This is a horror story- not in the cinimatic slasher/monster sense, but in the sense that it is jarring to think that these things REALLY happened to a REAL person. It is a slow-motion documentary of one girl's transformation from a bright and promising child to the walking cadavar of a heroin addict. No anti-drug message in any commercial, movie, or book has ever come close to affecting me to the extent that this novel has. German is my second language, and my vocabulary is rusty, but don't be intimidated by this book- it is written simply and is easily read by students with a year or two of German.Better than the movie, but the movie is also worth a view (German students: read the book, then see if you can follow the movie in German!) The soundtrack includes some of David Bowie's darkest, creepiest music, which serves well to recreate the mood of the book.