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Roxy Hardcover – November 9, 2021
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The freeway is coming.
It will cut the neighborhood in two. Construction has already started, pushing toward this corridor of condemned houses and cracked concrete with the momentum of the inevitable. Yet there you are, in the fifth house on the left, fighting for your life.
The victim of the bet between two manufactured gods: the seductive and lethal Roxy (Oxycontin), who is at the top of her game, and the smart, high-achieving Addison (Adderall), who is tired of being the helpful one, and longs for a more dangerous, less wholesome image. The wager—a contest to see who can bring their mark to “the Party” first—is a race to the bottom of a rave that has raged since the beginning of time. And you are only human, dazzled by the lights and music. Drawn by what the drugs offer—tempted to take that step past helpful to harmful…and the troubled places that lie beyond.
But there are two I. Rameys—Isaac, a soccer player thrown into Roxy’s orbit by a bad fall and a bad doctor and Ivy, his older sister, whose increasing frustration with her untreated ADHD leads her to renew her acquaintance with Addy.
Which one are you?
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"This allegorical take on the opioid epidemic provides an utterly unique point of view on the lives of those struggling with drug dependencies. Surprisingly, this approach does not water down the stark realities besetting Ivy and Isaac as they sink into addiction. Rather, it captures the drugs’ allure, from granting small benefits and initial highs, before taking the reader through the horrible spiral that addiction can entail. Gritty and unflinching, this book portrays the opioid crisis in a way older YA readers can feel and understand." -- Booklist
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (November 9, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1534451250
- ISBN-13 : 978-1534451254
- Reading age : 14 years and up
- Lexile measure : HL710L
- Grade level : 9 and up
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #58,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I will admit, I'm a sucker for Neal’s books and very biased and blind-sighted by that bias. Despite that, and attempting to remove that bias, I still believe full-heartedly that this book will stick with a majority of its readers. Ivy and Isaac’s descent into drug abuse is believable, it doesn't feel forced nor unrealistic. The stakes of their addiction and abuse are also consistently high once they drive right into their issues.
I was pleasantly surprised by how Ivy’s character was handled. Once I was introduced to her I was worried about her character arc, and if she would have one. She’s a complex character, but I wish we got to her quicker. Isaac steals the focus, and it's understandable why, but while he's quickly entering his arc...Ivy is put on the backburner it feels. I could be recalling this incorrectly as well since I've read this book though the course of multiple weeks while also having school and work and such along with suffering from a head injury that effects my memory.
Ivy and Isaac aren’t the only enjoyable characters in this book. Their friends, parents, and grandmother are an incredibly fun and engaging side cast. Roxy and Addison are also very fun, I also enjoyed Al despite him being a minor character.
The other personified drugs were interesting and fun as well, especially in the final chapters that were heart-wrenching even if I knew where the story had to end. It's no secret that one of the siblings *will* fall victim to overdose. The first chapter establishes this, but it's still an emotional ending after you spent those three months with these characters.
Addison was a great character to follow as he has his eyes set straight for his prize of validation with the other drugs in the Party. Roxy was bursting with personality, and it felt like much at times but I feel like that made her character even better. I can see how some may not like the idea of the drugs being personified, but I find it a concept that deepens the heart of the book. It makes the ending even more gut-wrenching than it already was as we see the aftermath of the overdose. We know these characters. We know how they've grown and been impacted by these two high schoolers. So seeing them in their finale is almost a betrayal, but one that should have been expected.
Neal and Jarrod worked perfectly while writing this story, and it was a fantastic read. I was there live for one of the Roxy books tours, and listening to Neal speak on the book gives me a deeper appreciation for this labor of love between a father and son. I've talked with my school’s library and I'm ecstatic for it to be a new edition so other young readers can follow Isaac and Ivy’s story.
I can't wait to return to this story again in the future and follow Isaac, Ivy, Roxy, and Addison all over again.
Isaac and Ivy are brother and sister. Isaac is a hockey player with an injury that introduces him to Oxycontin and Ivy is a student with ADHD given Adderall. Ivy is the troubled daughter often in trouble with her parents, while Isaac is the shiny star of the family.
This story of the fall of two teens is told from the drugs themselves. Roxy (Oxycontin) and Addison(Adderall). They explain their jobs as drugs to bring their charges to the drugs higher up like Heri(Heroin) and Crys(Crystal Meth). The two drugs Roxy and Addison want to keep their charges to their selves and bring them to the VIP room which is where the charge would perish. They are in competition with each other while other drugs try to steal their charges away. One of them will win and one will lose.
This story would be a good one for the YA age group or even upper middle grades to read. It has nothing too shocking, it has no sex or bad language. It does shoe the progression from legitimate drug use to abuse and how it is such a small step to addiction. It is told in a way that young people will relate and understand.
It was an interesting read although I was not associated with the drugs talked about and sometimes did not know what the nicknames stood for but I caught on as the drugs talked to each other at the party.
I would recommend this book for teenagers and for the parents of teenagers. It might save someone's life.
Thanks to Neal and Jarrod Shusterman, Simon and Schuster Children's Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to enjoy a complimentary copy of the book for my honest review