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Life of the Party
By Christine Anderson
This was a very well written and thought provoking book. It deals with the raw, dark and realistic subject of drug use and addiction. The characters were well-developed and “real”. They made me care for them, worry about them, feel frustrated with them and left me completely invested in their story. The fact that I liked the characters, even the ones that might have been “questionable”, says something about the author’s ability to create an interesting and intense cast of characters.
Mackenzie is a seventeen year old girl who enjoys the party lifestyle. She is always looking for the next excuse to get drunk or high… usually the weekends are a good enough excuse. She partakes in this reckless behavior along with her best friend, Riley. They are inseparable and “partners in crime” in this drug induced pastime. When Riley comes to his senses and realizes that his life is going nowhere, he stops the partying and tries to change his habits. Mackenzie is not ready to change. She is young, invincible and wants to continue to have fun.
Mackenzie comes from a professional family. Her parents work long hours and this leaves her to fend for herself, she essentially has no rules. She has grown up in the shadow of her older sister. She has always felt inadequate to her in every way. Mackenzie gave up on trying to impress her family. She lives the way she wants to with little regard for the consequences.
Mackenzie’s life changes when she meets Grey Lewis. He is a gorgeous, sexy singer in a local rock band. She is immediately drawn to him. Despite his efforts to keep his distance from her, he is drawn to her too. He lives the reckless and carefree lifestyle of a rock musician and soon Mackenzie is immersed deeper into the drug world. Grey is older and has more life experience than Mackenzie. He didn’t have the upbringing that Mackenzie had. He has never had a good opinion of himself, but rather thinks of himself as a screw-up and a loser. Despite their excessive drug use, dependency and general dysfunction, Grey and Mackenzie have an undeniable love for one another.
I could go on and on about the story and the characters, but I don’t want to give too much of the story away. There is a lot that happens and it had me feeling every kind of emotion imaginable. I felt like I had been on an emotional roller coaster by the end of it. The up’s and down’s were intense and I felt as though I was living through it right along with the characters. It’s the type of book that will stay with you long after you have finished it. It does have a religious/spiritual aspect to it, but it isn’t overdone. I would definitely read more by this author!