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March 25, 2013

Review: White Lines by Jennifer Banash

Title: White Lines
Author: Jennifer Banash
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile 
Publication date: April 4th, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 304
A gritty, atmospheric coming of age tale set in 1980s New York City.

Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream: she has her own apartment on the Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream. Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control. 
The simplicity of this cover immediately made me want to read it. I'm a fan of coming-of-age novels, so I was excited to see what would happen here. Let me start by saying that I was tremendously disappointed. I have learnt my mistake, and I will never have high expectations for a book ever, because that feeling of disappointment kills me. White Lines takes place in the 1980's, in New York City. The main protagonist, Cat, lives in her own apartment on the Lower East Side. At night, she's a club kid, who's job is to guard the ropes at clubs, and sometimes even plans parties. Cat's dad is some super rich dude, who lives with his young secretary that he married. Cat's mother is this psycho who used to abuse Cat when she was younger. 
The beginning sounded promisiong. I though, okay, Cat is messed up and she'll try to get herself better somehow. No, the book kind of disgusted me. Instead of Cat seeking help from a psychiatrist or anyone, she just went clubbing instead. It's not only the clubbing, but the DRUGS! It was weird that she easily took a "line" of cocaine like she was eating her lunch. Her best friend would tell her to stop, but they still didn't treat it like it was a big deal. I personally found myself disgusted in many parts during the book. I'm not trying to offend anyone, but those were just my personal feelings. I remember I was eating my cereal while reading White Lines, and at some part I literally felt like vomiting what I ate. It just felt weird, and sometimes I felt uncomfortable. 
I kind of hoped that the book would be concentrated more on her problems with her mom, and NOT the clubbing. We would get some "flashbacks" of what her mother would do to her, but other than that, not much is said. I can say that the only part I liked would probably be the ending. I felt like there was still some hope for Cat to change her ways of living. Overall, White Lines was NOT what I was expecting. I'm not sure if I would recommend this to anyone, but if those scenes don't bother you, then give it a try!


  1. I was curious about this one, but from what I can tell, it might not be for me. Thanks for sharing your thought on it.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  2. Oh, I'm happy that I wasn't planning to read this book in the first place. I can't stand it when characters are using drugs so easily. It's a shame that it was so disappointed, especially since you were so excited about it :(


  3. I've been looking forward to picking this one up, but your review is definitely making me think twice. I'm not terribly bothered by drug use, but I definitely prefer books that show the consequences of using drugs and just don't depict drugs as fun and easy.

  4. I don't think I'm going to like it either. It's not that I haven't read books with alcohol or drugs before or I'm offended by them; it's your life,, do whatever you want but I would be livid throughout the story if I had to see Cat waste her time and not get treatment. Clearly she has issues! It's safe to say, I'm not going to pick this one up. Thanks for your review :)

  5. That's disappointing! I'm a fan of coming of age novels too, and I can't say that I'm going to like this, based on your opinion. Cat sounds like a terrible main character. Fab review, Farah! (:

    Megan@The Book Babe

  6. Boo. I was already having doubts about picking up this book. I think I might wait given your review. It might not be what I like.

  7. This was never a book for me in the first place, and I definitely don't plan to pick it up now. Sorry it disappointed you, Farah! I wish it was as easy as never having high expectations for a book ever again. It's always the worst feeling when a book doesn't deliver. :(

  8. I'm sad you didn't like this one, Farah! I have an ARC that I was planning to read soon but now I think I might wait a bit to see more reviews. The cover is what drew me in, too! And having high expectations and then being disappointed just SUCKS!

  9. Thanks so much for the honest review! I was planning on reading this one but after reading what disgusted you (and would also disgust me) I'm going to take it off my TBR.

  10. I loved this one! Definitely understand being sad and uncomfortable with her drug use but since at my high school it was such a rampant thing it felt realistic. I could also her relate to her need to fit in and escape and that the place she could do that was the club because I felt very similar and spent a ton of years at the club between like 18-23. The flashbacks to her mom were really brutal but Julian was adorable!

  11. I've seen this book around and wanted to read it, but honestly, after your review, I'm not that much inclined to read it now. I really cannot, in any way, relate to familial problems in books and maybe I should skip this one. Great review!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  12. I understand why you felt uncomfortable. Some books focus too much on all the possible messed up things a character can go through and struggles of that. To me, a Coming of Age is self discovery in the most simplest of interactions, not digging yourself out of an impossible (maybe improbable) hell. But that's just me.

    Anyway, thanks for the review Farah!

  13. I felt the same way about this book...SOOO disappointed!

  14. Yeah I think i will steer clear of this one. Thanks for your review!!!!

  15. I absolutely adored this book. It was so refreshing and utterly gritty when I read it. Exactly what I was looking for. I want to go read it again!