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The novel was autobiographical, and it described the many unfortunate things to befall her. This included being afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, having been raped numerous times by drug gangs, and having suffered abuse from her birth parents. Despite all of this, Erica still maintained a positive attitude about her life, and was seemingly very kind towards others.
These factors helped make the book very popular, and it was even a television show's book club selection.
According to the publisher, it was "very raw" when they received it. Due to the efforts of an editor by the name of Christine Wilkes, it was greatly improved.