After the death of her grandmother, Andrea fights to survive a violent life with her addict mother.
Sixteen-year-old Andrea lives quietly with her grandmother, putting all her energy into academic achievement. If she can get a full scholarship to college, she can escape the shadow of her estranged, drug-addicted mother, Ayla. But when Gram suddenly passes away, Ayla resurfaces to claim custody. Andrea, a pretty, white girl whose light blue eyes are the envy of her peers, gets used to Ayla partying all night, spending all their money, and taking financial advantage of men. When they’re evicted, a white man named Judd lets them move in on the condition that Andrea earns her keep helping with household chores and his drug-running business. The slightest misstep leads to physical punishment. Andrea tries to keep her head down and focus on school, but she stumbles into new friendships that put her and those she cares about at risk. She can’t let anyone get close now; all she can do is try to survive—and she will do anything to survive. Andrea’s constant abuse is heartbreaking, and her complicated relationship with Ayla is well-wrought. Though her struggles are hard to read about, Andrea is both flawed and fierce enough to pull readers through them with her.
An achingly realistic portrait of abuse and addiction. (Fiction. 14-adult)