August 2014, Grosvenor House Publishing, 498 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Content: strong drug use, suicide, tissues needed
After suffering an unthinkable loss, Abbey Miller and her family move to Leeds to rebuild their lives and start again, but the pain and grief that Abbey carries with her is impossible to escape. As she finds herself becoming increasingly isolated from her family, she develops a firm friendship with Lucy, Nathan and Liam, who introduce her to a brand new and exciting world, far removed from all of her problems.
But will her new friends bring her the light hearted relief she has longed for? Or will she find herself getting drawn deep into their dangerous and intoxicating world?
I was drawn to review this book because someone I went to school with when I was little had a drug overdose this year. It is a tragedy, and there is no way to make this theme 'nice'. Because of Abbys personal tragedy involving suicide, she is really vulnerable. It's no surprise she accepts friendship from people who save her from the school bullies, even if they lead her off the rails more than a little bit.
I understood why Abby acted the way she did, and made her decisions, even if they definitely weren't ones I'd pick. The real reason why her family seem to ostracize her is explained gradually, and when I realised the truth my heart ached for all Abby went through emotionally. Hers was the hardest loss of all, I thought that the way Abby knew about drugs but didn't take them for a while was important. The moment she did, well life went downhill even though it seemed to improve for her social standing.
I feel I'm in a bit of a unique position in that I have to take ketamine as part of my chronic pain treatment. I take it legally on prescription. It is a class C drug, which some what to increase to class B. Drugs are bad, as Abby finds out. You never know the effects they cause. I was pretty ill the first few times I took ketamine. Now, well, I totally understand why people get addicted to drugs. It seems ironic that I'm writing this review while trying to get over the hyperactivity which I get after ketamine. I have euphoria, and I'm completely lucid, but I have a need to keep going, to stay active. So I write reviews Abby certainly didn't do that, she parties hard and takes different drugs.
Yes, sometimes drugs can make you feel good, I'm not denying that. But the health risks, many of which are unknown especially if you take drugs illegally without medical supervision are not worth it. Seriously, I can get hyper on sugar. Go eat chocolate! Feeling hyper is all well and good, but it's not fun when you have to stay up 20-22 hours just so you will sleep well the next day. Abby ends up in situations where she is no longer at home, so she can sleep in and do whatever she likes. The new found freedom comes at a price.
Those in the drug underworld are cruel and only want their money. Abby gets tangled up in drug dealing vendettas, which impact not only her life but her family's. I once thought people who took drugs were homeless or came from terrible backgrounds. Both my personal experience and Abby's story proved me wrong. It seemed logical for Abby to take drugs, given the mental instability she experienced because she didn't get the support that she truly needed from her family, so she was happy to accept the release drugs allegedly gave her.
I didn't notice how long Abby's story is because I couldn't stop reading it. I read it solidly one afternoon, and was in shock when the last page appeared, no least because of the massive plot twist I didn't see coming. Wow! I can't say how I expected the book to end, other than it wasn't like that. I will definitely reread this compelling read which explores all aspects of the impact of drugs in the future!
For another read involving drugs check out Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen (New Adult, 9/10E)