Laurel Daneau has moved on to a new life, in a new town, but inside she’s still reeling from the loss of her beloved mother and grandmother after Hurricane Katrina washed away their home. Laurel’s new life is going well, with a new best friend, a place on the cheerleading squad and T-Boom, co-captain of the basketball team, for a boyfriend. Yet Laurel is haunted by voices and memories from her past.
When T-Boom introduces Laurel to meth, she immediately falls under its spell, loving the way it erases, even if only briefly, her past. But as she becomes alienated from her friends and family, she becomes a shell of her former self, and longs to be whole again. With help from an artist named Moses and her friend Kaylee, she’s able to begin to rewrite her story and start to move on from her addiction.
Incorporating Laurel’s bittersweet memories of life before and during the hurricane, this is a stunning novel by one of our finest writers. Jacqueline Woodson’s haunting—but ultimately hopeful—story is beautifully told and one readers will not want to miss.
Since I've started combing the depths of YA fiction I haven't yet read a drug/addiction/disorder book. This is my first, so I'm kind of a newbie. But I have to say that this book is pretty powerful. I've never struggled with a serious addiction, but I've seen enough people succumb to it. One thing I've noticed that holds true across the board is that addiction is the symptom of a different problem or hurt, and you get to see what that hurt is for Laurel in this book. Although this is pretty grim subject matter the book is written with a hopeful tone.
This book showcases the downward spiral of Laurel. And it's painful to read. The whole time that she is telling her story, how she ended up addicted to moon (meth), I just feel so much sadness for her. I mean, this is real life. Everything is so bleak and covered in a sheen of sadness, but then along comes Moses. His character seemed to shine a light onto the pages, and you see how he has such a great effect on Laurel even when she's at her lowest low.
This book takes you on a journey through addiction. I've seen addiction from the outside, but this book is a raw glimpse into what is going on inside the head of an addict. I'm still playing parts of it through my mind. I guess you could say it's haunting my thoughts a bit. I have three kids of my own that I pray never face this kind of struggle. We all have pain in our lives in some form and deal with it in different ways, but hopefully in a healthy and productive manner.
Publication Date: February 2, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: Thank you to Penguin Books for spotlighting this book during ALA Midwinter and making it available!