Thursday, February 25, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Tripping Back Blue by Kara Storti

I received this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is April 1, 2016.

Finn is a 17-year-old full of paradoxes. He's a drug dealer, but he's scoring money to send his twin sister to Harvard. He's desperate to shoot up even though he's the most popular kid in Dammertown. He's a philosopher and orator who's failing all his classes. The only time he finds peace is when he's bird-watching. Finn's life begins to spiral out of control, until he discovers a miracle drug called indigo. Finn is convinced that the drug is the way out of everything broken in his life. But is it really as magical as it seems?

I am still trying to wrap my head around this book. Honestly, it was like one big, long trip just like the title suggests. Finn is a drug dealer who is trying to raise enough money to pay for his twin sister's way to Harvard. He's also an addict. I think the scenes where Finn was shooting up or trying to score were some of the best written of the book. The imagery and the descriptions of his cravings were just so vivid. Even though I have never done drugs, I could understand what he was feeling and why he was craving it so much,

Finn and his twin sister, Faith are trying to survive with an abusive father and a neglectful mother. Yes, this is yet another case of absentee parent syndrome in YA, but it serves its purpose in the story. Faith lost an eye in an awful tragedy years earlier. Finn feels extremely guilty, despite the fact that it was not his fault and it is this guilt that drives him to try to take care of Faith. The problem is that Faith doesn't want it. Faith and Finn are both freaking geniuses (the random facts that Finn would spout were kind of awesome), but the difference is that Faith doesn't hide from her intelligence. She wants to do something with her life, but she doesn't want to use her brother's drug money to do it. It's admirable. Faith also has a business of designing her own eye patches. I love how she had a different eye patch for almost every occasion and mood. 

Finn is not without his share of physical scars. He has a burn on one side of his face from another tragedy that isn't revealed until closer to the end of the book. Both Faith and Finn were victims of their parents' abuse and neglect and the whole twin thing meant that they were usually very in tune with each other. Faith was so worried about Finn and his drug problem. She kept trying to convince him to get help for his drug problem, but he doesn't think he has one. The lies that he would come up with to cover his drug habit were so elaborate and involved that it was obvious they were fake. I have known drug addicts in the past and it is kind of a rule that the more details they provide, the more likely it is that they are lying. 

Okay, so there were a few negatives to this story. One was the discovery of the new drug, Indigo. It led to the meeting of a girl named Stacy that he was kind of in love with (after five minutes) and then there was her cop dad and her grandmother and meanwhile, there were all these other drug dealers mad because Finn was in their territory. All of this just distracted from the main story, which was Finn's obvious drug problem and his need to take care of Faith at the expense of his own life. There were points where the story was dragging because nothing was really happening except for Finn dealing with the drugs. That part was kind of boring. And I felt like the end was wrapped up a bit too neatly for my taste, especially since it was about such a heavy topic like drug addiction. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Borrow this one. All in all, there were good parts to this book, but there were also too many issues that got in the way.

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