Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book in Review: Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson



Nancy Paulsen Books


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.

Why I Read This:

This was a random pick up at the library. I vaguely remembered some good reviews and thought I'd add it to my pile.


When I picked this book up I had trouble getting into it at first. It actually stayed on top of my pile, with the bookmark around page 18 for about a month. I wasn't sure if it was one of those books where I'd have to get used to the writing first, or if I just didn't like it. Then this weekend I felt like reading something different and picked it up again.

Even though I had trouble at first with the way the characters thought and talked (I had a hard time picturing what was going on because the narration was a new perspective for me) I eventually caught on and got the flow of it. When I did, I was completely blown away. This was no ordinary drug story. I guess I have trouble picturing why or how anyone can get into drugs. We all have choices when it comes to our actions. Beneath a Meth Moon blew away all those pre-conceived ideas. It made me understand how someone so young could think drugs was a good idea. Laurel starts doing meth, not because her friends or doing it or she wants to party, but because it gets her through the day.

When the story opens we meet Laurel at her worst. On meth, and totally out of it. Then the story slowly backtracks and moves forward again. We get glimpses of her life and what she's gone through. I started to understand her thought process, her fears. It was compelling and changed something in me that I didn't know existed. I recommend this to anyone who likes a gritty contemporary. It made me cry a few times. It was sad and dark. I totally loved it!

My Rating:


I read a library copy.

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