Escalating fibs, little white lies, omissions, inventions, and outright falsehoods escort three teenage girls into the seductive world of underage partying.
Paige transitions from a 16-year-old who loves the color and crunch of fall leaves and wants to be a writer to a stereotypical party girl sneaking out to drink. With her best friends, Kate and Abby, Paige slides down the drain along with alcohol and drugs to meet the predatory men who lurk at the bottom. In a headlong rush to leave childhood behind, all three girls take advantage of oblivious parents and a culture that glorifies alcohol, pot, and parties. A pregnancy scare, a drunken blackout, unwanted intimacy, and a broken heart predestine the BFFs to an inevitable climax that forever damages their innocence. Vivid nightmares of drowning and funerals provide a glimpse of the danger Paige is courting while foreshadowing what lies ahead. Using italicized conversations and the parsimonious application of capitalization and punctuation to enhance her rhythmic poetry, debut author Bowen ultimately offers a glimmer of redemption. Without judgment, she uses Paige’s first-person narrative to show the dangers of alcohol and drugs by constructing a linear path of poems that will haunt the reader. All characters are assumed white.
Layers of lies about alcohol and pot transform a teenage girl into a stranger even she barely recognizes in this engaging novel for reluctant readers. (Verse novel. 12-18)