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White Lines

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  691 ratings  ·  118 reviews
In 1980s New York City, seventeen-year-old Caitlin tries to overcome her mother's abuse and father's abandonment by losing herself in nights of clubbing and drugs, followed by days of stumbling aimlessly through school. ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 4th 2013 by G. P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2013)
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Average rating 3.55  · 
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 ·  691 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Wendy Darling
This isn't the sort of novel that I would normally be attracted to, so I am really glad that a copy landed on my doorstep. 17-year-old Cat is living a teenager's dream in the 1980s--she has her own apartment in New York City, which is bankrolled by her neglectful father. By day, she is a fragile creature struggling with infrequent visits from her abusive mother. By night, she loses herself in the frenzied, glittering world of the club scene, where she fends off skeevy characters and succumbs to ...more
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
White Lines is going to KNOCK you right out of your shoes! Man oh man this book is set in 1980's and we all know that the 80's was the era of wild sex and wild drug use. No one lived back then that did not party at one time or another. The thing about the 80's was all about experimenting and seeing how long you could go without sleep. To be you in the 80's was a great time to discover who you were.

White Lines is about a girl named Cat. She is 17 and lives on her own. Her mother has some emotiona
Jenni Arndt
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-own
Somewhere between 2.5 and 3, I can't decide.

We all know that I have an intense relationship with YA contemporary issue books, so you can imagine my surprise when I sat back to think about it and realized that I had never read one that dealt with drug abuse. I’ve read all kinds of issue books; eating disorders, physical abuse and emotional abuse, among others, but White Lines is my first venture into drug abuse territory. I hadn’t been too sure what to expect with this one as I had read nobody's
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Set in the 1980's, you would think Caitlin is living the high life. On the surface, she's a seventeen year old girl living on her own in New York City. Working as a club promoter, she parties her nights away. No curfew or parents to answer to at home. She is her own person who decides when and if she goes to school. It sounds like a dream, right? The truth is more like a living nightmare.

After undergoing years of abuse, Caitlin finally escapes her mother. Rather than take her in, Cat's father wo
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read a novel this fierce since Stephanie Kuehnert burst onto the scene with I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE. WHITE LINES will be a revelation to anyone familiar with Jennifer Banash from The Elite series. The rich kids remain, but all soap opera antics are banished. WHITE LINES is raw, a real bleeding wound of a story.

Cat lives by herself on the Lower East Side even though she's only seventeen years old. She could no longer live with her abusive mother - the State agrees - but her father l
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. This book is everything I hoped it would be and more. The writing is beautiful and the story is so realistic. Caitlin is a 17 year old girl who has moved into her own apartment to escape her home life. Her mother is abusive and her father has turned a blind eye to the situation. Cat finds all the wrong ways to try to cope and ends up spiraling downward into drugs an alcohol. By losing herself in the club life she thinks she can forget all the bad things, at least for a little while. In ...more
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Caitlin is 17 and living on her own. Her father moved away and her mother is really abusive so her father agrees to pay for her apartment. Why her father thought she should live alone at such a young age is beyond me. Cat feels abandoned and unloved. There are flashbacks with her mother throughout the book that really show it was probably best for her to get away. The only place she feels loved and like she really fits in is the club.

I could relate to Cat wanting to be at the club. When I turn
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
The funny thing about expectations is how often they're wrong. I really did not expect to like this book, because I hate reading about spoiled rich kids acting out for attention, and the reviews I'd seen had been largely middling. Actually, an unsolicited review copy arrived on the very day I decided this book wasn't for me, because the universe has a sense of humor. Anyway, I actually ended up really enjoying White Lines, which won me over for the strong voice and gritty feel.

On the surface, Wh
This review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.

When I first heard about White Lines in July 2012, I knew I had to read it. New York City + 1980s + club scene = yes please! As time went on I was afraid it would be one of those books that I build up so much in my mind that the real thing couldn't possibly live up to my expectations. Thankfully I was wrong.

White Lines is a beautifully written, haunting, and dark story abo
A Beautiful Madness
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, 2013
I was really excited to get my hands on White Lines by Jennifer Banash, and I simply couldn’t wait to read it. I was curious to see how the settings would be affecting the story. Sadly, the story, even though it had potential to be really interesting, failed to really impress. I felt like the story being set in the ‘80’s didn’t really affect the plot that much, and that really disappointed me. The time period was one of the reasons I really wanted to read it, and it didn’t wow me.

More than that,
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Drug addiction is a subject I haven't personally read a whole lot of, but the two books I have read that dealt with the topic - Crank by Ellen Hopkins and The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx - were quite eye-opening and compulsively readable. As such, I was extremely intrigued with the summary for White Lines, particularly since it seemed like there was going to be a lot more going on in this book than just the drugs. What I found in its pages was a very damaged main character who, despite her issu ...more
Danielle (is trying to escape reality)
An unflinching look into a broken New York girl's life alone in the 80s.

The title says most of what you need to know. Club raves, insecurity, a psychotic mother, and gay best friends fill in the rest.

The writing in this book was great, uber quotable. I will definitely be on the lookout for the author's other books.

I highly recommend this one for something different then your normal YA fare, that's gritty and real and got a neat time period to work with. It's got serious subject content, but i
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Cat has it all: she lives on her own, parties every night at the hottest clubs, and rolls into high school the next day with no one the wiser. But getting what you want isn't all it's cracked up to be, and Cat is starting to feel the pressure and buckle. Banash crafted a stunning debut, one that will appeal to teens and adults. I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next! ...more
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was pleasantly surprised by this one! Like, wow. It's a fun read, and then all of a sudden it's heavy and dark. Way cool. ...more
“If you ever touch me again,” I say, my voice barely above a whisper, “I will hit you back. And it will hurt.”

The book's promo calls this a gritty, atmospheric coming-of-age tale set in 1980's New York City. Catlyn is a club kid, working the ropes nights at a drug-fueled nightclub while she stumbles through the day at a pseudo-high school for rich kids. Battered by her mother's abuse and her father's abandonment, Cat throws herself into the party lifestyle of club kids, cocaine and other assort
Jan 12, 2013 rated it liked it
*This is an ARC review and will be published to my blog The Flyleaf Review closer to publication.*

When I read the synopsis for White Lines, I knew it was something I wanted to check out. Set a YA book in the 80's or 90's, the time when I actually was a young adult, and I am usually ALL over it. Especially when there are music themes. But really, White Lines doesn't really have so much a music theme as a party theme. I mean look at the title folks, that is pretty blatant. Although the exact year
Petty Lisbon
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I guess your enjoyment of the book will depend on if you can willingly suspend your disbelief about a teenager in the 80's who lives on her own and is a struggling private school student by day and a drug addicted club promoter by night. Luckily enough, I was able to and I enjoyed this book and all of the 80's pop culture references and side characters this book had to offer. I liked that for her addiction, it wasn't just starting out or completely at rock bottom, but just at a problematic level ...more
Jenna D.
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Full review available at Making the Grade.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve rock-and-rolled through a novel as darkly engaging as WHITE LINES by Jennifer Banash. And oh, how I do looove rock and roll, especially the hair shaking tunes that take me back to the 1980′s.

Although I may have been a little too young to experience that decade in exactly the same way that the main character of WHITE LINES does, any John Hughes fan can easily relate to the dark humor and the perfectly imperfect l
usagi ☆ミ
3.5/5 stars.

We really need more dark, gritty contemps like this in YA, guys. I'm just going to lay that out there now. "White Lines" is incredibly hard to read at times because it's filled with a lot of darkness, a lot of frustration, and a lot of pain, but it's also an important book to read as well. Banash brilliantly brings back late 1980s New York with ridiculous ease and a vibrancy I haven't felt in YA contemporary in quite a long while. This is not the feel good book of the year, but if yo
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it
White Lines was a beautifully written story with some faults that deterred me from completely falling in love.

White Lines is New York in the 80s when the kids were partying way too hard and all the rules were thrown out the window. In the middle of this frenzy you get Cat, a lonely 17 year old seeming to be having the time of her life. She lives alone, she parties at the best club, and she experiments with narcotics. Her parents? Not a clue, she isn't an orphan, but they don't care enough to re
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-s, new-own
White lines is a story about a girl named Cat who is a 17 year old club kid in 1980's New York. This book engrossed me from the very beginning, and I could not put it down. We find out at the beginning that due to different circumstances in her past she finds herself living alone at her young age, and she is trying to manage going to school and also being a club promoter.

The way Jennifer was able to detail everything down to the last detail was tremendous, especially when it came to the "white l
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reading WHITE LINES helped me to blur my own set of lines in young adult book reviewing world. WHITE LINES by Jennifer Banash isn't a fantasy novel. It's the exact opposite. Banash takes a hard look at one teenager's reality in the 1980s. Learn more about Jennifer Banash and her book here.

Normally, this isn't the kind of book that I would pick up without knowing anything about it, but after I read the back cover, I couldn't wait to read it.

Now you know what cover to look for in the bookstore and
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2013
White Lines is a gritty and raw coming of age tale that readers will not want to put down. Compelling and poignant, this is a young adult novel on the cusp of New Adult. Jennifer Banash does a wonderful job in delivering a stellar mature young adult novel, that is full of powerful emotion, atmospheric wonder, and a captivating storyline that is sure to wow and stun readers. Dangerous and out of control, this is a story that will embark readers on a rollercoaster ride of epic emotion, spriali ...more
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Extremely well written, and very descriptive. This centers on the life of Cat, a 17 year old girl living in her own apartment in NYC. She is in a high shool for troubled kids, and has a job in one of the clubs in New York. (This is a world I know nothing about, yet the writing quality is so good it made me feel I was there.) Her job keeps her p all night, so she has limited engagement with her scholastic life.

I was spellbound by the world viewed through her eyes. Even though I knew she was on a
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Besides this book being a great story, it’s laced with some of the most gorgeous writing I’ve read in awhile. That is what makes White Lines a truly amazing book.

Caitlin’s story is powerful. The fast life she lives would be envied by most scene kids in 2013. Cat just kind of floats through life, never truly knowing what the hell she is doing. Just doing for the hell of it. Living life to its fullest without much meaning. Until she meets Julian, and the hard wall she’s put up slowly begins to plu
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am not a teenager so, I have to note that this is out of my realm of 'normal' reading material. I actually sought out this book because I used to fire dance at raves and I was into the club scene in the earlier years. I remember Tunnel. Anyway, when I read about the content, my interest was piqued.
I thought this book was well written and brought me right there with the character. I felt for Cat and even related to a lot of the feelings and emotions depicted in this epic 'coming of age' former
emma pawz clawz
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I don't know why i picked this book up. I'm 100 pages in and bored. The main character is a club going underages teenager in New York in the 80s. It's a bad trips in drugs and high school drama, and self pity all of which is very boring. Poor parentless teenagers forced into thinking getting high every night at clubs is the only way if coping with life. Maybe I'll finish it, but I've wasted my time already just getting this far. ...more
Kim Baccellia
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wowza. Loving the emotional punch of this novel. 17 year old Cat's vulnerability of getting close to anyone is shadowed by her 'night' self where she lets the music, drugs, and high pulsing energy of clubbing try to erase her pain. Totally love the voice of this novel which paints a very realistic portrayal.

YABC review:
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fiction
Unabashedly intense. Hard to deal with in large doses yet almost impossible to put down if anything besides work was summoning.
This book was ferocious and powerful, marred only by a meandering plot and an extreme overabundance of similes and metaphors that were just too rich to cope with in such quantities. Don't get me wrong; the prose was beautiful. There was just way too much of it.
Jun 30, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: arc, own
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Jennifer Banash was born and raised in New York City. She now lives in Southern California with her beagle, Sigmund, and her vast collection of designer shoes.

Check out my blog at

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