I really felt for Jodie because she just seems to be controlled by drugs and alcohol and I really don't think it's her fault at all. It sounds like she was born addicted to drugs and alcohol thanks to her biological mother. And as a Mom myself I wanted to read her story because she now has a baby and the pictures I saw were beautiful. (Both in people magazine and in her book). I think Jodie came across as intelligent and sincere and the end of her book sounds like she is really turning her life around for herself and her daughter. I hope she turns out okay.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book even if you didn't watch Full House. It really depicts her life during the show and after the seasons were over. She mentions how she was unemployed at 13. This book is a great read and hard to put down. This is her biography about her downward spiral into drugs and parties to recovery and miracles. It's a must read!
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Format: Paperback
Loooved this book ! I read it like 4 times in a row. Took me back to my days growing up with Full House. And it shipped almost immediately !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 176 reviews
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Smart, beautiful, and funny Nov. 4 2009
By Bookbin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've read a few of these celeb memoirs and this ranks up there with the best of them. With the tragedy of Mackenzie Phillips' recent memoir combined with the readability of Tori Spelling's sToritelling, Jodie's humor and frank self awareness grab you from the very first page. Indeed, I picked this up at the bookstore yesterday and opening it up in the afternoon found myself so swept away that by the time I looked up I found myself a third of the way through the book. It's easy to forget how big Full House was (and still is in syndication) and what it could mean to a young girl growing up on set. How that family becomes just as important as the one at home - especially when in Jodie's case, you're adopted. Drugs so often fill the void, but shocking is just how well she hid it from all her loved ones - especially her cop husband. Salvation so often comes in the promise of the future and Jodie was no exception; her daughter became her saving grace. I recommend this book for fans of the show certainly (no other book has gone behind the scenes of Full House that I can recall), but also for mothers wondering about the inner lives of their daughters, young women who may feel awkward around others but also those young women whose popularity has become a burden, wondering where to draw the line. Finally, this is just for people looking for a good read.
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
the unsweetened jodie sweetin Nov. 6 2009
By Alla S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Jodie Sweetin's memoir "UnSweetined" chronicles her life as Stephanie Tanner on the late eighties early nineties hit show Full House, her troublesome adolescence, and her adult foray into a destructive lifestyle involving frequent partying, drinks, and drugs. Unlike popular perception, as Sweetin shares, her long run on a hit TV show didn't guarantee her an acting future--if anything, being associated with Stephanie only hampered her efforts, as showbiz refused to recognize her as anything but her TV persona. One of the tales Sweetin shares is going to audition for a new role and being asked to reprise her Stephanie Tanner catchphrase from the show, "how rude!" Jodie complies, but still doesn't get the role she auditioned for. Disappointed, she tries to live a regular teenage life and attend high school--only to feel she doesn't fit in. Ultimately, Sweetin craves the stability she had on Full House but fails to achieve it in her real life.

While attending her former castmate Candace Cameron's wedding, a year after the show has gone off the air, Sweetin gets drunk and savors the temporary confidence alcohol gives her. Even though Jodie was only fourteen years old at the time, this surprise affection for alcohol eventually leads her down the wrong path--involving heavy drug use, constant partying, and frequent running away from her past. Sweetin barely makes it through college, graduating with a degree in elementary education, before her life spins out of control. Even getting married at twenty to a police officer and attempting the life of a homemaker doesn't help. Sweetin hides her drug use from Shaun, and eventually winds up in rehab. Her second husband Cody and the birth of their daughter Zoie only complicate matters.

I found this book entertaining and ultimately heartbreaking. Jodie doesn't run away from her mistakes, and gradually has to pay for them. My favorite part of the book was the first half, when she describes her years on Full House working with her famous co-stars (Bob Saget, John Stamos, and the Olsen twins to name a few), meeting celebrities, and experiencing all the perks that come from starring on a hit TV show. The book also has color photos from Jodie's life, and, in the end, a cute letter to her daughter. Overall, Jodie's raw honesty provides an interesting read.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Good but a little bit lacking... Nov. 25 2009
By Jodee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First I want to say that I am a big fan of Jodie Sweetin's. I hope for and pray that she's able to stay clean both for herself and for her baby. And I applaud her for the progress she's made. Not having walked in her footsteps I can't even begin to fathom what she's gone through in her life. I also enjoyed her Full House stories and photos - it's clear she's not bitter about the show that made her famous, as other child stars have been known to be.

It definitely was interesting, and I read the book in 3 days. That said, I wasn't too impressed with her memoir. It's clear she's had a lot of ups and downs (way downs) and her story itself is impressive. But the writing seemed rushed at times. I also question the reasoning behind writing her story now when so many things are still up in the air. As she said, she relapsed while she was writing the book, and her divorce from her second husband is still ongoing (and she definitely pulled her punches when describing how their marriage fell apart.)

I think this had a lot of potential and with a little more time, could have been much better. As it is, it is good and I would recommend it, but I hope to see and hear more in the future from Jodie.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A quick beach read. Was hoping for more depth, but it's another standard memoir. April 18 2010
By cinemagirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Don't buy this book for juicy "Full House" tidbits; it's a small portion of this book. The only interesting parts involving the show's cast: Jodie getting drunk with one of the Olsens at John Stamos' rented pad; the "full circle" moment filming her very last scene of the show; and Mary-Kate Olsen ignoring her at a restaurant opening in L.A., which Jodie attributes to their similarities (rehab). It's a very fast and easy read that's perfect for a plane ride or a day at the beach. The writing is repetitive and full of trite statements ("I had hit rock bottom"; "you could cut the tension with a knife"), and one can't help but think that the speedy publication of this book is due to her current financial troubles (custody battles cost money). There are excellent memoirs out there that detail addiction with great self-awareness, allowing readers to understand what drug issues really entail beyond the stereotype, beyond the Lifetime Movie set. Unfortunately, Jodie's memoir is pedestrian and like many that end up in the sales bin. It's your average, fill-in-the-blanks fare that offers nothing new.

Her story is frustrating, inducing many eye-rolls. She tells of her turbulent relationships with druggie friends, boyfriends, her two ex-husbands, and her parents. The book goes like this: she parties in L.A., Las Vegas, New York, and North Carolina, drinking lots of alcohol and doing weed, cocaine, Ecstacy, and meth. She blows her "Full House" residuals and speaking engagement paychecks by paying for drugs, hotels, and table service at clubs, amassing leeching friends along the way. She hits rock bottom. She realizes she has to change her life. She enters programs. Then, at either a dinner or a party, she tells herself that just one drink won't hurt, that one hit is just what she needs to take the edge off. Of course, she can't stop at just one, and she plunges back into the hole. She then tells the reader she realized she was wrong and that she really needed to get her act together. Then, at another dinner or party, she tells herself it's okay for one drink or one hit. The book goes on ad nauseum like that, as if she needs to repeat these episodes just to fill pages: party, sober, just one can't hurt, repeat. Of course, this happens with addiction, the constant cycle, but the repetition in this book is lazy and comes with no real reflection or true moments of clarity. Meanwhile, she dates loser after loser. While she resented the Susie Homemaker life with her homebody first husband, a police officer, with her second husband, Cody Herpin, Jodie writes that she wanted to just stay home with him and cook and have a normal family life. This shift is a good opportunity for Jodie to expound on what prompted this change; instead, she quickly moves on to the saga of her surprise pregnancy. Suddenly, baby Zoie changed her life, and she determined to be sober because there was a new life growing inside her. It is banal and a complete cop-out (not that it cannot be true, but instead of making this story her own, she goes the generic Lifetime route). The last part of her book reads like a template for other memoirs. Her most successful sobriety attempt thus far (114 days sober on the day that she turned in the manuscript) deserves more space and reflection in the book. Instead, the last part of the book is extremely rushed, attempting to end the book neatly and pat like a "Full House" episode: baby Zoie was born, changed her life, and though she slipped temporarily, she's sober now. She doesn't truly delve into her own light bulb moment. In a few lines, she simply states that her baby forced her to sober up.

One comes away from the book with the feeling that Jodie really hasn't hit that light bulb moment. Intellectually, she knows that drugs, alcohol, and certain people are destructive (she parrots this tirelessly in the book), but nothing in the book indicates that she "gets it" yet. There are too many pat statements, too many aphorisms. The book has the same vibe as "Behind the Bell" by Dustin Diamond--a former child star fallen upon hard times needs a quick buck and decides to write a quick memoir without any real self-reflection behind it. No doubt that Jodie has had a tough but interesting life. Everyone knows about the stereotype of the former child star: growing up and no longer being cute; casting directors and audiences unable to see past your catch phrase; drinking and drugs; rehab; financial trouble. There are dozens of stories out there. Jodie could have written a unique and contemplative memoir; after all, we all know the stereotype. How about a real look beyond that from someone who has had so many ups and downs? How interesting her story could have been given the squeaky-clean sitcom that defined many people's childhoods. But Jodie offers nothing more than a sanitized and cliched account.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Beloved Full House star recounts her journey from being one of America's sweethearts to a life of drug abuse and recovery Sept. 22 2010
By Mister G - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
One day, in a fit of curiosity, I did a search for Jodie Sweetin's name on Google. While I was typing it, Google suggested a few autocomplete options, amongst which was something like "Jodie Sweetin meth addict". Enter "UnSweetined". UnSweetined, like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, begins in the middle of the action. Jodie Sweetin, once a seven year-old crush of mine, had grown into a full-fledged meth addict; a far cry from her co-star on the show, Candice Cameron, who married a wonderful hockey player. Jodie Sweetin, the beloved Stephanie Tanner, immediately uses the "F-word" and regales us with a story riddled with illicit drug use, drunk driving, and house music, all of which occurred mere hours before a speech she would give at a university about overcoming drug addiction. I was hooked. Where would these adventures take our Stephanie? Not very far, it turns out. I expected a wild ride through Jodie's life, but what I received instead was a poorly written list of braggadocios about how smart she thinks she is, how awesomely deceitful she was (she uses the word "slick", but it's really just deceit), and how fancy her rehab facilities were. When I finally finished reading it, I felt terrible. Not because of the hardships that she went through in order to recover from her addiction, but because the sheer amount of money that was spent on her attempts at recovery could bring dozens of addicts out of their rut if the money had been properly allocated to them. At its heart, UnSweetined is an honest autobiography, but I don't think that we should praise it for the sake of being honest, since that, to me, seems to be the bare minimum when writing an autobiography. There's not much else going on here though.