Smashed by Lisa Luedeke
Summary: Katie is a star field hockey player, set to get a big scholarship from the University of Maine. But one night changes everything: Katie gets drunk with a new friend Alec, and the two end up in a terrible accident. Alec takes the blame, but he holds the truth over Katie’s head.
My thoughts: Lisa Luedeke is a fantastic storyteller. Katie’s journey—from first meeting Alec to the aftermath of the accident—is so full and flawless. The pacing is spot on: the story isn’t a quick one, but it never drags, either. Luedeke infuses her writing with a sense of foreboding in order to encourage the reader to continue.
Smashed is an issue book—it examines underage drinking and its consequences—but it’s not overly so. Luedeke doesn’t push an agenda, she merely tells the story of a girl and allows the reader to take from it what they want. Before starting Smashed, I was concerned that it would be too focused on drinking, that it would be non-stop vomit and headaches. But Smashed is more than its “issues”—Katie has a life outside of parties that sends as meaningful a message as the consequences for her drinking.
The thing that will really draw readers into Smashed is Alec. He’s an enigmatic character, written in such a way that we can never tell his true intentions. Alec certainly isn’t a likable guy, but he’s a great character. Lisa Luedeke has the “creeper” persona down pat.
Fans of contemporary fiction, especially the darker variety, will love Smashed. The voice is authentically teen, and the story is easy to sink into.
For those who like: issue books, books about drinking, creepy guys
You can find more about Lisa Luedeke at LisaLuedeke.com