Tuesday, May 29, 2012


From Goodreads.com:
Natasha Friend is a Judy Blume for today -- clearly evident in this remarkable new novel about a girl whose father is an alcoholic and how she and her family learn to deal with his condition. 
It's hard to be a 13-year-old girl. But it's even harder when your father's a drunk. It adds an extra layer to everything -- your family's reactions to things, the people you're willing to bring home, the way you see yourself and the world. For Samantha, it's something that's been going on for so long that she's almost used to it. Only, you never get used to it. Especially when it starts to get worse...”

Samantha (Sam) is a typical middle school girl, except for one thing, her dad is an alcoholic. Sam’s mom and grandmother (her dad’s mom) are willing if not eager to overlook or flat out deny or ignore what is happening in their lives. Sam decides to seek some advice from a stranger via a note left at the library.

The stranger helps her to learn about herself and her dad’s disease. When Sam meets the stranger, she is surprised to learn that the person has faced adversity as well. Together they work to help Sam learn to help herself as her dad spirals out of control. It isn’t until a regrettable incident involving Sam’s younger brother that her dad finally gets some help.

I love that Natasha Friend doesn’t hesitate to take on the difficult topic of alcoholism. She does an excellent job of describing the lengths to which a person will go to protect their disease. Dad hides bottles, drives drunk while pretending to be ok, screams and yells and then claims not to remember it and so much more. He isn’t a “bum” or a “bad guy”, in fact, he is a highly respected architect. Ms. Friend has chosen a “regular guy” as her alcoholic father. I so much appreciated that aspect of the book. Alcoholics are everywhere, all zip codes, all races, all tax brackets, and all education levels.

In Lush, Natasha Friend not only gives us with a heroine we can root for but also provides information at the end of the book. She includes websites, books, and phone numbers for teens that may have the same family situation.

This book is a great, short read with a good plot and a lot of information!

If you or someone you know is (or may be) an alcoholic here are some resources for help:

Alateen: for teens with a family member or friend who is an alcoholic (either active or in recovery)

Alcoholics Anonymous: for people who are or think they might be alcoholics. Great information about the disease for everyone.

Coping with an Alcoholic Parent: Great info


Katie said...

This seems like an interesting book with some great insight.

I also liked that you added the help links that was great.

You blog looks great and I can't wait to see more posts.

I am a new follower via GFC, Facebook, Linky,Networkede blogs and Twitter.

I would love it if you could check out my blog sometime(: http://curseofthebibliophile.blogspot.com/

Jess @ The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow said...

Hi Dawn, It sounds like a moving story. I think that not portraying the alcoholic father in the stereotypical manner of a bum adds a certain depth to the story. Great review! I look forward to checking out Lush : ) ~ Jess

Katie said...

Hi, I have tagged you for the Liebster award(:
Head over to curseofthebibliophile.blogspot.com to see your tag. I can’t wait to see your answers (:

John Michael Cummings said...

Dear Dawn Z,

I'm an author with a new collection of YA short stories, Ugly To Start With (West Virginia University Press).

Will you please consider reviewing it?

I've been writing and publishing for twenty years--more than one hundred stories and two novels--and Ugly To Start With is my best work.

My first novel, The Night I Freed John Brown (Penguin), won The Paterson Prize for Fiction and was recommended by USA Today.

My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

If you write me back at johnmcummings@aol.com, I’ll send you a PDF of my collection for your consideration.

At this point, my small publisher is out of available review copies, so I hope and politely ask that you consider the PDF.

I would be very grateful.

Thank you so much.

John Michael Cummings

Sherry Soule said...

Thanks for sharing such a fantastic and well-written review. ;-)

Check out my books!

DawnZ said...

Thanks Sherry! I really enjoyed this book. Now if only I could get some time to read and post....

I look forward to checking out your books.


Stephanie@The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow said...

This sounds like a book I would enjoy. I loved Judy Blume growing up and flet her characters were very real. I haven't heard of Lush- but after reading youre review I will add it to my list. Thanks!

DawnZ said...

@Stephanie I truly think you will like it. I am looking forward to reading more of her books, especially since she is a Connecticut Author!