Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Book Review: Beneath a Meth Moon, by Jacqueline Woodson @JackieWoodson

With sparse, lyrical prose, Beneath a Meth Moon describes a teen's fall to the depths of addiction, and we see her begin to pull herself up again.

After Laurel's mother and grandmother are killed during a hurricane, Laurel, her father, and her baby brother Jesse move to the Midwest for her father's new job. Laurel makes friends, joins the cheerleading team and seems to be handling her grief, until she meets T-Boom and he offers her something that will make all her problems go away.

For a while, the meth, or "moon" as Laurel calls it, does make her happy. She always has energy and feels great. She's in love with T-Boom and things couldn't be better. But, it doesn't stay that way.

We see the entire story from Laurel's point of view. She tells some of the details in flashbacks, which makes the story more interesting. She loves to write, and her narration is colorful and beautiful. Even her descriptions of being high are beautiful.

Laurel's relationship with Moses, who she meets as she is living on the streets, develops slowly and realistically. This isn't a romance, but Moses turns out to be one of the people who care the most about Laurel.

Nothing is sugar coated. The fact that this is a difficult habit to kick is realistically depicted. I hurt for Laurel, but I hurt more for her family -- especially her cute little brother, who couldn't really understand what was happening.

Beneath a Meth Moon is powerful. There isn't an extra word -- it's a quick read, but all the emotions are there. Woodson is unique in her use of the first person narrative, and it makes her books so easy to read and relate to. I will recommend Beneath a Meth Moon to my readers who enjoy reading about "teen issues" -- as I have done with all Woodson's books.

Published by Nancy Paulsen Books, February 2, 2012
Copy obtained from the library
192 pages (qualifies for my Books You Can Read in a Day Challenge!)

Rating: 4/5

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  1. Come to think of it, I don't think I've read any book by Woodson yet. I do have a few of her books, including this one, on my tbr pile for a while. This sounds like a powerful read just like Crank by Ellen Hopkins. Thanks for reminding me to pick this one up!

  2. I just reviewed Crank by Ellen Hopkins on my blog earlier this week. Meth is a big problem in my area, so I probably need to keep up on books like these.

  3. I do love Jacqueline Woodson. I'll have to look out for this one.

  4. I enjoyed this book and pretty much anything that Jacqueline Woodson writes. Have your high schoolers been reading it?

    1. I recently purchased it, so I haven't seen a lot of circulation yet. It is on our State Library's reading list for teens this year.


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