Hurricane Katrina took her mother and granmother. And even though Laurel Daneau has moves on to a new life--one that includes a new best friend, a spot on the cheerleading squad, and dating the co-captain of the football team--she can't get past the pain of that loss. Then her new boyfriend introduces her to meth, and Laurel is instantly seduced by its spell, the way it erases, even if only temporarily, her memories. Soon Laurel is completely hooked, a shell of her former self, desperate to be whole again, but lacking the strength to break free. But with the help of a new friend--and the loyalty of an old one--she is able to rewrite her own story and move on with her own life.
Dreamlike in quality and weaving flashbacks to the hurricane in with Laurel's present-day struggles, this is a stunning novel that readers won't want to miss.
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I tried to run but the hurting was back, and the cold was like a wall pushing against me.
I stopped—my breath coming heavy—and turned, ready to tell M’Lady and Mama to go to Jackson. It’s dry in Jackson.
Laurel, is that you?
Slowly, Mama faded, and M’Lady turned into my friend Kaylee, shivering on her front porch. I looked around—how had I gotten on her street when Donnersville was in the other direction?
We stared at each other a long time. I could tell she was looking me over, taking in my ragged coat and bloody lips.
Laurel, she said, look at you. Look at yourself! Who did you turn into?!
ALSO BY JACQUELINE WOODSON
Last Summer with Maizon
The Dear One
Maizon at Blue Hill
Between Madison and Palmetto
I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This
From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun
The House You Pass on the Way
If You Come Softly
After Tupac and D Foster
Brown Girl Dreaming
Caught in the grip
Also By Jacqueline Woodson
pass christian, mississippi
this storm coming
daddy: part one
water rising up
daddy: part two
making the moon
stop, look and listen
beneath a meth moon
the second coming of moses
lord, do remember me
moses and rosalie
another second chance
elegy for mama and m’lady
Jacqueline Woodson Discusses Beneath a Meth Moon
Questions for Discussion
An Excerpt from Brown Girl Dreaming
An Excerpt from If You Come Softly
Before I traveled my road, I was my road . . . —Antonio Porchia
This road . . .
IT’S ALMOST WINTER AGAIN and the cold moves through this town like water washing over us. My coat is a gift from my father, white and filled with feathers. My hair is healthy again and the wind whips the white-blond strands of it over my face and into my eyes so that from far away, I must look like some pale ghost standing at the corner of Holland and Ankeny, right where the railroad track moves through Galilee, then on to bigger towns. My hands pressing the small black notebook to my chest, my head back, eyes closed against the wind and early falling snow. This is me now. This is me on this new road . . . Later, I’ll write this down—how early the snow came, how surprising, how the flakes drifted white and perfect around me. I’ll write, “The moon was finally out of me, and maybe because of this, everything felt new and clean and good . . .”
In the distance, I hear a train whistle blowing—coming from far off. But fast-moving . . . toward me.
On days like this, with so much beauty circling me, it’s hard not to feel a hundred years old. Hard not to let the past come raining down. Hard not to think about not deserving this kind of beauty, this kind of cold. This . . . this clarity. But Moses and Kaylee keep telling me that fifteen is just another beginning, like the poet with the two roads and his own choice about which one he’d be taking. You got a whole lot of roads, Kaylee says to me. And some days, I believe her. As I walk down this one . . . I believe her.
Kaylee says, Write an elegy to the past . . . and move on. She says it’s all about moving on. I’ve read about it, Laurel. You write all the time. You can do this.
So I’ll begin it this way—It’s almost winter again . . . Soon, Moses will join me here. He’ll walk along these tracks with his bag slapping against the side of him. He’ll see me in my white coat and smile. He’ll see me here—living. Something neither one of us can hardly believe.
Together we’ll sit by the edge of the tracks and talk real quiet about moving forward—over that crazy year. I’ll put my head on his shoulder and tell him again about my life in Pass Christian, the house we lived in there, my mama, about Jesse Jr. being born fast in the night. About M’lady.
And Moses, my brother-friend . . . Moses, my anchor and my shore, will lift the collar of my coat higher up around my ears, pull my hat from my pocket and make me put it on.
I’m painting over those snowflakes, Moses will say. One by one, they’re slowly fading out of here.
As I begin this story, I believe him.
THE FIRST TIME MOSES dropped a dollar in my cup, I didn’t even know his name. I looked up at him, glad for the dollar. Maybe I said thanks, but it’s blurry sometimes, my memory is. One moment clear as water, then another moment, and it’s like somebody’s erasing bits and pieces of it.
What I’m seeing as I write this down are the shadows, brown and black and some kind of blue that maybe was the jacket he was wearing, a can of spray paint in one hand, a brush in his other. Maybe it was night. Maybe I asked him his name, because he said, I’m Moses. And I said, Then this must be the promised land. The Bible comes to me that way—quick and sharp like a pain. I had just turned fifteen, and with it came a new way of talking and smiling to get what I wanted. Maybe I was thinking I could get another two dollars out of his pockets.
But Moses just looked at me like he was looking at someone familiar and strange at the same time. Most kids just passed me by, laughing, sometimes throwing whatever they’re carrying at me—half a candy bar, an empty potato chip bag, a soda can. But Moses stopped, looked at me, put that dollar in my cup, said, Did you know Ben? I’m painting that wall for his mom.
Maybe I knew right then he was different.
No, I said. I don’t know anybody by that name.
She wants it to say “Ben, 1995–2009. We’ll always wonder about the man you could’ve been,” Moses said. Then she wants me to put “We love you forever” at the bottom. In small letters. Like she’s whispering it to him. That’s what she said—“Like I’m whispering it.”
You can hardly see it with the sun almost down. Moses pointed at the wall. Beauty wasted, he said. Look at him.
Maybe I squinted across where the painting was getting started. Maybe I saw a pale outline—the beginning of the ending of Ben. It didn’t mean anything to me, though.
I asked Moses if he played ball, because he looked real tall standing there, and I figured he might have seen me cheering. I was hard to miss on the court. At least that’s what people said, but I saw the way his smile went away.
We don’t all play ball, he said.
I would have asked him about this we all thing. But other people started passing by, and I needed to make some money. You stay blessed, Moses, I said, by way of saying “good-bye, now,” but trying not to be rude because he had dollars he was sharing with strangers.
Maybe I smiled, because he looked at me again for a quick second, and I think that was because of where T-Boom chipped my tooth when we were still together. T-Boom’s got the whole tooth missing, and after we knocked out each other’s teeth, I guess we figured there wasn’t anything left to do, so we stopped going out. But of course I still saw him—sometimes two or three times a day.
Moses had his girl with him. She looked down at me like I didn’t even have a right to be living, but I just gave the look right back to her. She took her phone out of her pocket and dialed a number, said Hey, baby, then turned away from us, talking real quiet into it.
You must have some people somewhere, Moses said.
I pulled my top lip down over the chipped tooth, looked away from him and shook my head. I hadn’t felt any shame about that tooth before and didn’t know why I was feeling it now.
My people are gone.
Gone dead, Moses asked, or gone gone?
He nodded, squinting at me like he was trying to put some puzzle together.
The girl put the phone in her bag and turned back around, pulling at his arm, saying they were gonna be late. She talked like she’d been schooled in the real right way to say things: “We’re. Going. To. Be. Late. Moses.”
I’ll be back around to work on that wall tomorrow, he said to me, then let his girl pull him out of my line of vision.
And I guess I forgot about him, because it was getting real cold and I was thinking about getting to the House before T-Boom went home to his own mama and ate her dinner, then watched some of his mama’s TV and went to bed in the room he grew up in. And once the House closed, you couldn’t go looking for T-Boom at his mama’s because she didn’t know anything about where his money was coming from, so I let myself shiver until a few more quarters and dollars fell into my hat and then I put my sign away in my bag, blew my nose on my bandanna and packed up shop for the night. I got up and shook my legs to get the blood running back through them. The fuzz went away from my mind. A lady and man were walking toward me, and for a quick minute I smiled, thinking, Here comes my daddy. Coming to take me home. But then the man just patted his pockets and gave me one of those I’m sorry looks. The woman didn’t look at me at all. I stood there watching them move quick past where I was standing. Something got hard and heavy inside of me, and I knew real deep that my daddy wasn’t coming here to get me. Not this time. Not anymore.
THE HOUSE WAS DARK by the time I hitched and walked the four miles to it. Another four miles past it and I’d be at my own house—where maybe my daddy and Jesse Jr. were sitting down in front of the television, eating spaghetti with sauce from a jar. No green vegetables to speak of, like how it would be if I was still living with them. It had been weeks, maybe even months since I’d last seen them, and a part of me wanted to keep walking until I got to our door, opened it up and said, Hey, Daddy, your baby girl is home. But it’d been a long time since I’d been his baby girl. A long time since I’d helped Jesse Jr. hold the garlic press up high, letting the juice drip down over a bowl of hot spaghetti till the whole house smelled like the promise of something good coming.
I felt myself starting to shake and kicked at the broken-down door on the House, hollering loud for T-Boom to open it.
There was smoke coming out of the chimney, so I knew he was inside. The old gray boards nailed to the windows flapped where wind pushed up underneath them, and even from way off there was the smell of something bitter burning.
I kicked at the door again, calling T-Boom’s name so loud my throat hurt.
You lost your mind, girl? You want the police all over me?
He’d gotten skinnier over the months, and his hair was long, coming almost to his shoulders. The plaid shirt he was wearing had a hole in the arm. I used to love the way he looked in that shirt, the red and black squares of it, the way he’d pull the collar up when he was cold. Now I just stared hard at the hole, trying to find somewhere besides him to put my eyes.
You heard me calling you the first time. I know you did.
He held out his hand, and I put the money in it. Mostly quarters but some dollar bills, too. My stomach hurt from missing lunch, but I knew the moon would fill that hunger up quick.
T-Boom shivered, shaking a little as he counted the money. You still out by Donnersville?
Excerpted from "Beneath a Meth Moon"
Copyright © 2013 Jacqueline Woodson.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Beneath A Meth Moon moves back and forth through time and is told by the main character, Laurel. She’s lost both her mother and grandmother in Hurricane Katrina and moves from her home to a new town with her father and little brother. Laurel is a writer and was encouraged by her grandmother to keep writing everything down and this encouragement continues when she meets a new friend, Kaylee. The words aren’t enough though and in her despair she finds solace in a new boyfriend and with him comes his addiction and supply of meth. She quickly becomes addicted as well and ends up living on the streets due to her addiction. There she meets Moses, an artist, who knows just what Laurel is up to and calls her on it, letting her know that she is going to end up dead if she continues on this way. This book is written as an elegy, which I have never read before. I read this quickly and in one evening, it is short and the words are printed in a large font on the pages. Even if it weren’t formatted that way, I still would have finished it quickly as it was truly engrossing. It is a very emotional story that deals with loss and being lost and not knowing how to process the feelings. The author has handled all of these thoughts and feelings wonderfully and made it very easy to relate to what Laurel is going through. Tears flowed again and again as I was reading and I was surprised that a short read could be so emotional and compelling. I can see this book being something teachers and parents will want their children to read as well due to the life lesson learned and the horrible reality of addiction. Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
Beneath a Meth Moon was a very well written book that will just suck you into the story. While reading about Laurel whose mother and grandmother were killed in hurricane Katrina, you feel like you could be one of the students who know her. It makes you feel like a part of it especially when you are growing up with drug pressures today like Laurel, when T-Boom gets her hooked on the "moon", you may know what it's like to be offered. Her new friend Kaylee has met her long enough to know her without the moon, long enough to have to deal with the addiction and separation from life Laurel is doing to herself. Jacqueline Woodson has somewhere found the perfect line between the edge of a depressing addiction with many realistic connections. The book was a very quick read, not because it was short, but because i didn't want to put it down within the two days i read it in. You will have to pick up this book for yourself to see what happens to Laurel and if she ever pieces her life back together.
Like Ellen Hopkins¿ writing, this book brings the harsh realities of addiction to teens. Laurel is fifteen and has lost her mother and grandmother to flooding caused by a severe hurricane in the Mississippi/New Orleans area. Overwhelmed with loss, Laurel fills the void with a new boyfriend ¿ the football player T-Bone. He immediately introduces her to meth ¿ or ¿moon¿ as he calls it. What begins as a quick high, quickly becomes a serious addiction. Soon Laurel forsakes her family and friends to live on the streets and beg for money to buy ¿moon¿. Woodson gives her story a gritty reality of the allure of the drug. The change from cute cheerleader to an ugly addict is swift and stunning. Moses, a gay Black artist, reaches out to help Laurel. He is a painter of souls lost to meth and has suffered from a personal loss of his own. Woodson is spare with connecting plot, quickly transitioning from current situations to past memories. While it takes a moment to get one¿s bearing, the background story adds to the character development. Despite the lack of subplot, the story of addiction moves quickly with its single focus on the pathetic life of a junkie.
If you are an adult and want to know the true effects of meth - maybe not the right book for you. But this is a great book for teens and parents to discuss together and the effects meth has on not only a user, but also on the parents, siblings and friends. I have not had a family member get involved with Meth, but I work in the court system and have seen the aftermath and how it effects children, spouses, parents and friends. This book does do a good job of showing the effects of Meth so a YA could understand. I think this book would be an excellent book for a parent and teen to read together.From the book-"Her heart stopped when I was five. But she'd been doing meth for a while before that, so the way I figure it, her heart had stopped working, stopped loving, long before it stopped beating."
A first-hand account of a girl's descent into Meth addiction and subsequent homelessness and degradation. Similar to CRANK in its urgency and theme. Not great literature but good at what it does and sure to be popular.
Am I the only person out here in the bloggerverse who has not read a book by Woodson? I fully expect to hear the sound of crickets. Of course I know I'm being histrionic. But only slightly. 'Cuz seriously, how many of you guys have raved about Locomotion and Woodson's "lyrical" writing.And she didn't really disappoint me. Beneath the Meth Moon is a really quick read and yeah, I can see how people would refer to her writing as lyrical. This quick little book read more like a poem rather than prose, although let me be straight, it is not written in poem format. It's just we get the essence of the plot rather than the details. We get the feelings that went along with the loss and betrayal and frustration and aloneness that occurs when addicted to a drug. (Or addicted to anything?)Here's the thing, though, if I'm gonna be honest. And I am cuz this is where I get to voice my thoughts. Beneath a Meth Moon is a full-force-read-in-one-sitting kinda novel. BUT it is also one that can easily be forgettable. As I see it, I read this book two days ago and am writing this review on vague notions rather than solid meaty depth.
This quick read delves into loss, addiction, love, and perseverance. Introduced as an elegy to her drug-addicted self, the timeline jumps around, tracing Laurel's loss, recovery, and addiction. Laurel, her dad, and baby brother relocate to Iowa after losing their mom and grandma during a hurricane. Lauren tries meth and falls for the moon. Packed an emotional punch with sparse language. Loads of Biblical names and allusions peppered throughout the story.
WOW. Beneath a Meth Moon was addictive. When I started reading it, I wasn't connecting with the protagonist, which now I've finished the book, I think may have been intentional on the part of the author. Well, anyway, I didn't think I was going to love the book when I started because of that lack of connection, but through the flashbacks to her life before meth, I came to care for her and her family. The flashbacks helped shed light on the events that led up to her addiction and why, maybe, she continued using. Once I got about 40 pages in, I couldn't put it down. I needed to find out what happened. I liked that this novel didn't make drug use seem attractive, which some tend to do (sometimes inadvertently). It shows the reader how much can be lost and how hard it can be to quit using. I will definitely be recommending it to patrons without fear of parental concerns.
This beautifully written, gut-wrenching story about 15 year-old meth addict Laurel is going to fly off my shelves come February 2012. I cannot wait to start recommending this book to my teens. It is honest, terrifying, and completely relate-able for any teen or adult. This book is appropriate for any teen, 12 and up.
Once I picked up this book to read, I had to put it down quickly. I had only read a few pages, but I already knew that this was a book that once I started reading I would not be able to put it down. I was right too, I waited until I had a day to read, and by the end of that day I had finished it and I had cried more than once. This book is about a young girl named Laurel Daneau, who struggles with an addiction to meth, which she refers to as Moon. Laurel lived with her father and younger brother, who had all evacuated from their hometown when the hurricane was coming in. Her grandmother, M'Lady, refused to evacuate, which led Laurel's mother to stay behind to help look after M'Lady. This hurricane devastated their hometown and Laruel's mother and grandmother did not survive the storm. Laurel's father eventually found a new job in a new state, and he relocated his family there. This new town is where Laurel is first introduced to the moon, and her life spiraled quickly out of control. This book did not start out in a very happy place like I expected it to. This story started with the main character deep in her addiction, not quite at her lowest spot... but close. Some of the conversations that Laurel had with Moses, and her memories of life before the hurricane moved me to tears. This was such a great book to read.
I picked this book up a little unsure as to wether it would be something I could "get into." It most definitly was! Following Laurel on her journey as a wounded yet innocent young teen into the clutches of a powerful drug was emotionally powerful. Her struggle to get clean, the relationships she hurt, and the powerful love of family, leave you thinking about this book long after you have put it down. The writers knowledge of the way meth affects its users is a bonus in this writing is a plus so that the reader understands the difficulty Laurel faces to turn away from it.
When a devastating hurricane rips through her small Mississippi town, Laurel's mother and grandmother stay behind to ride out the storm and end up dead. Laurel, her father and brother move to Iowa to start over, and things begin to look up for her. She makes the cheerleading squad and begins to date T-Boom, one of her school's star basketball players. Even though things are looking up for Laurel, she can't get over the loss of her family members, so when T-Boom offers her some moon (meth), she revels in the way it makes her pain disappear. Soon, Laurel finds herself living on the streets, addicted to meth, still unable to cope with her loss. When she meets Moses, a gay street artists who paints pictures of the souls lost to meth, she connects with him. Moses has suffered a personal loss of his own and just may be the person who can help Laurel find her way back to the life she once had.I've read several novels lately about meth addiction, some more powerful than others, and I must say that Ms. Woodson's story is very compelling. Luckily, I've never suffered from a drug addiction or known anyone who has, but I can imagine it's a devastating ordeal, and Ms. Woodson definitely captures Laurel's loss and her descent from cheerleader to junkie very well. The writing is elegant and poetic, and flows nicely, though at times I struggled to keep my bearings straight as the story flips between past and present quite quickly. The characters are all compelling and well-drawn, and I was particularly drawn to the character of Moses. This is a quick read at just under 200 pages, but one definitely worth checking out.(Review based on an Advanced Reader's Copy courtesy of the publisher via Library Things Earlier Reviewers program)
Beneath a Meth Moon was a nice, short and fast read. It gave me the perspective of someone, Laurel, who I never would have thought to exist. However, I would say that this book was not for my age group. I would highly recommend the ages 13-15 or middle school students to read. Maybe even entering freshman at high school. It would be very educational, and help prevent people from doing meth.
Woodson creates a raw reality in Beneath a Meth Moon. Laurel is faced with love lost, love found, and love surviving in this novel. As I tore through the pages to understand Laurel's story, I found many parallels to my own life and the lives of my students. Woodson paints a true picture of an addict and teens will surely connect with Laurel and her journey to find love again.
This book was not what I was hoping for, to say the least. I understood where the writer was coming from in terms of the writing style, but I found it confusing and not as powerful as possible with such a huge subject. In essence, the novel is the story of Laurel had become addicted to Meth. This is a huge topic and very important, yet the impact of it on Laurel's life is not portrayed in a way that made me care. The story is told from Laurel's point of view; memories are told in fragments (since she doesn't remember it all). I guess that makes sense to the story, but it makes the plot hard for the reader to figure out. Also, I don't know if it is different in the finished copy, but the ARC's have no quotation marks! Everything is in italics so it is hard to differentiate conversations from inner thoughts. This was a quick read (quick meaning short, not consuming). I read it almost straight through, but I did not get the same feelings that books like Speak, Don't Breathe a Word or Want To Go Private? left me with. I wish I could sit this book next to those I mentioned, I wish that it portrayed the subject powerfully.... it just didn't. Disappointed.
Although i've never had problems with addiction, I have known people that have struggled with these issues, and the mind of an addict is something that truely intrigues me. This story focuses on the demise of Laurel, who after losing her monther and grandmother during Hurricane Katrina, moves to a new town, and meets T-Boom the star basketball player who has eyes for only Laurel, but also has eyes for the moon, aka meth. Laurel gets caught up in the moon and quickly falls subject to a serious addiction. Her life spirals out of control and Jacqueline Woodson really puts you inside of an addicts head with her writing. This book is extremely fast-paced and intense, which I liked, but I felt like I couldn't really connect with any of the characters, they felt fleeting and I felt like I couldn't really grasp who they were. If you like books that deal with addiction, then I feel like you'd enjoy this book, I just felt that it was too short for me to really connect with the characters enough to feel their emotions in a way that made it really hit home for me, but still feel like it's worth reading.
This is an author who does not disappoint. An award winning Newbery and Coretta Scott King recipient, this latest book packs a wallop.When 15 year old Laurel Daneua moves to a new area with her father and little brother after her mother and grandmother were killed in Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina, despite the incredible grief and heartache,the family valiantly tries to pick up the pieces and start again.Finding a new friend who introduces her to meth quickly equates to a life swirling into a deep, dark tunnel. Even though Laurel has a support base of those who love her, she chooses the drug to mask the pain of loss.Woodson powerfully portrays the gritty down fall and harsh reality of the frightening power of meth.Highly recommended.
After losing her mother and grandmother to a flood, Lauren moves with her father and little brother to a small town to start over. Things look good - she's a cheerleader dating a basketball star. Then her boyfriend introduces her to meth.
I have to say that this book was fantastic. Woodson was poetic as always, and yet she pulled no punches in writing about the effects of meth. The juxtaposition of such beautiful writing about something so ugly was amazing. I particularly liked the back story for the protagonist, the idea that the tragedy she faced with hurricane Katrina was what threw her life into the whirlwind that made her susceptible to meth. The destruction of her family and her younger brother's unfailing love were particularly touching. My eighth grade students are eating this book up and hopefully, in the process, learning about the dangers of drugs.
As both a Katrina survivor and a recovering addict, I was very excited to receive this book to review. Then I sat it on my shelf for a month, scared to read it.In some ways, Woodson is dead on, particularly with the descriptions of Laurel's panic attacks when it rains (or she is otherwise reminded of the storm.) Quite a lot of the behavior of the addicts and other teenagers in the story is similarly believable.What I had most trouble with is, in all the many, many addicts I've known, I've never known one to end up homeless quite so quickly. Particularly after she ends up in rehab the first time- they would have tried to set her up with a plan, and if her dad felt he couldn't take her back, she would have ended up in DHS (foster care.)Also? Moon doesn't refer to the drug, but the amount (one ounce.) I know it worked nicely for the symbolism and all that, but it's not actually used that way.All in all, most YA collections would be well served by this addition. Its short length and scintillating topic will draw in reluctant readers, it will appeal to fans of her other works, and the lyrical prose will grab the more sophisticated reader. Also, I highly doubt most teenagers will have the problems with it that I did.
decent book to read short but good
A beautiful and haunting novel about a teenage girl's struggle with meth. The story chronicles her journey out of addiction and uses flashbacks to explore her backstory, including losing her mother and grandmother in Hurricane Katrina. The prose is gorgeous and the story is written appropriately for the YA set; it also shies from feeling too much like an "issue" book.
This was a very quick and easy read. Having dealt with a family member with a meth addiction, I can tell you that the author really did her research. This book was right on the money and could have easily been a memoir. I plan on giving this to my son and have him passing it on to his friends. I feel it is book all teens should read and discuss with their parents. Very good job
I liked this book. It was a quick read, and I loved how the writing style reflects Laurel's state of mind. Laurel's story is told in brief, halting flashes, jumping from past to present. I really felt like it was written in moments between her highs -- small moments of lucidity when she wasn't feeling the effects of meth. And then, there was a dreamy, almost ethereal quality to the language, which made the narrative seem like Laurel was in-between states. Not quite high, not quite grounded in reality. I thought it was perfect for a journal of a girl who is trying to break her addiction and start a new life.The story Laurel tells is heart-breaking, and I love how Woodson is able to bring together recent events to tell a story that some teenagers can really relate to. Beneath a Meth Moon tackles the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina and paints a small picture of the suffering and devastation that followed the event. It also goes into the widespread use of meth among teenagers, and how their lives are ruined by their addiction. And despite these horrific and depressing events, she turns it into a hopeful message. Life goes on. We are able to go on with it by just putting one foot in front of the other and getting through bad times step by step.However, while I appreciated the link between the style and Laurel's frame of mind, I would have liked there to have been more development. In the flashes we get of Laurel's life in a new town, I don't feel as if she has moved on. I don't feel like she has a best friend, or even get the sense of a boyfriend from T-Boom. The way she started meth confused me. T-Boom held out a meth-covered finger to her and told her to sniff. Why did she? Why didn't she just leave the guy? What was going on in her mind while she did this? We don't know. Laurel never tells us. And while theorizing would make for good discussion in a book club or classroom, I would have liked a little more in terms of why and how, besides the fact that she is depressed about the deaths of her mother and grandmother. I didn't need a lot, but something that hints as to why she felt compelled to start meth in the first place.Still, I do think this book has a lot going for it. It's a quick read and can be used in a classroom as a perfect source of metaphor, symbolism, and style. But maybe supplement it with a lesson on the dangers and effects of meth, because while Laurel's life does fall apart, the health consequences are briefly mentioned. And with the dreamy quality of the narrative, I'm not sure the second-hand stories of death have enough of an impact.
Twigs. Twigs snap. Voices speak. <p> 'Run Arrow, run!' I think as l run through the forest. Something is chasing me. I don't know what it is. But l don't want to find out. My lungs burn. It's as if some one opened up my chest and cut a whole in my lungs and three a match inside them. I feel like l'm about to faint. 'Keep going!' <p> I run until the edge of a cliff comes into view, and l skid to a hault. I look back at the dark forest before looking foward again. When l do, l see a girl, about 10, standing on the edge of the cliff. She has long blonde hair and bright blue eyes that almost glowed. She was wearing a light blue dress that went past her knees. <p> I slowly take a few steps foward. "I would stop right there, if l were you." She speaks. She sounds familiar. She sounds like... <p> "Oakley? Is that you?" I say. I walk closer and she glares at me. It suprises me so much, l take a few steps back. <p> "Don't come any closer!" She growls. I notice a blood stain on the side of her dress, near her stomach. She is ghostly white. <p> I choke. "Oak-kley? Are you d-dead?" I start to shake violently. <p> She just looks at me. I take one step towards her. "No. There is no w-way that y-you are d-dead." I sqeak. <p> She looks at something behind me. "Yes, Arrow. I am dead. But it won't matter for very long. Because you'll already be dead too." She says. She turns and jumps off the cliff. <p> "No! Oakley!" I scream and go to run after her, when l hear a growl that makes me stop. I turn and look up. And find a huge rotweiler as tall as the trees. Red eyes and bloody teeth. Standing in front of me. I needed to make a desicion. And fast. Get eaten or jump off the cliff. <p> Before l could even get a single thought in my brain, it barked and pounced. I ran as fast as l could, and threw myself over the edge of the cliff. <p> As l was falling l saw that there was a river. Glowing a bright green. It was almost pretty. But then l realized something was in it. Bodies. No. Not bodies. But souls. Just floating around. <p> I hit the water. <p> I wake up screaming, sweat drenched all over my body. I'm breathing heavily. I turn on the lamp beside the bed l was sleeping on. I look around at the dull, boring room. But it was safe. <p> I looked around, half of me expecting to see Oakley sitting there. "She's gone, remember?" I whisper to myself. I think about what she had said in my dream. 'Yes, Arrow. I'm dead. But it won't matter long. Because you'll already be dead too.' She was talking 'bout the dog, wasn't she? I started to think. <p> Or maybe she wasn't warning me about the dog. But something else. Something worse then the dog. Something more evil and dark then anything l have ever heard of or seen. <p> If so, then l am in for some deep sh<_>it.