Patterned after Go Ask Alice, this faux diary chronicles a teen’s descent into drug addiction and becoming a victim of abuse.
Still grieving her mother’s sudden death, shipped off to a prestigious boarding school by her new stepmother, and finding herself completely alone, Bailey is vulnerable. She’s also a chemistry whiz, and when the most popular students ask her to participate in the school’s exclusive Science Club, why would she refuse? The title of this book plays on the title of the popular TV show Breaking Bad, as Science Club is not an innocuous extracurricular but a front for a secret meth lab. Of course, Bailey knows meth is harmful, but classmate Warren convinces her that they’ll make it safe for addicts who are going to use anyway. She soon writes of the pressures to balance schoolwork with her meth production quota. Not wanting to fail Warren, who becomes her first love, she accepts his Adderall and Percocets to get through long days. And she can stop them anytime, unlike meth addicts—or can she? While this series can veer toward the sensational, the message of this “diary” is less about anti-drug propaganda and more about how young women can be victimized. Warren’s manipulation of Bailey, such as gaslighting her when she questions the meth operation, is spot-on. The book assumes a white default.
Readable—and relatable for many. (Fiction. 14-18)