In Ecstasy

In Ecstasy

5.0 2
by Kate McCaffrey

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Mia and Sophie have been best friends forever — but that's all about to change. Experimenting with alcohol, flirting with boys, and dabbling in drugs, their lives quickly spiral out of control. There is little currently available for young readers — and their parents — that accurately reflects both the appeal and the consequences of drug use from a… See more details below


Mia and Sophie have been best friends forever — but that's all about to change. Experimenting with alcohol, flirting with boys, and dabbling in drugs, their lives quickly spiral out of control. There is little currently available for young readers — and their parents — that accurately reflects both the appeal and the consequences of drug use from a teenage perspective, making this an important and valuable novel.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Laura Woodruff
Friends since kindergarten, fifteen-year-old Mia and Sophie are interested in the usual things: clothes, parties, and especially boys. Mia knows that blonde, buxom Sophie has powers that attract more male attention than she, so when rich, handsome Lewis finds her interesting, Mia responds completely. Lewis and Mia share pills, weed, and sex, giving Mia both status and relief from the pain of her parents' recent divorce. Mia loves Ecstasy, so much so that she ditches Lewis and becomes his dealer Glenn's girlfriend. As she descends into the drug scene, Mia fights with her parents and steals from them and others to support her habit. On her sixteenth birthday, Glenn gives Mia the date-rape drug GHB. Days later, sick, bruised, and unable to remember, Mia realizes she needs help. Compellingly written, alternating Mia's and Sophie's viewpoints, this novel gives the reader a firsthand view of the divergent lives of these two teens. Parents, too, should benefit from insight into the dangerous and easily accessed subculture that permeates the teen world. Australian McCaffrey, award-winning author of Destroying Avalon (Freemantle, 2006), writes brutal and convincing dialogue that will appeal to most readers. This book is a good addition to substance abuse collections. Reviewer: Laura Woodruff
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Two girls, BFF, discover, at 15, that the "forever" part may be F for "finished" instead. Lovely Sophie and shy Mia take ecstasy at a party, both thinking the experience will provide something different—and it does, but not the way they anticipate. Told in alternating voices and chapters, the girls' divergent paths unfold, each filled with poignant hope, illusion, and ultimately pain and peril, as one momentous decision takes them down separate, life-changing roles. Mia gathers her own friends and thinks she's finally made it with the in crowd, and cuts off her relationships with her family and with her best friend since kindergarten. Sophie, who knows that a pretty face is only part of who she is, finds herself fending off the perceptions of others, at great cost. The quicksand of gossip and popularity, spite and jealousy, the ever-growing shadow of drugs and the kids that indulge and abuse them, sweep Sophie and Mia into a maelstrom of brutal tragedy and painful awareness. Mia sinks deeper into the trap that she has stumbled into, existing in a drug-induced haze. McCaffrey's characterizations, dialogue, setting, and plot build steadily and believably. It is easy to be frustrated with and empathetic to the girls' dilemma, and teens should find the circumstances compellingly realistic. This is a cautionary wake-up call to the dangerous snowball effect of recreational drug use, cloaked in a well-written character novel.—Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
Kirkus Reviews
An oddly old-fashioned drug-abuse story from Australia. Best friends Mia and Sophie say yes when popular Lewis offers them Ecstasy at a party. Shy, insecure Mia loves the rush, the power and especially the resulting relationship with Lewis. Bold Sophie, who hates losing control (especially after a drunken blowjob left her with a reputation) is less enthralled and walks away after Lewis and Mia leave her with Glenn, who slips her a roofie and tries to rape her. Sophie and Mia's alternating-often pitch-perfect-voices detail the deterioration of their friendship and Mia's descent into addiction. However, the first-person narration necessitates Mia's being blind to her own behavior even as she describes it in painful detail, and Sophie's long delay in reaching out to Mia propels the plot but fails to be true to her character. Predictable and oddly stilted for a book that deals with drugs and contains two incidents of sexual predation, this didactic tale is unlikely to find a wide audience, particularly in a country where Ecstasy use among teens is declining. (drug-abuse resource list) (Fiction. 13-16)
Booklist - Daniel Kraus
McCaffrey is gifted with a winning and eminently readable style, and her dual leads are distinct and vibrant. Not always nuanced, but sure to be popular.
McCaffrey is gifted with a winning and eminently readable style, and her dual leads are distinct and vibrant. Not always nuanced, but sure to be popular.

— Daniel Kraus

Canadian Teacher
For Sophie and Mia, life revolves around the "in" crowd. Parties, fashion and boyfriends dominate their lives. When Mia, who feels herself to be in the shadow of the apparently more sophisticated Sophie, discovers the party drug Ecstasy she soon becomes trapped in the quicksand of escalating drug use. Sophie and Mia tell the story in short, alternating first person narratives. This technique serves to reveal incidents in each of their lives that the other is unaware of. As Sophie retreats from the drug scene and Mia becomes more enmeshed in it, their friendship starts to unravel. It is not until an acquaintance dies from a drug overdose and Mia suffers a sexual assault that Mia is brought back from the brink of self-destruction, and the way seems clear for reconciliation. This novel is definitely a "should read" for most teenagers and their parents. It depicts clearly the seductiveness of the drug scene for insecure young people--and what young person is not, in some degree, insecure?

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Product Details

Fremantle Press
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
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File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Mia and I had never been in the shop before--it was one of those places you just passed by. We knew there was nothing either of us could afford: they had the kind of stuff you saw in the magazines my mom bought, with price tags in the thousands. Inside, dresses arranged by color hung on iron rods suspended from the ceiling by invisible wires. It was supposed to look classy, but to me it was contrived and pretentious.

"Well?" She looked at me expectantly.

I watched people entering and leaving through a timber-paneled arched doorway--attracted, no doubt, by the tiny SALE sign stuck to the front window. It was weird, but I was nervous. I always was. We were shoppers, we had money--nowhere near enough, but it wasn't against the law to browse. They couldn't arrest us for looking, could they? Really though, it had nothing to do with any of that. It was because I knew we were going in to do the wrong thing.

"Yeah," I said, smiling to hide my nervousness, "but remember, you have to try on whatever I give you." She grinned wickedly. "And that goes for you too." Mia headed straight for the rack of orange. Bitch, I thought, until my eyes landed on the purples. I walked past the shop assistants without making eye contact. I figured if I acted like I had every right to be there nobody would say a word.

"Soph, I've found it," Mia shouted. "It'll go perfect with your pointy-toed, red patent stilettos." The shoes were fictitious of course; this was just Mia's attempt at embarrassing me totally. In her hand hung an orange dress that I wouldn't be caught dead in.

"Yeah, beautiful," I said, thrusting a mauve-and-yellow paisley at her, "and isn't this exactly the dress you fell in love with in Vogue?"

One of the assistants was trying not to hover, and
I couldn't help feeling sorry for her. Mia watched her with barely hidden delight. This was part of the dare too--not just who could embarrass the other the most but who could make the biggest impact. In this respect, Mia usually outperformed me.

Flicking the tag on the orange dress made me gasp. Some sale! No wonder the assistant was trying not to have a heart attack. At half-price it was still thirteen hundred dollars. That was as much as my brother's car!

The brocade curtain swung on its wrought-iron rod as I slid out of my jeans and T-shirt and wriggled into the dress.

"Is it on?" Mia shouted from behind the other curtain, another of her strategies. Usually she's quite softspoken.

I stifled my laughter. "Yep, it's gorgeous. What about you?"

"Oh yeah, you're gonna die."

I ripped open my curtain at the same time she whipped hers back.

"Oh my God, Sophie," Mia exclaimed, so loudly all heads in the shop turned our way. "You look like Barbie."

I looked at my reflection. The dress had given me cartoonlike proportions--my boobs jutted out like pointy cones and the dress hugged me tightly around the waist.

Mia pretended to sound concerned. "Soph, are you all right? Oh my God, can you breathe?"

I couldn't, because I was laughing so hard. The shiny satin of the paisley dress stopped above her knees, and she'd left her boots on and hauled her socks up. The dress was the ugliest thing I'd ever seen in my life. I lost it. I hung on to the curtain laughing so hard I thought I'd split the dress. But Mia wasn't finished.

"Good God, girl, you're a danger to society," she said. "You could take someone's eye out with those."

"And you look like someone's grandma on acid," I shot back.

We clutched each other, laughing hysterically.

"They're weapons of mass destruction."

"Shut up," I choked.

"So, girls, how are you doing for sizes?" The assistant's face was clear--she wanted us out.

"Fine," I said, trying to compose myself.

"Just perfect," Mia said, and I don't know how she does it, but she went from laughter to serious in the blink of an eye. "So, Sophie, what do you think? Would you wear it to the party tonight?"

"Hmm." I rubbed my chin. "It would go with the shoes, but maybe it's too dressy?"

"We'll think about it," Mia said, going back into her changeroom.

Mia figured I'd won that one, but I didn't agree. I could've peed my pants--probably would have if I hadn't been wearing orange silk. I could just imagine the sales woman pointing to a sign--"If you pee in it, you pay for it."

We ended up finding some great clothes on sale, real clothes that normal people can afford. And it was fun getting ready for Dom's party, even though every time I thought about seeing him I felt like throwing up. But Mia was so excited. And when she was dressed, and had made me re-do her hair fifty times, she looked amazing. She knew it too. I could tell by the way she smiled to herself. It was hard not to let her excitement infect me. By the time we walked out the front door of my house, I couldn't wait to get there either.

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What People are saying about this

"I was totally captivated by this novel and highly recommend it."
Ken Setterington
"I was totally captivated by this novel and highly recommend it."
— author and children and youth advocate for Library

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