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.
This book really suffers for lack of a good editor. The author abuses ellipses, parentheses, and brackets. The chronology is all out of sorts, which while acceptable for a novel, isn't so great for a memoir. I know the author isn't a trained writer so much and thus is writing in a colloquial style, but it does take away from the book.The boxed sections of how to deal with your own disordered behaviors and thoughts often boil down to religious platitudes, e.g., "give it over to God". I understand that many, many eating disorder clinics around the nation found the treatment programs on religion, but many ED sufferers find it not just unhelpful, but off-putting.Overall, I feel this book could have been so great, if the publisher had employed the services of a ghostwriter or co-author, or even just edited with a heavier hand.