Love You Like Suicide

Available on wattpad

What is it about? 
Author Jo Treggiari delves into a time during her teenaged years when she was dealing with drug addiction, changing friendships and a sudden desire for a different kind of life.


“In ‘Love You Like Suicide,’ Aaron hands the pen over to Jo Treggiari. Jo’s story is much darker and takes place in Oakland, more specifically, Ghost Town, an area where people walk around like the living dead. This is a story about heavy drug use and addiction. It is also about Jo’s friend, Holly, who she loves so much that it hurts. The ending is tragic, but the writing is beautiful and compelling.”

From the newspaper Slingshot #115 This refers to the Cometbus print edition of the novella. Cometbus #55.5



“Something that’s bugged me for a while with this current fixation the publishing field has with dystopias is how dystopias get glamorized. Sure, the world is pretty much in ruins, but, hey, isn’t it cool? Wouldn’t it be great to live after civilization has collapsed?

I honestly thought the whole dystopian trend was going to go away after a few years but it’s only getting stronger. (The same thing happened with vampires a while back. I thought that would fade away, too, and you can see how right I was. There’s a reason nobody comes to me looking for predictions on future trends in the field.)

But getting back to dystopias—I think this glamorization started with how street and punk culture has been depicted in genre fiction. The trouble is, with many of those books and stories, nothing convinces me that the author really understands what it would be like living on the street, or being a punk, or scrabbling to stay alive in a ruined world.

If they did, they wouldn’t romanticize it the way they do.

All those authors would do well to read this novella from Jo Treggiari (the author of Ashes, Ashes—yes, another dystopian novel, but I haven’t read it yet, so my jury’s out on it). Love You Like Suicide isn’t a piece of genre writing. Turns out it’s not even fiction. But it is one of the most raw, honestly told, harrowing things I’ve read in a long time.

Set in San Francisco’s punk scene in the 1980s, it tells the story of the author’s nihilistic life as an addict, living in squats, making art, all the while living and breathing music.

It’s not pretty. It’s not happy. The author herself isn’t sure why she’s part of that scene. She just knows she doesn’t fit anywhere else.

And that’s why she, and those like her, are there. They don’t fit anywhere. They’re wired differently—and that’s what so many of those other authors I mentioned above don’t get. They have the trappings in their writing, sometimes they even get a bit of the tone, but they don’t understand the raw pain that underlies being so disaffected.

Except it’s not only pain. There’s tenderness there as well. A desire to create…something. Of themselves, or maybe through some form of art. But the poverty, the drugs, the darkness, grinds them down until they walk around like junkie ghosts.

It’s a real-world dystopia and it’s not glamorous.

Love You Like Suicide is easily one of the best things I’ve read all year, and I hope to hell that Ashes, Ashes is even remotely as good.

Highly recommended.”

– Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine



“Issue 55.5 of Cometbus consists of Jo Treggiari’s Love You Like Suicide, which has previously appeared in a digital edition. It’s rough reading, focusing on a period of addiction, conflict, traffic accidents, and sudden intrusions of mortality — basically, the most deglamorized look at punk life one could imagine. It’s harrowing stuff, and it comes at the reader unrelentingly.” Vol.1 Brooklyn| The Zinophile




18 thoughts on “Love You Like Suicide

  1. Phenomenal and important piece, riveting from start to finish. I think incredibly validating for teenage girls who live less than perfect lives.

    1. I would have loved to read such a piece when I was that age, but I also love reading it now because although my trauma was different, it made me feel less alone in the remembering. I also appreciate reading something that is so deeply a part of you.

    1. Thanks Black Cat! Are you talking about Ashes, Ashes? There is no sequel but if you look on the website on the Ashes, Ashes page you can read three chapters of Pocketful of Posies, a companion book I started writing (just for fun).

  2. Miss. Treggiari I am a young writer currently in a writing club and and also have a friend who has a wedsite on her story. Also I am currently working on a story can you please take a look at both my firends and my stories.also may I ask you for one more favor and my writing club need a guest speaker do you have any thing we can video chat with you with.
    This my firends wedsite where her story is.
    This is some of my story:
    I walk down the street masked away from the others who abandon me. I hide from others because I am a monster raised alone by no one. I mange to stay alive. Some think I am a beast and try to kill me, and others try to sell me off. There hasn’t been a single home to allow me in without me hiding my ears and tail.
    that is my curse, to only know my name and know I am not human. to live away from others who do not understand my pain. My name is Pepper Nignt and this is my story.

  3. Hi Sindel,
    Thanks so much for writing to me.
    For various reasons I cannot read and critique your work (or your friend’s). My advice is that you read and comment on each other’s work, and read as many books as you can. That’s how I learned how to polish my own writing. Good luck with that! You have the passion to write and that is half the battle.

    1. Sorry, Sindel, I totally spaced on that part of your message. Let me look at my crazy week and let you know….Give me some idea of when you’d like to set up a Skype interview and I’ll try to make it happen.

  4. PLEASEE PLEASE tell us about pocket full of posies we are dying for it to come out!!!!! cannot wait anymore!
    Absolutely loved Ashes Ashes!

    love from India

    1. Hello Shivangi in India- that’s so nice of you to say! I wish I could tell you that P of P will be available but the truth is, I have no idea when I’ll be able to finish it. I’m working on other new stories and will hopefully be able to share some good news soon.

    1. Hi Rich,
      Sorry, only just seeing this. Thanks so much. I have written a novel (so fiction) about this time in my life and hope that some day it will be published. It took me about ten years to finish- so yes, painful but necessary I think. Someone (another writer) once told me to write the ones that are hard.

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