Beneath a Meth Moon


Hurricane Katrina took her mother and grandmother. And even though Laurel Daneau has moved on to a new life—one that includes a new best friend, a spot on the cheerleading squad, and dating the co-captain of the football team—she can’t get past the pain of that loss. Then her new boyfriend introduces her to meth, and Laurel is instantly seduced by its spell, the way it erases, even if only temporarily, her memories. Soon Laurel is completely hooked, a shell of her former self, desperate to be whole again, but lacking the strength to break free. But with the help of a new friend—and the loyalty of an old one—she is able to rewrite her own story and move on with her own life.

The Phoenix’s Perspective

I have had an awkward love affair with this book. I have wanted to read it for forever, but, every time something new came out, I would push it down to the bottom of the list. Needless to say it was really nice to finally read it.

I have read many books that deal with teens and drug addiction. The previous books have focused on the character’s demise. It was a very sequential order of events with the character starting out having everything and then falling into a downward spiral and ending life with nothing or dead. Jacqueline Woodson’s take on the subject was a completely new perspective for me.  We were not just seeing the changes — we were living them.

There were times when it felt like we were all over the place. I couldn’t tell if we were present or past – in the now, in memories or in a made up hallucination due to the drugs. I can’t lie to you – it was definitely frustrating at points because everything felt pieced together, like a jigsaw puzzle waiting for me to put it together.  Yet, at the same time, it was really nice to somewhat feel the experience because most drug addicts say that life because a mishmash of feelings and time – that It is not the linear experience that the rest of us go through.

The mishmash was also interesting because society tells us that people turn to drugs to numb pain and that only by staying on the drugs do those suppressed feelings truly stay suppressed. Laurel let us know that this idea is not the truth. Her struggle to control the pain of losing her mother and grandmother was never suppressed by the drugs.  Those feelings were pushed down but never gone.  There were always flashes to what she saw, what she remembers of them and what she can imagine they went through.

Beneath a Meth Moon was definitely an intriguing experience.

Would I add it to the library?

Yes! I would also like to read more by Jacqueline Woodson. This is my first experience with her writing and I am intrigued to see what her other books are like.


Genre: Fiction – emotional problems, runaways, substance abuse
ISBN: 9780142423929
Rating:  good

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