Thank you so, so much to Quercus for sending me a proof of this book. This is, by far, one of the best contemporary pieces of YA fiction I’ve read. Juno Dawson is an absolute genius and we can bow down to her as such a creative author.
This will be a SPOILER FREE review as this book was in proof form. Let me know if you’ve read it though, I’d love to discuss it with you!
Life for Lexi Volkov is meant to be easy – she lives the high life and could have anything she wants with just a mention of her surname. Designer clothes, make up, holidays, drugs. It’s the last one that Lexi is so hooked on, thinking that she’s just a casual user. When she’s dragged, near comatose, to a rehab facility by her brother Lexi knows she’s hit rock bottom. It’s here where she meets fellow patients, each one as broken and as addicted to something as her. Through her time in the facility, Lexi opens up about her childhood, her destructive relationships, but refuses to let the one dark secret spill from her lips. The secret that sent her tumbling over the edge…
This book is sharp. It’s definitely not afraid to pull any punches and shock you with the true horrors of addiction. Throughout the story we are shown the stages of recovery but not just for Lexi, but the other characters too. There is a whole load of different characters struggling with their own issues and addictions, which helps Lexi to grow and understand her own troubles. However, a dark secret is still at the back of her mind, threatening to come to the surface, and Lexi won’t allow that to happen. It was so interesting to see this secret slowly unravel, and the discovery of what it is was sad and so very unfortunate.
The writing is fast paced, with short chapters at just the right moment to really set in either a sense of dread, urgency, excitement, or even all three. The language of the book was also quite refreshing as it sounded very realistic to the generation of teenagers that the book is about. Of course, I’m nowhere near the social elite that Lexi and the other patients are used to, but it was intriguing to read the language be very modern and in-date. It doesn’t shy away from the topic either which is brilliant! It’s right there in your face at all times; it’s dirty, scary, and oh so worrisome. Lexi’s journey through the book is not easy, and we really see her at her lowest moments as the realisation of her addiction smacks her in the face. There are moments of joy, moments of horror, moments of utter disgust, and moments of realisation. This book is raw and unfiltered, but saying any more will give it all away. Make sure you pre-order this book, as it’s due out 5th April this year!
For now, my lips are sealed…..