April 19, 2012

Beneath a Meth Moon - Jacqueline Woodson

Young Adult
Pages: 192
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Release Date: February 2, 2012

Laurel Daneau has moved on to a new life, in a new town, but inside she’s still reeling from the loss of her beloved mother and grandmother after Hurricane Katrina washed away their home. Laurel’s new life is going well, with a new best friend, a place on the cheerleading squad and T-Boom, co-captain of the basketball team, for a boyfriend. Yet Laurel is haunted by voices and memories from her past.

When T-Boom introduces Laurel to meth, she immediately falls under its spell, loving the way it erases, even if only briefly, her past. But as she becomes alienated from her friends and family, she becomes a shell of her former self, and longs to be whole again. With help from an artist named Moses and her friend Kaylee, she’s able to begin to rewrite her story and start to move on from her addiction.

Okay, so obviously this is a book about meth addiction. And that part was great. Woodson portrayed addiction and its effects in an excessively accurate manner. Not that I know first hand, but from knowing people who've been through it, you can tell. Her writing was gripping and entrancing and very real.

What I loved the most though, is that this is also about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Every time a reverberating disaster happens, it becomes part of history. As such, it becomes a matter to write about. Now the fact that Laurel has a heart-breaking past that is no one's fault, makes this that much more powerful. The story was vividly atmospheric and you can feel yourself standing where Laurel is standing.

Deeply sad and wonderfully moving, Beneath the Meth Moon is as memorable as Katrina itself. I was a little bothered by how timelines blurred while reading, but then again, this made you feel even more in the character's feet, feeling her confusion and disorientation as your own. This book has been widely overlooked by many. What the author has accomplished in this extremely short read is admirable. If you like harsh, dark contemporary fiction based off recent history, this is a wonderful choice.


  1. I love how people can read the same book and have such differences in opinions, I reviewed this one last month and I think I gave it 1 or 2 stars, even though I didn't care for it I like seeing what other people who did enjoy reading it like about it. :)
    -Kimberly @ Turning The Pages

  2. I read this one a week or so ago and agree that it is really well done. Even the style in which it is written gives the reader a sense of the confusion and loss that the main character is feeling post-Katrina and while she is doing meth

  3. This was sent to me, but I wasn't for sure about it. Sometimes I'm a bit iffy on drug-related book (mainly cause my sympathy level is at a very low.) Glad to know that you liked it!


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