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Recovery Road

by Nelson, Blake

Book list Madeline is starting junior year in rehab. She hates the losers surrounding her all except Trish. Soon the two are escaping the halfway house every Tuesday to go to the movies with other recovering addicts. It is here that Madeline meets Stewart, another recovering addict, and the two teens are immediately drawn together. What follows is a story about being in love while trying to survive sobriety. Eventually, the two are released from rehab and must return to their previous lives; for Madeline that means returning to school and her old friends and routines. Her struggle to stay sober and find a new path is realistic and the strength of the story. Her relationship with Stewart, on the other hand, has the expected narrative ups and downs. When a tragedy strikes, Madeline is left to figure out what she really wants from life and how Stewart fits into her plans. Spanning over three years, the book finds its biggest fireworks in the first half, with the rest proceeding like an extended epilogue.--Yusko, Shauna Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Nelson offers another sharply focused portrait of a teen in crisis in this story of ex-party girl Maddie, who struggles to renew herself after being released from a rehab center. At Spring Meadow, Maddie's best moments come during her fleeting romance with another young patient, Stewart. After returning home, 16-year-old Maddie counts the days until Stewart's release, hoping they can take up where they left off. Meanwhile, she battles loneliness and isolation at her high school where her earlier drunken escapades earned her the nickname "Mad Dog Maddie," and her old friends pressure her to start using again. "It's so weird being straight," Maddie thinks. "You have no defenses. Shit happens and you have to feel it." Predictably, reuniting with Stewart isn't the answer to Maddie's problems, and tension rises as both teens' resolve to stay sober shows signs of weakening. Nelson (Destroy All Cars) gives a hard, honest appraisal of addiction, its often-fatal consequences, and the high probability of relapse. This is an important story that pulls no punches. Ages 13-18. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 8 Up-After one too many incidences of drinking and fighting, Madeline Graham's parents send her to Spring Meadows, which is just one of a string of rehab centers on what is called Recovery Road. She is just getting used to the routine of it all-therapy, work, and mealtime-but then, on one fateful weekly Movie Night in town, Maddie meets Stewart, a damaged teen fighting demons of his own. The two begin an intense relationship that flourishes in the bubble of recovery's routine. Once Maddie is released, though, she finds that their connection just isn't the same, even though she still loves him. She has sex for the first time while not drunk. When she tries to move on with her life, though, she feels the need to keep rescuing Stewart from himself. The story, told by Maddie, is all about finding the wrong kind of love and trying to make it right. She and Stewart have a deep connection because they understand one another on a different level due to what they are both going through. Maddie is a strong, likable teen, and the rest of the characters are believable and genuine as they help her move on with her life after rehab. The chapters are concise, which will grab reluctant readers. This is a great book for teens who are, or know someone who is, dealing with drug or alcohol addiction. Nelson doesn't glamorize it, but paints a portrait of the struggle that people go through when fighting substance abuse.-Kimberly Castle, Medina County District Library, OH (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.