Jan 02, 12
Read in December, 2011
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.