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"A tale of grit told with brutal honesty and a hefty dose of humor by the woman who lived it.

Pretty Wrecked is pretty awesome, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has not yet figured out how to live the life they deserve."


~ Angela Duckworth

Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Author of "Grit" and Co-Host of "No Stupid Questions"

My name is Tracy, and I am a recovering addict and alcoholic.

This is not something I am embarrassed about – quite the opposite. I am extremely proud to be part of the few percent of people that claw their way back out of the trenches of addiction and maintain years of recovery.  I grew up in a wealthy suburb of Philadelphia. I had a loving and doting mother, and access to anything I could have ever wanted or dreamed of. But addiction doesn't care. It doesn't care if you are wealthy or poor. It doesn't care about gender or race or educational status. Nope. If addiction or alcoholism comes knocking on your door – the door of your fancy mansion or your dilapidated row home – and you let it in...  it will wreak havoc on your life and the lives around you. And that's what happened to me. I believe genetically I also always had that little devil in me. My father was an alcoholic, as were a couple of his other children – my half siblings. This piece of me was waiting, dormant, until I activated it one day when I was 16 years old. My use of drugs was a response to a truly shitty situation. After years of emotional and mental abuse from my stepfather – coupled with the neglect of my real father – I decided to get high that day along with my peers. And that was it for me. I opened the door and that little devil slipped in, grabbing a hold of me, and whispered more, more, more... until it took everything. Until. Until I had a moment. Until I made a choice. Until I fought back minute by minute, day by day to reclaim my life. This choice I made over 28 years ago has defined my story ever since. Pretty Wrecked started out as a pet project. Something I felt like I needed to get out of me as I read all of these horrible articles about the opioid epidemic and fentanyl overdoses. “But I did it – I made it!” I thought to myself. And as these pages and memories and stories poured out of me, my husband told me that this was something more. This was no longer a pet project or a personal diary – this needed to get into the hands of others. He encouraged me to spread this hope.  "In order to keep it, you have to give it away," is a saying in AA. And so here we are. Here we go. I hope this book does as much for you as it did for me. Through tears and laughter, losses and wins, pain and pride. I hope some of my experience and lessons help you or a loved one in some small way.  I hope.

Tracy Viola's Debut Memoir

Marred by emotional turmoil and addiction's grip, can one teenager rise up to mend the shattered pieces of her life and soul? 

In this engrossing and unexpectedly funny memoir, ascend from the cold city streets to the Ivy League, where one woman proves it doesn’t matter where you start … it matters where you finish.


Pretty Wrecked is the inspiring true story of Tracy Viola's journey through addiction and recovery.

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