Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Recovery Road by Blake Nelson

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Recovery Road by Blake Nelson
Scholastic Press, March 1, 2011

Summary from Goodreads:
From acclaimed author Blake Nelson, the story of girl meets boy...in rehab.
Madeline is sent away to Spring Meadows to help with a drinking and rage problem she has. It's a pretty intense place, but there is the weekly movie night in town--where Madeline meets Stewart, who's at another rehab place nearby. They fall for each other during a really crazy time in their lives. Madeline gets out and tries to get back on her feet, waiting for Stewart to join her. When he does, though, it's not the ideal recovery world Madeline dreamed of. Both of them still have serious problems. And Stewart's are only getting worse....

I really enjoyed this story. The chapters were pretty short, which made the story go by quickly. I found Maddie to be likable enough as a narrator. She describes herself as a hardass when she was at her worst, but we never really saw that side of her. Yes, she could be pretty mean to her friends (particularly Martin), but I think that was more because she didn't know how to be nice.

A few things bothered me about the story, though. It was a little difficult for me to not know what happens that got Maddie finally sent off to rehab. No, it doesn't really matter--the story is about recovery, after all, but I felt like I was missing a major piece of the story. I kept trying to convince myself that I didn't really need to know what Maddie was like pre-rehab, but the little glimspes that she gives us just aren't enough to get the whole picture.

Maddie's parents were the other components that bothered me. Her dad visited every now and then, and mom makes an appearence once in a while, but they are really secondary characters, and that surprises me. I don't know, they're footing the bill for Maddie's rehab (or whatever the insurance doesn't pay, I guess), but I never really see any love or affection from them. I can totes understand them being cautious around Maddie, but all those nights she's out searching for Stewart and no one bothers to demand to know where she is? I don't get love from them, I don't get mistrust from them, they're just...there.

Still, I really enjoyed this story, and watching Maddie grow from drug addict to a strong young woman. She's a powerful character.

Borrowed book from library.

Enjoy your reading!

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