Life of the Party by Christine Anderson
I received this book for free from the GoodReads Nexus ARR (Authors Requesting Reviews) program in exchange for a free review.
Wow. I almost gave it 5♥'s, but there were times in the middle that dragged a little for me. I found myself actually rooting for Mac to finally hit her rock bottom (I was getting sick of her being the life of the party.) I nearly reached a point of just wanting to smack her and physically prevent her from her downward spiral; practically screaming, "just hurry up and get it over with." But then she reach that low point... once that happened I was an absolute mess. Bawling my eyes out, wanting to say, "No, not like this! Not like this!"
It's an emotional roller coaster that reveals the dark road of many forms of addiction. It really touched me and will stay with me for a long time. Light and fluffy, this is not. It's a long, dark path filled with (Not-so-much)Sex, Drugs, and Rock-N-Roll. I appreciated the 90's references and how they really struck a cord with how my life was in high school. I'm not sure if it was my past, or just the story itself that caused it to really strike a nerve within me. To give you an idea, it's almost like the book Beautiful Disaster meets the movie Trainspotting. And I have to admit I hate, nay loathe, that movie. This book was gut wrenching, pull your heart out, eyes spill with tears, and throat burn pilgrimage.
The characters seemed well rounded enough to suck me in and touch my heart. Grey... oh, Grey. Oh, to be young again- young and free to make the stupidest life choices. I can remember some of my own, teenage thoughts mirroring Mac's. You have to see that dark to appreciate the light at the end of the tunnel.
The ending... I can see it making or breaking the story for many readers. It was OK (for me)... but I really wish the epilogue had been about Mac's future. Specifics about the future. I know in life there are not guarantees, but in my books I'd really like to know after Mac's journey... that there was not just hope and faith, that she finally did reach and stick with her goals. I was left with an overall impression that she was, but would have loved to hear about it, rather than what the epilogue contained. That was also part of 4 rather than a 5 star rating. This is a slice of life that is more than worth the read but should not be taken casually.