Author: Blake Nelson
Published: March 8, 2011
Genre: YA, Contemporary Fiction
From acclaimed author Blake Nelson, the story of girl meets boy...in rehab.
Madeline is sent away to Spring Meadows to help with a drinking and rage problem she has. It's a pretty intense place, but there is the weekly movie night in town--where Madeline meets Stewart, who's at another rehab place nearby. They fall for each other during a really crazy time in their lives.
Madeline gets out and tries to get back on her feet, waiting for Stewart to join her. When he does, though, it's not the ideal recovery world Madeline dreamed of. Both of them still have serious problems. And Stewart's are only getting worse....
Recovery Road is the story of two teens, Madeline and Stewart, both with blemished pasts and a brand new opportunity for a fresh start from rehab. At the lowest point in their lives, Madeline and Stewart fall for one another, giving them a sense of togetherness in a void of confusion, but when they’re released, reality strikes back. When Madeline is released, she’s determined to get her life back together, and she’s excited for Stewart to join her in healing after rehab, but when he’s released, it’s clear the darkness is still there, and they’re spiraling downwards together. Again.
I’ve been dying to read Recovery Road for a long time now, in large part because of the captivating premise and simplistic cover. Blake Nelson has created a story where the characters are every bit as addicting as the addiction itself, spinning you along on a path of destruction, self-discovery and, ultimately, the desire for redemption. The beauty if Recovery Road lies in the realistic portrayal of the devastating nature of addiction, whether it be to drugs, attention, or companionship. Addiction, in itself, becomes a character, making it a raw and real adventure.
Madeline is one of those characters that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to relate to but somehow could. She has rage issues, drug dependency and a desperate desire to find fulfillment somewhere and, frankly, anywhere. Stewart is presented as your typical bad boy, but there’s an endearing edge to him, as well, making him someone you love to hate and hate to love. Throw in a few secondary characters with their own issues, and Recovery Road is a rollercoaster ride of emotion. I have to say that the plot was strong for Recovery Road, but the characters were stronger, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s almost as though one fuels and tempers the other, making the pacing strong and steady. The only real issue I had with the book was the chapter length. They were only a few pages apiece, and I prefer medium-length chapters. Luckily, however, it didn’t affect the pacing, so that’s just personal preference.
All in all, Recovery Road was a fabulous, fast-paced ride in which you feel for the characters every step of the way. I give it a very strong 4.5 out of 5, and I’d recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who like edgy stories and contemporary fiction, specifically.
I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.