Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lush by Natasha Friend

There are several books by this author that I have started to see in all the Scholastics orders. Natasha Friend writes about some serious issues that young adults are facing. Her stories are well written and very believable.
In Lush, we meet Samantha, a 13 year old girl with a problem. Her father is an alcoholic and Samantha is embarrassed and ashamed of him. Another part of the problem is her mother. Samantha's mother doesn't want to admit there is anything wrong. She believes that her father is just going through a rough time at work and needs to drink to deal with it. But Samantha knows better. She knows the danger her father puts her in when he drives drunk, he even drives with Samantha and her younger brother in the car, which terrifies Samantha beyond belief.
Throughout the story, Samantha's anger at her father comes through loud and clear. Dealing with this is very difficult for her. She can't tell her best friends because she is so embarrassed. In keeping this secret from her friends she starts to loose their trust. Instead, Samantha decides to leave secret notes in the library for a girl she thinks will understand. This secret correspondence between these two help Sam deal with her anger and embarrassment.
I love the honesty that Samantha shares with the reader. I think that any young person dealing with an alcoholic relative will be able relate to Samantha's thoughts and ideas. This book is a bit gritty in some places. I would only give it out to students who are a bit more mature.

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