Saturday, September 1, 2012

Review: Life of the Party by Christine Anderson

Life of the Party

Author: Christine Anderson

Publication Date: May 21st, 2012

Publisher: Smashwords

Genre: Young Adult



Seventeen-year-old Mackenzie Taylor can't wait to be free; free from high school, the shadow of her perfect older sister, and her disapproving parents. The rebellious party girl has a perfect accomplice in best friend Riley, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks who scores them drugs, booze and under-age entry into the only club in town. But then everything changes. A traumatized Riley suddenly decides to give up the party life, and a wide-eyed Mackenzie meets Grey Lewis, a broodingly talented, gorgeous older man she falls instantly in love with. Though Riley warns her to stay away, the aspiring rock star's body and ample drug supply are too tempting for her to resist. Previously inseparable, Riley and Mackenzie go their separate ways. When summer hits, Mackenzie has new friends, a new apartment and new drugs to mask the pain of Riley's absence. And of course, she has Grey. But despite the fierce, consuming passion they share, the mysterious bad-boy always leaves her guessing. Is Grey really a good guy? Or was Riley right about him all along? Mackenzie's in too deep to care. Unable to curb her mounting addictions, before long the lust-for-life teen totally loses control. She forgets Riley, forgets life, forgets everything but Grey and their next hit. But luckily for Mackenzie...Riley has never forgotten about her.

My Thoughts: This was my first time reading a book like this. A story about a young girl named Mackenzie who has always been a partier, but in her senior year of school she finds herself in an out of control downward spiral of drugs and alcohol. And she is enjoying every minute of it.

I found this story was different due to the fact that we were getting a different insight into the world of drug addiction. We experience it all first hand, from the perspective of a mind that can't see how fast they're declining. She doesn't even acknowledge her addiction until it's severe. Even when she does, she isn't disturbed by  the realization. She's happy, she loves the places drugs take her, the sensations they give her, and the escape they provide from life and all it's complications. So even though it's obvious to us how much trouble Mackenzie is in, she is oblivious and literally living in a carefree dreamland.

Mackenzie has a definite inferiority complex. She grew up with an oh so perfect bigger sister. Her parents doted on her, applauded her many accomplishments, and expected the same things of Mackenzie. Growing  up with this pressure and lack of acknowledgement from her parents I think played a huge factor in her becoming who she did. That and the fact that her parents have been mostly absent her whole life with very busy jobs. Leaving her mostly unattended and cared for. Free to do as she pleases almost all of the time. It's all perfect ingredients for a recipe of heart break and trouble.

This story really gripped me. The emotional planes it took me to were extreme. I had painful knots in my stomach. I had that heartbreak were your throat tightens up and you can't keep yourself from crying, and cry I did. Through most of the story, I was so anxiously and painfully waiting for the climax. For Mackenzie's breaking point when she hit rock bottom. When it happened, it was much more intense than I was expecting. My heart literally broke for her, over and over. I was surprised by the length of the story, but I'm also glad it was as long as it was. There seemed to be so much happening all the time, and I just couldn't get enough. I was picking this up at every single opportunity I had. I really loved this book. And I would without a doubt recommend it to just about everyone I know. It's not a story I will soon forget.

 The only part that turned me off  was the in your face religion towards the end of the book. It was something I was not expecting. And all the talk about god and and divine power and bible quotes and such really affected my liking and rating of the book. It's not that I'm anti-christian or anything like that, don't get me wrong. To each their own and I definitely don't judge. But it just seemed a bit much to me, it almost ruined the ending for me. Without the preachy-ness towards the end, I definitely would have given this a 5/5 because it was really a wonderfully written, incredibly compelling story. And even still I think everyone should read it. But because it did turn me off so much I am going to give it a 4/5.

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