Lucy in the Sky


Many years after Go Ask Alice first opened our eyes, Lucy in the Sky reminds us of the fast moving spiral that drugs and alcohol can create and the huge hole that is left behind for one to try and crawl out of.

The main character is a member of a seemingly functional and loving family – parents who worry about her academics and a brother who tries to be on top of her social interactions.  Her diary full of random streams of consciousness allows us a window into her life.  However, the fact that she remains anonymous actually gives us the ability to step into her struggle.

A small amount of peer pressure brought her to take her first sip of alcohol at a party one night.  That was the beginning of a spiral that she always thought she could control, but it is very hard to harness the tornado as it runs through your life.  She makes new friends that introduce her slowly but steadily to stronger drugs – marijuana, ecstasy, LSD, cocaine, meth and finally heroin.

There are a few moments that make her see the spiral – warnings that life is no longer under her control, but all are short-lived. It is not until a bender almost kills her that she winds up in rehab trying to fix the parts of her life that she has destroyed.  The reader will find themselves become confused and the angry throughout this journey.  It is not until one realizes that there is no one in control of this story anymore but drugs and the high they bring.

The Phoenix’s Perspective

Written in journal format, the book is a very quick read. I found myself sucked in from the beginning. As someone who had never interacted with drugs, I couldn’t believe how quickly they changed her life.  Changed is not the right word –  couldn’t believe how quickly drugs had taken control of her life.  As a middle school teacher, we tell the kids to focus on drive – find that one thing that inspires you and use it to move forward in life.  I could not believe how quickly drugs had become that focus and how much she still believed she was in control.

The book also made me wonder. If a teenager coming from an upper middle class home with a supportive family can struggle so much and not recover, what happens to all the children without the support or from low-income families who wouldn’t even be able to provide the support. Would they spiral faster?  Would anyone notice?  Would anyone care?  How many kids have been lost to drugs and alcohol simply because someone did not catch it soon enough?

To be honest, I even wondered about Anonymous’ last overdose. I have seen so many reality TV shows with drug addicts that started in their teens and are now 40-50 something still struggling with the drug need. It made me wonder if her overdose (as well as that in Go Ask Alice) was done on purpose.  If she saw no end to the drug want/need, perhaps she felt like the only way to stop the drugs from controlling her was to give herself over to them completely.

Would I add it to the library?

YES! I feel as though Lucy in the Sky is a modern look into the drug problem that still persists in the world. One could only hope that along with the stories of Go Ask Alice, Jay’s Journals and the works of Ellen Hopkins, Lucy in the Sky will only serve to reach readers who may be curious about drugs and give them the satisfaction of understanding the high while also giving them the knowledge of the destructive path the high will bring.


Genre: Fiction – substance abuse
ISBN: 9781442451858
Rating:  good

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