Addictarium Book Cover Addictarium
Nicole D'Settēmi
Fiction, Memoir
The Book House of Seviles & Nicole Settimi
September 1st 2016
Kindle, Paperback

When photography student, wild child, and self-anointed "creative, nomadic Spirit," Danielle Martino finds herself curled in a ball on the cold tile floors of her filthy rank bathroom in the tiny studio she rents with her fiancé and partner-in-crime, she knows it's time to quit abusing heroin. Severely impaired from shooting "bad dope," and already partially blind from the infection that the poisoned bag has caused, she is forced to hitch a greyhound bus to New York City, and to abandon her care-free, American-bohemian, drug infested life-style.
Upon her arrival to Manhattan, she is immediately admitted to Bellevue Hospital, and incidentally, stuffed with anti-fungals and anti-biotics, all while withdrawing from heroin, and the severely draining reality of coming off of drugs. It is then that she is placed in New York City's notorious therapeutic community, Safe Haven Village--the quintessential rehab for felons, addicts, homeless patrons, and the mentally ill.
Danielle comes to find out the first year of treatment, titled "The Boot Camp Phase" has nothing on re-entry's bizarre "palace of panic!" She is recklessly plucked and thrown into the Queens, New York program, where she impulsively--and, desperately--commits to only graduating and leaving the program, after she finishes school, and seeks employment. The community is there to help addicts put the finishing touches on their "new, sober lives," or so they say...
With a facility that closer resembles a homeless shelter or mental ward, this is one girl's journey towards a healthy recovery, despite all circumstances against her, interlaced with tales of the corruption ignored in New York City government-operated-and-funded drug recovery system(s), and the wounded, vacant, nomadic broken souls, who are dumped in these places, and often forgotten about. This bold and candid story highlights in the starkest of lights, why it is so difficult for addicts to gain the recovery they seek, when they do finally decide to "put the drug down."
Especially for Danielle, as weaved throughout this tale we witness the complicated and confusing relationships formed between addicts, through desperation, loneliness, and misunderstanding.
From the beginning drama ensues, when her closest confidante and companion, Karen Frodge, is pimped out and eventually back on the needle. Another pair of comrades seduce Danielle into a dysfunctional sexual, triangular relationship, where all three are set to lose, while she finds herself jamming 7 hits of acid down her throat, stabbing herself in the leg while doped up and panic-stricken, and chronically relying on other substances to mask her addiction to heroin. We watch Danielle go from suicide worship, "neurotica," and masochistic-and-habitual self destruction, to finally--at last, a legit fight for recovery, in this "house of broken souls."
Danielle who was also dumped and discarded of by her fiancé of six years, on the day of her third eye surgery--to continue his own reckless lifestyle of sex, drugs and partying--ends up in the seat of counselor; Angel Rodriguez.
Enter more chaos.
Angel is a Latin, Brooklyn-bred counselor, 20 years her senior, and immediately, Danielle is attracted to him.

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the author for free in exchange for an honest review, in no way my opinion about the book was affected by this. I judge the books only not the authors.

Triggers: self harm, rape, mental illnesses (although not stated explicitly) 

If you have not read this book yet just pick it and do it right now. 

This is the best autobiography/fiction book that I have read so far that touches so delicate matters in such a raw way. I loved everything about it. 

The writing style is ”addictive”, so vivid and quirky and it teleports you into the author’s world without you even realizing it.

For those of you not familiar with what it is like to be a drug addict this is the best book to start with. It  describes the addiction in such a great way with no covers no hidden truths is all there naked and exposed the cruel reality those people are having to face each day of they life. The struggles, the pain both emotional and physical, the feeling of being alone and afraid to lose it all. Is all there all the feelings you could ever possibly imagine are there gathered in one place there to hurt you to stab you and bring awareness of what is going on in those peoples’ lives while being on acid or heroin or some other chemical. 

I really appreciated the fact that Nicole engaged in topics that are tickling your brain forcing it work and think. To be honest I felt connection with her as I myself used to self-harm and I really do know this dark awful unwelcoming place. Thrust me it is a place you would not want to explore ever and she is representing it in such an intelligent way. I love her I love the book everything was perfect from the very beginning till the very end.  

An addictive masterpiece I would say! 

I do not want to spoil anything if the book however here are some quotes/passages that really hit me:


“He didn’t let his surroundings affect him negatively, but altered them to his liking, rather. He believed in the power of illusion, relied on it for survival, emotionally otherwise.”

“My life is a funeral.” I replied evenly.
“Our generation The lost children”

”We had been brainwashed by ourselves, and our inability to want to be ourselves, our minds now conditioned to believe that if we bought the newest technology, followed the latest trends, owned the most expensive cars and homes and appliances, we would be accepted and no longer have to worry about tending to the conditioning of our own individuality. It was so much easier for people to sacrifice individuality, by identifying with culture, and its ten thousand branches, what was in at the moment.”

This book deserves 10 stars! 


 About the author

Author Nicole D’Settēmi is a 33 year old writer, currently living in upstate New York. She has lived in five regions nationally, including South Florida and New York City. She has always been a self-described “poetic, nomadic, creative soul,” and is an enthusiast of a variety of artistic mediums, but considers writing her number one form of art, and feels everything else is just an extension of that passion and creative outlet.
Nicole was raised in Niagara Falls, a tiny town bordering Canada, and can remember being as young as six, when writing her first lyrical, and philosophical poems. She specifically pin-points two pieces during those years, titled “If I Ruled the World,” and “If the World Ended.” She also points out being selected at 6, for the “Young Authors Club,” which was a city-wide project.
Nicole won two city-wide essay contests between the ages 9-11, which was when she received her first word processor, and then typewriter. By 12 she started a fan-club and newsletter for her childhood hero, as well as penning letters to over 30 pen-pals internationally. She also had a poem named “And So It Begins” published which was written at 12.
Though Nicole (who was an honor student) rebelled by 15, and was incidentally expelled from school, she still wrote habitually. She once showed her “alternative-school” teacher a poem titled: “That’s Life,” which she penned at 14. He was so impressed with the piece; he had it faxed to every school in the city.
At 16 Nicole was uprooted from her small town and moved to Boca Raton, where she felt displaced and started to deal with depression. Hereditarily, mental illness and substance abuse ran rapid in her family tree, and by 20 she experimented with a plethora of chemical substances. By 23, she became addicted to shooting heroin, and was engaged to her co-conspirator and partner-in-crime. She attended an art school for photo journalism, but withdrew half-way through the year, due to a devastating addiction to injecting various drugs.
“Addictarium” was written while she spent two years in a therapeutic community for seriously addicted, and mentally ill, patrons. The book outlines many of the experiences she went through in the second phase of treatment, which she dubbed “the village,” because of its extreme and eccentric melting pot of personalities.
During her tenure at Daytop, Nicole separated with her fiancé, and while in her stay at the recovery program in Queens New York, met her current fiancé, who was initially her substance abuse counselor. The book is also highly reflective of their relationship and its roots. Nicole credits the Latin, Brooklyn-bred counselor, 18 years her senior, with “saving her from herself.”
Nicole can now be found residing in the Poughkeepsie area with her fiancé, Miguel. They are both artists, and run a modest side business creatively assisting those in need of artistic direction digitally. Nicole is currently planning to eventually pen a prequel to Addictarium. She is also outlining a third individual novel, Narssitopia, which she claims will be a “psycho-dramatic thriller.”

Contact Details 

Website / Twitter / Amazon

A big thanks to Booktasters and Nicole for this opportunity! 

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