I picked this up from the library without reading the synopsis. I just knew it was popular. I get roped into reading things that way sometimes. I read the synopsis yesterday before I began listening. It was pretty much what I guessed it would be, but with an extra twist.
Let’s talk about Kristina/Bree. Somewhere inside all of us (that is, semi-shy girls), there is a bold and daring girl waiting to be released. We all have the ability to say and do all the things Bree does, but we often keep that girl caged in the back of our minds. Some of us let her out for a few years and go through a wild phase. Some of us keep her reigned in and remain the good little girls out parents all love and cherish. I agree with Kristina. She’s no more schizo than the next girl. Everyone has the good and bad in them, the light and dark. It’s how we moderate them that makes us who we are. Hopkins did a wonderful job conveying this idea and creating a very complex character. She also did it in a way that kept me from hating Kristina, which is quite an accomplishment. Chase stole my heart from the second he was introduced. He’s great and I really hope he doesn’t disappear in the next book. After reading the synopsis for that one, it sounds like Kristina’s going to need him. He might be a user, but it seems like he has a little more moderation than Kristina does.
One of the things I love about some of the recent YA literature I’ve read is that it isn’t just for fun. These books teach kids things. This book is entertaining, yes. But it allows teens to experience the mind of someone on hard drugs. It allows them a look at the things it can do. It’s a not-so-subtle message about why doing things like this are dangerous. I think it’s much more effective than preaching to kids in D.A.R.E. classes or showing them Powerpoint presentations with before and after pictures of meth-heads. I really like this form of teaching teens.
Because of the nature of the drug, and the things it causes Kristina to do the plot is usually exciting. If she’s not flying, she’s getting into fights about this person she’s become. Or she’s trying to find a source for her bad habit. Or she’s spending time with the sweetest bad boy you’ll ever meet. There are twists and turns that I imagine are a lot like the roller coaster ride of a addicts life. It was really well-paced and kept me listening from start to finish.
Hopkins writes in lyrical verse. I’m reminded a little of Walt Whitman in the beginning. At first, I was a little taken back by the poetic writing. I think it’s because I had just listened to more simple writing. I got used to it as the book continued, and actually liked it a lot by the end. I know what to expect from the next one. I think she’s a terrific writer and I’m planning to pick up all her books. They all sound like they have some great messages.
I was not a fan of Laura Flanagan, at all. I dealt with her, but it was hard sometimes. She turns a lot of sentences into questions with her inflection. She also pauses in strange places… like the middle of a sentence where there’s no comma. I’m voting for a different narrator for the next two. I’m sure that wish won’t be granted. I guess I can suffer through her for two more audiobooks. I really hope she doesn’t narrate any of the other ones.