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Lifeline Paperback – April 30, 2018
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
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"Nash, in short, has pulled off a remarkable feat, taking a topic of great relevance and--without a hint of censure or denunciation--making it integral to a tale whose only demand is that it be read in one sitting." - Kirkus Reviews
"Lifeline plunges the reader into Eli's rough journey--Nash doesn't hold back. Buckle up." - K.M. Walton, author of CRACKED, EMPTY, & ULTIMATUM
"Tragically timely, this story dives deep into the brutal and heroic work that recovery requires. An addict's self-denial and self-destruction is laid out with raw honesty and while the path back is steep, Nash shows redemption is well within reach. A gorgeously written and ultimately hopeful debut that will resonate with readers of any age." - Karen Fortunati, author of THE WEIGHT OF ZERO
"Nash knows exactly what she's doing here, and it's clear on every page. One of the best small-press gems I've read in a long time." - Dahlia Adler, author of BEHIND THE SCENES, UNDER THE LIGHTS, and JUST VISITING, and NA novel LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
"This is a must read this year. It does deal with sensitive matters, but it is done very tastefully. I give this book a solid five stars." - Up All Night with Books
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While dealing with such a strong topic such as addiction and substance abuse, this book keeps it real while also telling how hard it is for some people to overcome. We meet Eli, the star of his school’s lacrosse team, golden boy that thinks he’s untouchable. We see his side of the story and how he doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong. He eventually sees that he is and that is the first step. When he learns of what really killed his father it hits home. Eli decides to be the person he needs to be for his family and those he leaves behind after he leaves treatment.
You will laugh at their jokes, and cry when they breakthrough, and cheer them on as they face the road to recovery. This is a must read this year. It does deal with sensitive matters, but it is done very tastefully. I give this book a solid five stars.
**Review by Terren, Late Night Reviewer for Up All Night w/ Books**
In Eli's distinctive first-person voice, Nash speeds us along quickly in the early pages of the novel, deftly setting up Eli's world -- the McMansion that feels too big, the "friend" who morphs into a drug dealer, the over-the-top party where Eli's the reluctant hero of the hour, all part of the unrelenting pressure to becomes someone he's not. Nash illustrates how Eli's world truly closes in on him when he's forced to begin a 28-day detox program at LakeShore Recovery Center. It's here where the novel pauses and lingers, unafraid to reveal the hard work ahead for Eli and the new cast of characters suddenly part of his life, including Red, Libby, Will and Mo.
A particular strength of the novel is the portrayal of counselor Richard Fisher who Eli dubs a "hippy has-been." The back and forth of their counselor/patient relationship will be eye opening for many readers. But Nash never makes it appear that a good counselor and 28 days is enough to climb out of the pain that is addiction. Nor does she resort to stock characters or predictable outcomes. What she does instead is to offer hope that there may be help waiting for those who seek it. This is a novel that confronts recovery head-on and without blinking.
Eli doesn’t know much about real relationships. He is surrounded by family and friends but due to his emotional state and drug habit, he is actually very alone and isolated. In rehab, the question is posed to him: will he continue his old behaviors or choose a new way of being in the world? At its heart, this book is about relationships: relationship to trauma, to drugs, to peers, to authority figures, and to family.
I appreciate that the author managed to tackle the topic of addiction without making this book simply splashy scenes to gape at. From the rehab experience to the Rooms (12-Step Meetings) Nash has created a fictional world that gives an authentic look at a recovery experience. She realistically portrays the insidious nature of addiction, how it slips in and stays, like a guest uninvited.
The writing, while appropriately accessible to teens, is not dumbed down nor saccharine. This book has potential to be a teaching tool for teens, a look at addiction that isn’t sexy or glamorous but opens some space to look at all the people addiction impacts (the person experiencing addiction, their family, their friends). And regardless of whether or not addiction is a subject of interest to the reader, LIFELINE is an engaging book with likable, complex characters.