A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know this book deals with heavy issues: a parent's death, addiction, depression, gang rape, and recovery. A description of a car wreck is particularly graphic and various drugs are abused, bought, and sold by teens.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Once popular, athletic, and "normal," Jenna Abbott isn't the same after a near-fatal car crash. Now she feels totally alone and sickly and fights to forget the accident in a number of self-destructive ways. Two friends come into her life, one who can help her recover and another who offers even more dangerous forms of self-punishment.
Is it any good?
Joyce Carol Oates finds a way to reach inside the soul of a teen and bring out every painful, joyful, and confused feeling, laying them out for readers to digest. Jenna Abbott is in a horrible car crash with her mother. After the crash, she is a completely different person and finds herself trying hard to cope and forget everything that happened.
Oates takes readers "into the blue" -- the drug-induced haze Jenna finds herself in after the crash -- and then pushes us "into the raw" -- real life, up close without drugs as Jenna experiences it. It's a heartbreaking, painful, encouraging, and ultimately beautifully crafted story of loss and recovery.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about any of the biggie topics presented here: dealing with the loss of a loved one, the dangers of prescription medication, dangerous friends, rape, and recovery. In what ways did Jenna punish herself for her mother's death? What do you know about the dangers of prescription medicine abuse? What deaths in the news can be attributed to prescription medicines?