How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel.Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.
Rachel’s terrified—and she can’t help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger.
With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home.
As a teen and a new adult I went through a lot. I guess you could say I had my share of ‘experiences’. I did about everything a person could do and I suffered through some crazy relationships. When I got out of it all I said that my goal was to do something with those experiences, to help others who got themselves in trouble or in over their head, in some way. The way I had thought I would do that would be by writing about it. Writing my own stories based on real life and to show teens they are not alone and maybe help those that may be headed in the wrong direction. I really feel that Carrie has wrote one of those books that I wish I had wrote. It’s definitely not my story, but so much of it could be.
Watching someone we love and care about take the wrong road that could so easily lead to death is so hard to watch. But what people don’t always understand is that all we can do is show them our love and that we do care. But we need to learn when to let the person go on their road because we can’t stop them. They have to hit rock bottom on their own.
Rachel’s brother has disappeared. He is an addict and decided to just strike out on his own and has no contact with friends or family from his life. Rachel holds a lot of pain in her heart. She feels guilt, anger, frustration, and love. She just wants her brother back and for things to be back to normal. She’s incredibly angry at him for what he’s done to her and her family but she loves him so much. And through her memories we grow to love him too. And we know without a doubt that he loves her so much as well. But he took that hit and it led him down this road. And while the drug is an addiction and a sickness it was also the choices he made. And he needs to find his way. This book is about Rachel spending one day with Tyler (Micah’s friend) searching for Micah and finding her way to accepting that perhaps there’s nothing she can do.
Because Rachel is what we would call ‘straight edge’ she does her research and knows about meth and how it works. She knows the statistics and all that stuff. She even saw her brother decline when using back when he was still at home. But we see that she still doesn’t fully grasp how it all is and through meeting different people in this one day she starts to realize that maybe her brother doesn’t want to be found and that he needs to decide when he’s ready for help, not her.
Beside her the entire time is Tyler, her brothers best friend. Tyler was such a great character and as Rachel got to know him a bit better and starts to find an attraction for him, we can see why. He is such a great person and through his little kindnesses we can’t help but root for him and Rachel to get together. But this is not a romance, and while we get those little moments between them, which we adore, we don’t get a romance yet. But as far as romance goes, we are definitely left with a smile on our faces.
Now the search for Micah may not go how you expect and even though I’m a HEA kind of person I really felt this was the right ending. The realistic ending and the one that this book needed. So while part of me desperately wants answers for everything, I also know that expecting answers for everything is just not realistic.
I have to applaud Carrie Arcos for her clever story telling skills. We get to see another side of things through Rachel’s eyes. We get the statistics, we see how the drug turns people inside out, we see how it destroys families. But all of it was done in a way that we listen, we pay attention and we hear. I think every single teenager needs to read this book. The road of meth addiction is a horrific one, don’t take that fork in the road.
Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.
Carrie Arcos lives in Los Angeles with her family. She writes young adult literature and is an adjunct professor. You can find more about her at carriearcos.com