Thursday, April 5, 2012

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson

Laurel remembers the past...the day the hurricane came in and took her mom and grandmother.  After two years of deciding what to do with their lives, Laurel's father has moved them far away.  Now she's land-bound by green fields instead of the green of the water, and Laurel doesn't think she'll ever by happy. That quickly changes.

In fact, she makes friends right off the bat (easy to do in a small town)and becomes involved in cheerleading in her new hometown.  It's small, but life seems to be taking a turn for the better.  Laurel still sees water waves and her mother in her dreams, but her days are getting better.  In fact, one night they get infinitely better when she meets T-Boom, captain of the basketball team.

He told her he had dreams for their future.  He told her he'd be wealthy and independent.  He told her she was the most beautiful girl in the world.  He told her she should try chasing the moon.  And she believed everything he told her.

Now, she's sitting on a cold street in pain.  Her bones hurt, her teeth hurt, her skin itches.  She needs another hit.  Nothing else matters.  Her life took another it too late?

Woodson takes a tale of emotional pain, misplaced trust, and methanphetamines and weaves a tale of hope, loss, love, and survival with near poetic quality.  The reader watches Laurel's descent and can only hope she sees the salvation the other characters see within her reach.  There is a distinct undertone of faith and religion, woven throughout the novel but without overpowering the storyline itself.  In fact, it adds to the unique culture of small towns and they way the people in small towns react to adversity when it comes to their children and safety.  It was refreshing to read about the subject of drug abuse and the worlds teens live in without the underlying grittiness seen in other novels with the same plot.  This is one that can be placed at junior high or high school and is a fast read.  Very Recommended.

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