Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review: White Lines

White Lines by Jennifer Banash

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: April 4th 2013
Pages: 304
Source: Author
Genre: Contemporary (1980s)

A gritty, atmospheric coming of age tale set in 1980s New York City.

Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream: she has her own apartment on the Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream. Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control.

I was so excited to read this book when I first heard about it. So, so excited. I really don't even know why, I just was. I jumped at the chance to get a copy of this book when it was available to me. After reading it I'm left with love/hate feelings I really can't choose between. There were so many reasons why I liked this book, but at the same time I also had a hard time liking it due to some of the same things.

This book was very deep and dark. I knew from the start this would not be a fun, fluffy book, there is no way a book with that synopsis could be. The main character, Cat, lives a nightmare, having to live on her own due to an abusive mother and an ignorant father, working night clubs to escape from reality. The one thing I really did not expect from this book was how often drugs were present in the story. Obviously I don't know very much about clubs, but I really was surprised how often Cat and the other characters were on various drugs. The whole scene of the story was extremely sad and scary. I don't often read books that involve clubs and drugs, so this was quite an eye-opener to the scene. I really understood how the character felt like she was drowning, it seemed like everywhere she turned there was bad news, and this story helped me understand why she would have chosen the life she was living.

The synopsis of this book hints that romance is a big aspect in this book, and that's really a misleading line. I really didn't feel like the romance that was hinted was really as major or as life changing for the character as the synopsis makes it sound. I also don't think that Cat's brief interaction with the boy is what caused her to try to change her way of life. I feel like there were multiple things that happened all at once that made Cat start to realize that there could be more to her life, such as a run in with her mother, and some scary things that happen at the night club. I really hate that the relationship was emphasized when it really wasn't much of the story. 

This book took awhile to get into, but once I did I found it really pretty good. It's one of those books you have to be prepared to read. If you are not in the mood for deep and dark, do not pick this book up. If you are, it's a great read.

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