A Powerful, Tragic, Emotionally Driven Read!!!
This was an amazing read but I think this book has left me traumatized! And not in a bad, “oh my, I need to take a valium and forget the world” kind of way, but in a “I will never forget Mac’s story no matter how much time passes!” way.
This story follows Mackenzie’s slow and painful progression into drug addiction. Along the way she loses friends, family and even a sense of life itself as she skids down the path of destruction in a blind, euphoric, drug induced haze. The author does an incredible job of telling this disturbing story, from her vivid descriptions and powerful storytelling, you get lost in the miasma right alongside Mac and Grey, leaving you shuttering as if you yourself were the addict. I was trapped in this harrowing tale, possessed to get to the end because I had to know how it ended. The writing was flawless, the story was gut wrenching and riveting all at the same time and the characters were compelling!
Im not a cryer. I might feel the pain and live it while Im entranced in a book but I don’t shed tears over it. Well, not until this one. I literally broke down twice during this read. Mac’s loss of relationships with both Riley and later Grey left me reeling through this emotional tragedy. But the downward spiral doesn’t end there. Just when you think Mac’s life can’t sink any lower, the author pulls both the reader and Mac into the depths of despair and I felt like I was drowning right alongside Mac. It proved to be too much for me and I think that credit needs to be voiced to the author. Well done!!!
So why not 5 stars if the book was so great….
And then…. BAM! The last few chapters…A complete 180 in story telling. The author takes this intense and emotionally charged story to a new level, introducing a heavily laid religious message. Riley has found God and he’s showing Mac the way. I have no problem with religious stories. I have no problem with religion of any kind. I have my faith and to each their own. But the last few chapters were riddled with in-your-face scripture passages, religious undertones and preaching. I can see why the ending wouldn’t appeal to all readers. It didn’t really deter me from the book, but it did get a bit preachy and I felt it took me away from the path of where the story originally was coming from.
Also, I was disappointed with the Epilogue. I felt it was the author’s way of cementing the sermon to the reader through Mac’s voice. That would have been fine if I had also gotten a glimpse into what Mac’s future looked like. There was nothing in the Epilogue of what happened between the characters, where they ended up or how life turned out for them. The message of faith and hope was great but I would have loved to have seen Mac, Riley and maybe the others living that faith and hope message. I guess you’re left to draw your own conclusions and have faith that Mac kept up with her sobriety and accomplished the goals she set for herself in life. Im just not a big fan of open ended endings that aren’t a part of a series.
The Wrap Up:
This was an amazing book, no question. Mackenzie’s story was spellbinding and wonderfully written. Though this book was longer than most YA books, it kept a constant pace and never left me bored. I would definitely recommend it to others and especially to those looking for a message of faith concurring hopelessness.
NOTE: I read this as a R2R with The Nexus! at Goodreads. As always, a special thank you to the mods and author for allowing me to participate.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)