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Beneath a Meth Moon Hardcover – February 2, 2012
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"As accurate as it is heartbreaking; readers will be deeply moved . . . they'll sympathize with [Laurel's] desire to find some way to feel better. . . . Readers looking to understand the attraction of a destructive substance will get a glimmer of understanding." — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"Will not disappoint readers. . . . Ends on a hopeful note: perhaps it is possible to write pain 'into the past and leave some of it there,' and reimagine a future." — Booklist
Top Customer Reviews
The story Laurel tells is heart-breaking, and I love how Woodson is able to bring together recent events to tell a story that some teenagers can really relate to. Beneath a Meth Moon tackles the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina and paints a small picture of the suffering and devastation that followed the event. It also goes into the widespread use of meth among teenagers, and how their lives are ruined by their addiction. And despite these horrific and depressing events, she turns it into a hopeful message. Life goes on. We are able to go on with it by just putting one foot in front of the other and getting through bad times step by step.
However, while I appreciated the link between the style and Laurel's frame of mind, I would have liked there to have been more development. In the flashes we get of Laurel's life in a new town, I don't feel as if she has moved on. I don't feel like she has a best friend, or even get the sense of a boyfriend from T-Boom. The way she started meth confused me. T-Boom held out a meth-covered finger to her and told her to sniff. Why did she? Why didn't she just leave the guy? What was going on in her mind while she did this? We don't know.Read more ›
But when new boyfriend T-Boom turns Laurel onto Moon a new life opens up to her. A life she never knew was possible. Feeling higher than life, the moon allows her to move forward and to forget the past.
Her new life means forgetting. Forgetting the past, the people she loves and who love her, forgetting herself. Is Laurel strong enough to shake her habit, or will she die before she has the chance to?
Written by acclaimed author Jacqueline Woodson, Beneath a Meth Moon is a gut-wrenchingly painful, yet beautiful examination of addiction.
Just under two hundred pages Woodson's has brought the life and struggles of a meth addict to light. These struggles aren't pretty, they are gritty and often ugly. These struggles aren't easy, they're ruthless and full of frightful emotions. These struggles, as Woodson presents them, are startlingly realistic.
Woodson's writing is sharp and purposeful. Beyond that there is a poetic quality to her writing. And even though as hopeless as Laurel's story is, there is a hopeful tone to the overall book. As the story bounces from one point in time to a completely different, unrelated point, readers won't only understand Laurel's life as a meth addict, but will come to appreciate the brutal honesty in which her story is told.Read more ›
The book is presented in short chapters, giving the feeling of the jumpiness meth induces in its users. The main character, Laurel, calls meth "the moon," because it takes her over the moon beyond her troubles. After losing loved ones in a flood, she thinks she can go on, for she has a baby brother and a good father. But the moving around, the new high school, the influence of first love, these things lead her to experiment with meth. The experiment becomes the only thing that matters in her life, how to get meth, how to find meth, where to get enough money to buy meth. Meth, meth, meth, meth (always called "moon" by Laurel.)
Woodson, I felt, did an extraordinary job of making Laurel both believable and sympathetic. While most people have no patience with addicts or their problems, Woodson reveals the body's reaction to the first experience and the mental relief Laurel feels to have something new to drown her unhappiness. Laurel at that point does not know or care that the other side of addiction is ugly and destructive.
A book I would recommend to all parents and all teens, including early teens. It's a warning without being a sermon.
Laurel's mama packed her and her baby brother up to go with their father north, away from the hurricane, away from the water. She said it would only be a few days and that she couldn't leave Laurel's grandmother M'Lady behind, but she lied. It was forever. As they turned and drove away, they never thought that would be the last time she would see or speak to her mother. But the water came. And the water couldn't be stopped. And the water took everything away.
At first they lived with Laurel's aunt, but in search of more work, they headed to a new town with new people and new opportunities. Laurel meets Kaylee and starts cheering. Everything finally seems like it might be a life worth living again. Until Laurel meets T-Boom, the co-captain of the team. It is T-Boom who introduces Laurel to the moon. And once she starts the moon, it isn't so easy to stop. Especially when it takes away all the memories, all the pain, and all the emotions.
This is a short, quick story, but it is devastating, both in the poetic beauty with which it is written, and the haunting devastation of the content. You see this innocent 15 year old girl who lost her mother and her grandmother, and even having a loving father and a little brother who needs her can't make her stop using. She knows it is killing her, she sees herself in the store windows, but when the itch starts, all she can think about is the moon (meth).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked the story and the voices. I wish it'd gone deeper, and I wish I felt a bit more of what the characters felt. It went very fast.Published 1 month ago by C.L. Mannarino
This was an excellent book for teens. So real. Was concerned at first about the subject so I read prior to my child reading. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mom of 2 Sons
depressing little book but was required reading for the student and the price was really good
I read this book because it was required reading for my granddaughter. You read so much about inappropriate books schools require these days, I wanted to see if this one was OK. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Kindle Customer
I as a reader venture on many books, I've always been a fan of mythology and tragedy, I came across this book and I'll admitt the first 20 or so pages were boring, but then you... Read morePublished on May 17, 2014 by Gisele R
what a powerful journey. soul shakingly beautiful, haunting. a must read for adults and youth alike. shows the true horror that has become an everyday story for many.Published on April 3, 2014 by Hear Lies Another Tail
This book is powerful. After turning the last page on most books, I sit for a while and consider the journey I just went on with the characters. Read morePublished on January 31, 2014 by Kristen @ Pretty Little Pages