Parents' Guide to

White Lines

By Angela Zimmerman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Edgy tale of teen in '80s club scene shows graphic drug use.

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Author Jennifer Banash does well with her first-person narration of a lonely and insecure teen girl, creating a character you can't help but feel for. She also paints a vivid picture of New York City, from the lavish wealth of Park Avenue to the singular beat of the downtown club scene. But the pacing of WHITE LINES is off; Cat's inner dialogue becomes deeply repetitive, and far too much time is spent on menial details. For instance, descriptions of characters' hair (the color of, the flow of, the way it flops on a forehead or is brushed from a shoulder) are found on nearly every other page, diluting their effect.

But despite the plodding narrative, Banash has crafted some interesting characters in Cat and the various colorful people who inhabit her circle. Cat's feelings of alienation and loneliness are endearing and relatable; the reader can't help but feel invested in her plight. And so the story becomes more engaging with every chapter leading up to the climactic ending.

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