Seventeen-year-old Cat slogs through school days, waiting for nighttime, when the flashing lights and pulsing music of New York’s hottest clubs to bring her to life. Waiting to float away on the little white lines. What started as a dream, an unending party, twists into something more sinister. Cat can feel her life rocketing out of control, but she feels powerless to stop it. As pressure from her boss and her abusive mother pile on top of her, Cat wants to retreat further into the haze of anonymity in the club scene. All that holds her back is the mysterious boy who makes her want to experience life and feel things that ordinarily terrify her. As the pull of her night life and her attraction to Julian yank her in different directions, Cat must make hard choices and force her fears into words before she fractures completely.
In a genre already crowded with stories of teen drug experimentation, self-destruction, and recovery, Banash boldly writes with equal measures grit and empathy. Cat’s battle extends far beyond drug addiction into issues of abandonment and abuse, which only adds to the believability of her plight. Though the end was a little too neat and tidy to fit the rest of this dark tale, the message of hope and recovery is sure to be encouraging to readers who’ve struggled with addiction personally or through a friend or family member.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Infrequent but severe.
Brief but intense kissing scene. References to sexual encounters that happen off-scene.
One boy attempts suicide publicly by first trying to throw himself out a window and then cutting himself. Another boy eggs him on. Cat’s mother physically and emotionally abuses her. A few scenes contain brief but strong descriptions of this abuse. She suffers from a violent recurring nightmare in which her mother brutally murders her.
Cat and her coworkers frequently abuse drugs like cocaine and extasy. Consequences for the behavior are severe and while the abuse is pretty thoroughly described, it is not condoned in any way. This is a cautionary tale of disaster averted by rehab and therapy.