Broken Melody Paperback – July 19, 2020
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- Publisher : Nikki Haase (July 19, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 328 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0996703489
- ISBN-13 : 978-0996703482
- Item Weight : 12.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.83 x 8 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#2,915,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1,159,741 in Literature & Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Broken Melody deals with the very real world of drug abuse and addiction, and the costs that comes from the struggle of sobriety and relapse in a young woman.
Recent high school graduate Alana is struggling with her drug addiction to cocaine. Despite being a stellar student and previously able to balance her addiction with the rest of her responsibilities, being out of the confines of school has given her more freedom to do more drugs when she likes. As the drugs start to take over her life, her loved ones urge her to go to rehab to help her detox, and get back to being the person that they know and love. However, being on cocaine for years is not an easy thing to break.
Alana’s reasoning for resorting to cocaine is to help her deal with her bipolar disorder, saying that the drugs help her with the mood swings. She says that she has been self-medicating since she was a kid, so the many years of being on such a hard drug is long. She has already learned how to hide the fact that she’s addicted, and if one were to see how her life was progressing, one would have never thought something was amiss. But now, since she doesn’t seem to have a need to hide it, her family, friends, and girlfriend want her to get help. It even gets to a point where Alana brings shady people into her life that wouldn’t care whether she lived or died.
Haase’s exploration into addiction, recovery, and relapse was a difficult one to see. As I can’t speak to the representation of whether or not the depictions of drug abuse, drug addiction, and bipolar disorder are done correctly, I can only say that it is here. I hope that there will be more people that have experience in either of these can read this and attest to the authenticity of the representation.
In other aspects, the writing style and the prose was easy to follow, and one that I could read in future books from Haase. I am curious to see what is coming next from Haase, and what other kinds of topics she will explore in future books.
In a harrowing, passionately written story, Nikki Haase takes us deep into the psyche of what addiction does to people. It’s unique to find a story specifically about a female addict as well, since most ride off the wave of Breaking Bad, focusing on the lives of male addicts instead. The story, told from Alana’s point-of-view, has the jittery focus of a drug addict. When she is high or stoned, her speech pattern reflected it, and while sober, she is more observant of her friends and her surroundings. Time moves weird in the book; sometimes days go by, or months, and like with any one struggling from addiction and mental illness, it doesn’t always make sense. This was brilliantly done.
Yet, while time becomes meaningless in Alana’s life, it does negatively impact the pacing. The first half of the book is a little slow, while second half moves a little too fast. I would have liked to spend more time with Alana after her life takes a turn for the worst. Possibly we don’t see it because Alana is living in a haze of addiction. She is inwardly focused, and when she’s on her high, she doesn’t feel anything.
Because of her inward focus, a lot of her friends are seen through a selfish lens. She sees them as “I don’t know why she loves me,” “I don’t understand why he cares,” etc. This doesn’t always work in a narrative, but I think it works well with Alana’s story…since it is very much about her. Granted it does take away from an emotional event that occurs, leaving two of her friends empty, as well as how her parents feel about her addiction. She’s a teenager, after all, and teenager are selfish.
Despite the book’s flaws, I really enjoyed it. It gave a sort of perspective that isn’t always addressed, and it also creates a sympathy for people who get stuck in a cycle of addiction. The book is also an examination of failed mental health systems, which ultimately led to Alana self medicating. Friends, even if they shouldn’t forgive someone, often are the changing forces in someone’s life. Even if I think some characters should have walked away from her, I understand why they didn’t. In real life, you don’t always give up on someone despite their battles. You might walk away for a bit, but it’s very realistic that you would come back.
I do recommend this book but with a caveat. It is dark. It’s about addiction and the horrors that face it. If this makes you uneasy, then this book is for you. But, if you want to explore the depth of someone’s psyche as they struggle through these horrors, I do recommend you check out Broken Melody.
I think it will be on my mind for awhile.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.