Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos -- NOT RECOMMENDED

Arcos, Carrie Out of Reach 250 pgs. Simon Pulse, 2012. $16.99. Content rating: R (Numerous swears, including multiple f-bombs, and graphic depictions of drug use.) Rachel is used to being the good girl in the family, especially when compared with her meth-addicted older brother Micah. When Micah disappears, she chalks it up to his drug habit and carries on with her life. But an anonymous email telling her that he's in trouble sparks a trip with one of Micah's friends. Together they plan to search for him and bring him home. But the trip isn't as easy as what they've planned, and Micah may prove to be harder to reach than Rachel feared.

I wanted to like this book. Not only does it not glorify the use of drugs, but it includes a lot of scary facts about them, and depicts addiction in many unattractive ways. Unfortunately, these details sometimes came across as lectures. That, paired with teen characters who talked and though like very wise adults, could turn off many teen readers. In addition, I had trouble connecting with the main character, who lied to her parents about where she was, who she was with, what she was doing, and even the fact that her car was stolen on the trip. The very graphic portrayals of drug use may be quite disturbing for many, while drinking and smoking were considered acceptable, making this one risky for a school session. Maybe in a public library, or for older students who are looking to understand a loved-one's drug addiction. HS -- Not recommended. Reviewer: Caryn

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