Madeline has anger issues and a drinking problem and is in treatment at 16. In treatment she finds that she actually WANTS to be well. She also finds Stewart and love. When she gets out first she spends a month waiting, but their reunion isn’t as happy as she suspected. Can two addicts ever be good for each other? Can she recover from recovery?
This is the Best! Novel! About! Addiction! for Teens! I! Have! Ever! Read! Far too many novels about addiction either end with treatment or have it as an epilogue. Or maybe treatment will be the final third or half. What about after treatment? That is one of the most difficult (and therefore dramatic) times for addiction! Blake Nelson clearly understands this and delivers a knockout novel about pain, guilt, grief, loneliness, boredom, and all the other horrors of getting better and what (and who) we have to leave behind to do it. Madeline and Stewart are so real it hurts to read about them. Their pain and struggle is true to life and beautifully told. Blake has short straight forward chapters all from Madeline’s view. It is a personal style that feels like a diary or a confession, which fits the recovery plotline perfectly. I love that we get a lot of time after treatment and inside Madeline’s recovery. It doesn’t end too quickly or gloss over how long or difficult recovery is. Finally, besides being an honest and interesting look at recovery it is also a universal look at love and loss. A great read for any fan of realistic fiction.