on April 4, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
A gritty, atmospheric coming of age tale set in 1980s New York City.
Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream: she has her own apartment on the Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream. Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control.
Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping tale and the reader won’t want to look away.
Being a teenager is hard. Understatement of the century, huh? Seriously, though, looking back on those years, what a pretty horrible, confusing time. Sure there’s great things that happen and you have lots of wonderful experiences. But if I compare those days to now it’s like night and day. That’s why I really like reading books like White Lines by Jennifer Banash. It was realistic. It’s captures all the gritty sadness of being a teenager.
I can’t say that I relate to Cat’s experiences. She lives on her own at 17. She’s a club kid and spends every night dancing and doing drugs. Cat has had a very troubled home life. The book also takes place in the 1980’s in New York City. I can relate to none of those things. But White Lines captures the emotions of youth on the cusp of adulthood perfectly. That’s something we can all relate to.
This is a pretty dark book. There’s lots of drugs and other activities you wouldn’t want to think about teens doing, but that’s why I liked these kinds of books. They’re honest. Jennifer Banash doesn’t sugar coat anything. She does tell Cat’s story with remarkable beauty. Her writing is gorgeous and filled with emotion. I also loved that even in such a dark time in Cat’s life the love of her friends shines through so well. I also thought Cat’s past, her home life, was interesting. I’m not sure that I’ve really ever came across that particular story line before.
So, obviously I recommend White Lines to all my fellow dark contemporary lovers. It was a beautiful story that left me feeling hopeful.