|Marlena by Julie Buntin
I ALSO love it when my favorite celebrities become more human. Case in point, even though I didn't get into the whole "The Hills" drama (although I was always #TeamLC simply because Heidi was so shrill she just sounded guilty of being terrible.) I still love Lauren Conrad, and I followed her book club for a long time. Recently, an actress whom I really like (Emma Roberts) started her own book club and I am OBSESSED! #Belletrist is an Instagram based book club that encourages people to share their experiences as they read. It's a book club in real time with the real world (well, the real InstaWorld.)
This month's pick was "Marlena", a debut book that I devoured in 24 hours.
This is a young adult novel, a coming of age tale about two girls who find themselves best friends because of that magical unknown that creates all teenage best friends. It was incredible to see someone express that weird sweeping feeling of meeting your best friend and falling deeply and hopelessly in love (like, friend love. Duh.) When Cat meets Marlena she finds herself inexplicably drawn into her world, despite how different it is from who she has been up until then. Of course, they meet at the perfect moment in her life, when her parents are divorcing and she has begun to question what her personality really is. The fact that Marlena is living on the periphery of Drug Culture is enticing rather than intimidating, specifically because it is the evil mirror version of Cat's own life.
Considering the insanely fast growth of drug abuse- especially prescription drugs- among teenagers in this country, as well as the rampant Meth World (which is also seen in the book) it is wonderful to see someone portray not only what a terrible path that is to choose, but also WHY so many young people ultimately do it anyway. And, somehow, Buntin manages to do this without belittling the people she is writing about.
Because the book is YA it was a fast, easy read, but the struggle the protagonist goes through is pretty heavy and timely. I teared up multiple times, and I highly recommend this book to anybody.
The Final Result