A field hockey star grapples with addiction in this riveting debut that will appeal to fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak.
out of trouble for one more year, and Katie Martin can leave her small
town loneliness behind forever. She is a field hockey star on the fast
track to a college scholarship, but her relationship with alcohol has
always been a little questionable. Then trouble finds her. Alec is the
most popular guy in school, and also the biggest bully—with his sights
set firmly on Katie. When Alec turns on the charm, Katie thinks she must
have been wrong about him.
Except that she wasn’t. On a
rain-soaked, alcohol-drenched night, one impulsive decision leaves Katie
indebted to Alec in the worst possible way. This debut novel is a
fast-paced and compelling story of addiction, heartbreak, and
Smashed is an amazing book that I was unable to put down. I constantly had to know what would happen next to Katie. This book is extremely emotional, and the writing makes it impossible to not feel bad for Katie. I rooted for things to get better for her.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Katie is a great main character. She has many issues, but it is still easy for the readers to want her to get better. Many of her problems stem from the fact that she drinks and parties too much. Her dad left when she was eleven or twelve, and her mom is always working and spending time with her boyfriends, so Katie hardly ever sees her. Katie's younger brother Will practically lives at his best friend's house. He sleeps over there so much. Sometimes, when she has a bad day, she decides to drink alcohol. When she starts seeing Alec during the summer, she thinks that maybe he isn't as bad as his reputation says he is. He seems like a nice guy to her, but then there is a drunk driving accident. Katie was the driver, but Alec tells everyone that he was the driver. Katie knows that he could easily use this against her.
The relationships portrayed between Katie and her two best friends are well done. Some issues arise near the beginning between Katie and Matt when she starts becoming friendly with Alec. In the past, one of Alec's friends had bullied Matt, so he doesn't understand why Katie would suddenly change her opinion of him. Still, despite this, he is a great friend. In many books, the girl ends up with her guy best friend, but that doesn't happen here. Katie's other best friend, Cassie, is also a great friend. She plays field hockey with Katie. Near the end of the book, they have some problems since Katie tells Cassie she would have never gotten into the situations that Katie got into. There is a great scene with the two of them when they reconcile.
The emotions in this book are so well written, and that was one of my favorite things about this book. There is a scene when Alec does something horrible to Katie, and the aftermath of this scene is amazingly written. Katie feels so sick that she lies in bed for days, thinking about what he did to her. She sometimes half blames herself, but she also knows that it wasn't her fault.
If you like emotional contemporary YA, read this book.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!