Recovery Road Review

Monday, February 7, 2011

Title: Recovery Road
Author: Blake Nelson
Publisher: Scholastic
Published: March 8, 2011
Genre: YA, Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher

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.

31 comments:

  1. Recovery Road seems like an emotional and realistic book. I love contemporary fiction so I would love to read this book. Thanks for the review, Melissa!

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  2. I love edgy contemp fiction. I have had this on my wishlist forever and can't wait to read it now. Great review :)

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  3. Terrific review, I had not thought about reading this book, but your review has me convinced that it is a book I don't want to miss. Thanks.

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  4. o0o0o sounds good!!! I will have to add this too my wishlist!

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  5. A very good suggestion - I used to like rehab stories so I might try this one too! Thanks for your review!

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  6. This sounds really good. Thanks for the review Melissa! Have you read A Million Little Pieces by James Frey? That one is about a recovering drug addict too. It's an adult memoir and I'm loving it:)
    -Danna

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  7. aahh this is my WoW pick for this week! I'm dying to get my hands on it. Awesome to see a great review on it! Makes me want it that much more!!

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  8. I love edgy contemporary fiction, and this one sounds amazing! Thanks for the review!

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  9. Edgy sounds good to me. I will be on the look out for this one.

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  10. ohhhh Melissa your review was awesome!! I love contemp. fiction so for sure this one is going on my list...:D The last love story I read with two drug addicts was The Story Sisters...oh my gosh drug love is so TRAGIC!!!

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  11. I know I'm aging myself, but this story made me think of The Days of Wine and Roses...and has me wondering if the end of the book is similar; does one recover, and one not?

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  12. Yay! I'm glad you liked it...I added it to my list because of you!

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  13. This sounds edgier than the books I usually read - and that's not a bad thing! I kind of love books that are emotional rollercoasters.

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  14. This books sounds so good, strong characterization is what I look for most in a story, and Madeline and Stewart seem like they don't disappoint. I initially would have thought I wouldn't have been able to relate to Madeline either with her drug use and other issues, but the author obviously does a wonderful job of making her accessible despite her dependency. Fabulous review Melissa!

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  15. This sounds very interesting - I am loving books that deal with important issues at the moment!

    Me being me, I'm probably going to love Stewart, judging by your description!

    I love the cover for this book too. It's simple, yet strangely compelling.

    Thank you for the wonderful review Melissa! I'm definitely sold on this one!

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  16. Yes I like edgy contemp. books! There's something about reading about the issues and feelings of the characters. I'll have to check this one out when it's released.

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  17. Great review. I've been slacking on my contemps, I should pick this one up, it sounds really good.

    Rochelle @ Books Like Stars

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  18. Nice, I'm glad the plot and characters were both so strong. I'm not sure it's a book I would enjoy, but I do think the cover is quite awesome. Thanks for the review. =)

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  19. I'm not surprised that it is more character driven. It seems needed.

    And I've read books that have single page chapters. It always perplexes me, but I write it off as a stylistic element of the story.

    Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Melissa. I can't wait to read it. I also love the simple cover.

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  20. You just keep on reading such excellent books, how do you do it? :D

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  21. Sounds like a great character book. I wasn't sure if it would be too emotional, but it looks like it much achieve a good balance. Great review.

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  22. This sounds like a great book, I've been wanting to read it because of the cover too. Plus the genre is usually one I like :) Thanks for the great review!

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  23. I really want to read this book! It sounds sooo good! I love books that are character driven and Madeline and Stewart seem like really compelling characters :o) Great review! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Recovery Road!

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  24. I seriously want to read this book. I love the simple but powerful cover and I think it sounds like a really heart-breaking but hopeful book. Fantastic review Melissa!

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  25. This sounds quite interesting. I go back and forth btw being a plot person and a character person, so I love a story that is strong in both. This doesn't seem like the type of plot I'd like, but I'm always up for a well-written book. They surprise me.

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  26. The fact that you just gave a contemporary novel such a glowing review makes me want to dash out to the bookstore to get Recovery Road; too bad I must wait another whole month.

    But really, great review! I had been thinking about getting this book, but wasn't sure if the story would really live up to my expectations. Now, I know I will be getting it. Thanks for the fantastic review, Melissa.

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  27. I haven this on my to read list and now I can't wait to read it!

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  28. Great review! I will have to add this to the TBR pile. I love edgy stories...:)

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  29. Fab review, Melissa! I like edgy! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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