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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Lush Paperback – August 1, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up–To the outside world, 13-year-old Samantha's family seems perfectly happy. However, they are struggling to keep her architect father's alcoholism a secret, and the balancing act of enabling his addiction and protecting their image is becoming more and more difficult. Sam longs to be able to share her burden with a friend and reaches out by leaving an anonymous autobiographical letter in a library book. Her anger and frustration are palpable as she struggles with her love for her dad despite the fact that his promises to clean up never materialize. When Sam is chastised by her mother and grandmother for not believing in his ability to change, readers will sympathize with the injustice of her difficult situation. Yet, the author avoids a maudlin tone by infusing the plot with details of typical teen life, such as Sam's crush on an older boy and embarrassment at her developing body. Witty dialogue and smooth writing move the novel along at a clipped pace, and tension is successfully built and maintained as the teen's father's illness takes a dangerous turn, her budding relationship comes to a head, and her anonymous library pen pal is revealed. Despite the minor appearance of a stereotypical librarian, this is a perceptive novel featuring a likable protagonist to whom readers will easily relate. As in Perfect (Milkweed, 2004), Friend adroitly portrays a weighty topic with touches of humor and grace.–Rebecca M. Jones, Fort Myers-Lee County Library, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Thirteen-year-old Samantha's father is an alcoholic. When he is sober, he is a great guy, but when he is drunk, he is scary and abusive. With her mother in denial and a four-year-old brother to protect, Sam writes a note asking for advice and leaves it in the library, hoping an older girl she admires will write back to her. So begins a correspondence in which Sam opens up about her father's alcoholism as well as her crush on an older boy. In return, the letter writer, who goes only by initials, reveals some hard truths. As she did in Perfect (2005), Friend adeptly takes a teen problem and turns it into a believable, sensitive, character-driven story, with realistic dialogue. The cautiously optimistic ending works because Friend has convinced readers that Sam can handle whatever happens. Friend, who clearly understands and empathizes with young teens, is a writer to watch. Debbie Carton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439853478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439853477
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #943,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It's interesting how this book came into my hands. My sixth-grade daughter put it there. We spent some time in the bookstore together and she, as usual, picked out half a dozen books. I picked one and it was a loser. So, she offered me, "Lush" by Natasha Friend. I read it in just over an hour, mostly because I couldn't put it down. I will pass it on to her, with only a slight reservation about some youthful /immature sexual references, which, unfortunately, will cross her path one of these days in spite of anything I do or don't do/say.

This is the simple and well-written story of Samantha "Sam" Gwynn, a typical, suburban teenager. She's in eighth grade and on the verge of . . . everything. As if dealing with hormones popping all around her at school weren't enough to manage, at home she tries to cope with her father's drinking problem, her mother the enabling yoga freak, and her adorable little brother, Luke. She's feuding with her neighbor, Charlie Parker, believing he stole her bra and charged his buddies a buck to view it, and she develops a crush on a popular high school boy. Sam has friends (a fun and believable trio of girls from school), but she needs a confidant--someone to whom she can express her fears about her father's drinking. She sets her sights on a redheaded girl in the library named Juliet and composes a letter to her.

"My dad is what you would call a big drinker (which really equals a big alcoholic--I have done my research)," she writes. Sam leaves the first note with instructions to reply by leaving a note in an obscure book called "The History of Modern Whaling." Thus, an entertaining and mysterious correspondence ensues. As the story unfolds, Sam's humor and intelligence shines through.
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A Kid's Review on January 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The squeal to Perfect, Lush by Natasha Friend could be read from anyone 5th grade to 8th grade. This teaches teens or going on teens a very important lesson.

Lush is about a headstrong girl named Sam who has a huge problem on her hands. Her dad is an alcoholic. So when she doesn't know what to do or who to ask she goes to a random girl in the library that she barley knows, and tells her everything About her dad her little brother and the cute boy in the green hat named Drew. But when her little brother gets sent to the hospital and Sam gets invited to a cool senior party by Drew everything goes down hill. So now her only person she can really trust is the random girl at the library. So when Sam goes to this cool senior party Sam gets drunk and for Drew, well he forces Sam to do stuff that she doesn't really want to do. So them she turns to her best friends when they won't even talk to her because she has been keeping all these secrets from them. Could Sam's life get any worse?

Readers will be hooked by its creative wording and amazing characters. This is Natasha Friends best work yet.
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A Kid's Review on March 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Samantha Gwynn has a very big secret in the book "Lush" by Natasha Friend. Her dad is an alcoholic and if that isn't enough, she has to deal with 8th grade boys at school and drama between friends. Sam's mom feels practicing yoga will heal their family's problems. As you can probably assume, that doesn't go accordingly. Sam's mom is out every night searching for her dad at random bars or clubs. The whole family never knows what to expect when he comes home except to be ready. After a wild night out, Sam's dad swears his problem is over and he will never drink again, so he says. For maybe a split second, Sam believes him. Of course, his problem only got worse. He was becoming a better liar and finding more places to hide his stash. Eventually, her family checks him into a rehab center after brutally attacking Sam's little brother Luke. While not wanting her friends to know about her family's issues, she finds a random stranger in the library and writes her a letter, in hopes, that she will write back with advice. Although at the end of the story, Sam finds out who the pen pal actually was and boy was she shocked! Samantha was a brave girl who just wanted to be normal. If I was in her position I couldn't possibly imagine what I would do. At the end of the book, I feel that Sam really learns more about herself than anyone else. Although I loved this book and the lessons I learned from it, the book was very predictable. I had a feeling that the father was going to get help and be treated and that somehow the person she was writing to really wasn't who she thought it was. I would definitely recommend this book to kids my age or kids who maybe feel their families might have similar issues to Sam's family.
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Format: Hardcover
I HATE to read. Everyone who knows me is quite familiar with my lack of reading. Nobody can convince me to read, but myself. I have read books of course-some good, some bad. I decided to go out and get a bunch of books that would hold my interest. Lush was one of them. I am just so happy that I purchased this astonishing book. Lush is now considered one of my favorite books. Never do I have the patience to sit down and read. On my way home from the book store, I browsed through my new books, read a page of a few of them and then put them away clueless. I then had a second thought to pick up LUSH again. I read the first few pages and could not help, but to read on. I realized my attempt to read this book is actually one that lead me to entertainment while using my brain. Once I got home, I turned to page 13 where I left off and continued. I turned on a shining light, got comfortable, and began to read on. Not only did I enjoy this book, but it taught me a lot. A lot about the experience Samantha went through as well as how to enjoy a real book. Through all the snacks and enjoyment LUSH was one of the best books that I have ever read. It not only held my interest, but it did the most powerful thing a book has done for me in a while. Lush got me motivated to keep reading and come to the conclusion that reading is not so bad-you just need to read what you learn to love!
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