Beneath a Meth MoonBeneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson
Published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin

Laurel is trying to recover from the deaths of her mother and grandmother in Hurricane Katrina. She has moved with her father and brother to a new town, joined the cheerleading team, has a new best friend and even a boyfriend, T-Boom, superstar basketball player. When T-Boom introduces her to meth, she can’t help but fall in love with the way it makes her feel, the way it erases all the pain she carries inside of her and makes her forget how much she misses her mother. As she gets further into her addiction, she begins to lose her friends, her family, her dignity – basically everything. With the help of a new friend Moses, Laurel decides to create a new reality for herself and recover from her addiction.

Beneath a Meth Moon is an extremely quick read that packs a huge punch. I read this book in one sitting, breathless, hoping and praying for Laurel’s recovery. As I was reading, I found myself feeling closer and closer to Laurel emotionally, and my heart just broke for what she was going through. This girl has had a difficult life, has had to grow up overnight, and I could almost understand why she would turn to a drug like meth to help her escape from her past.

I can’t tell you how much this book affected me. I don’t cry too often while reading, but this was one time that I definitely shed some tears. I have personal experience with addiction (not myself, but a few people I am very close to) and I get how difficult, almost impossible, it can be to get to a sober place and stay there. And to deal with all of this at such a young age as Laurel, well it is truly heartbreaking. Kudos to Woodson for taking on this topic though as I know meth is something more and more teens are tempted with these days.

Beneath a Meth Moon is an emotionally draining and tough, but excellent, read. At less than 200 pages, it can easily be read in one sitting, and the pacing of the novel encourages such a thing as you will be unable to put Laurel and her story down once you begin. If you aren’t afraid to read about difficult topics such as addiction, this is a book not to be missed.