Author: Blake Nelson
Publish date: 2011
Source: Classroom Library
"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...." (Goodreads)
This was my first Blake Nelson book and I am looking forward to read more of his after reading Recovery Road. It was my final book of 2012 and I read it really quickly, not because I needed it for my 100th book (although I did), but because it was a great and compulsively readable book. I loved it!
This was not a happy book, but that didn't lessen my enjoyment of it at all. It starts with Maddie in rehab, obviously not a great place, and leads to her meeting Stewart, whom I did not find that amazing. I loved watching Maddie's journey from the beginning of the book to the end and watching her grow and learn about herself. There was some definite character growth here, which I really appreciated. I think a subject like this is difficult to write about well, but Blake Nelson does a great job here.
Other things that I liked: the supporting cast and the chapter length. Like I said, I wasn't a big fan of Stewart, but I liked Maddie's friends and Maddie herself. I also loved that the chapters were short. It made the book go by faster and was easier to find stopping points at the end of chapters (if you're like me and refuse to stop reading in the middle of a chapter).
I will say that I like the cover, but it's not a good representation of the story since Maddie has a drinking problem and not a pill/drug problem. However, I think it's eye-catching and I like the heart.
I have already talked about this one at school and think it will be a hit, especially with students who may have had an experience like this and can find a connection with Maddie or Stewart. I'm looking forward to it being passed around!