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4.5 123
by Natasha Friend

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Natasha Friend is a Judy Blume for today -- clearly evident in this remarkable new novel about a girl whose father is an alcoholic and how she and her family learn to deal with his condition. It's hard to be a 13-year-old girl. But it's even harder when your father's a drunk. It adds an extra layer to everything -- your family's reactions to things, the people you're


Natasha Friend is a Judy Blume for today -- clearly evident in this remarkable new novel about a girl whose father is an alcoholic and how she and her family learn to deal with his condition. It's hard to be a 13-year-old girl. But it's even harder when your father's a drunk. It adds an extra layer to everything -- your family's reactions to things, the people you're willing to bring home, the way you see yourself and the world. For Samantha, it's something that's been going on for so long that she's almost used to it. Only, you never get used to it. Especially when it starts to get worse...

Editorial Reviews

In her debut, Perfect, Natasha Friend probed teen angst and denial. Her second novel, Lush, invites us into the life of a 13-year-old girl forced to cope daily with her father's alcoholism. Young Samantha's ugly family secret isn't her only problem, though: Her mother seems more interested in achieving yogic tranquility than in dealing with family problems; her gym teacher views her as a menace; and, oh yes, her boobs won't stop growing. This arresting novel of adolescence will touch a chord in troubled teens.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
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File size:
192 KB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Award-winning author of Perfect, Natasha Friend was born in Norwich, New York. Upon receiving her B.A. in Psychology in 1994 from Bates College, Natasha went on to Clemson University to earn her M.A. in English in 1997. As a former camp director and English teacher, Natasha enjoys singing and song-lyric writing and plans to write more books in the future. Her first book, Perfect, poignantly probes the hushed struggles of body image, eating disorders, and grief. Perfect has won the Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature and Book Sense’s Pick. When commenting on Perfect, Booklist wrote, “Friend elevates what could have been just another problem novel to a truly worthwhile read of great interest to many girls.”

Natasha’s newest title, Lush, boldly delves into the tumultuous life and mind of a thirteen-year-old girl whose father is an alcoholic. Samantha must cope with sadness, secrecy, and shame in addition to her own teenage trials. Just when Samantha’s skin toughens and emotions numb, it gets worse for her. Natasha wrote this book in an effort to spotlight the proverbial “elephant in the room,” so that its presence is acknowledged and removed.

Natasha currently resides in Connecticut with her husband, Erik, and sons, Jack and Ben.

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Lush 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 123 reviews.
BookWerm21 More than 1 year ago
Sam has always had a secret; her father is an alcoholic. This takes a major toll on her and her family as Sam tries to grow up as normally as possible. Her mother makes excuses for her Dad, and her little brother Luke is too young to help. So in a moment of desperation, Sam turns to a girl named Juliet who she always sees in the library, writing her an anonymous letter explaining her situation and asking for help. As the story progresses, Sam and "Juliet" exchange many notes in between pages 32 and 33 in The History of Modern Whaling. However, Sam also finds herself with another problem when an older boy from the library named Drew takes an interest in her. After lying to her friends and ditching their usual sleepover for a high school party, she gets herself into a lot of trouble with both her friends and herself. Things also get worse when her father, who was drunk, smashed a bottle in her brother Luke's face. She is constantly reminded of this by the stitches on his face from his nose to his ear. Her father goes to a rehab center called Shady Brook Farm to get help for his growing problem. This is a great book that has a surprise twist in the end that was great. She stays true to her insight and the story is written perfectly in the persona of a middle schooler. Any Natasha Friend fan will enjoy this book very much! ****PLEASE RATE THIS REVIEW****
Turk More than 1 year ago
I liked this book but the thing with it was, it just ended. You never found out some stuff. It just left you hanging. But I liked the story overall, it wasn't bad I just wish the ending was different.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Samantha has a secret;Her dads and alcoholic but he wont admit it.He has been hiding alcohol bottles all over the house.When her dad makes a mistake the whole family turns the oppisite of what they really are.Sams brother doesn't say much anymore and her mom is sad all the time.When Sam finally finds out who her secret note taker is she is very surprised...... This is a very good book so I hope you enjoy it!:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The title of the book Is Lush by Natasha Friend. It’s about this thirteen year girl whose father is an alcoholic and her mother is a yoga freak and thinks that everything in life can just be breathed out. She hides all her family problems and her real life from her best friends because she doesn’t want the girls to think different of her. I first met Samantha, the main character, as she watches as her father is passed out in a plate of lasagna. I chose this book because honestly it did not have very many pages and the words were sort of in a bigger text. When I started reading I discovered there was more to it behind the words. If I really had thought about it. I could kind of relate to Sam but it a total different way not alcohol but drugs. It destroyed her family just like mine. I would recommend this book because it keeps you wanting to read more, funny at times, and has a great meaning behind it all. There were some events that went on that shouldn’t for a thirteen year old girl, but that is life. I’d say it should be read by fifteen year olds and up. Lush was an amazing book but I believe it lacked in the very end. She did not connect us to what happened it just ended in a daze. I’d still rate it five stars if I had to. I gave great points and ideas to anyone who might be dealing with the same problems. It was basically a diary of Samantha’s life I think. She went through the drama, boys, and keeping her grades and friends up to point. There is a story behind everyone’s smile. In every dark room there is a light, just have to turn it on. People go through the rough to make them who they become. This book really packs a punch. I loved it! Destiny Brown 11/19/13
booksrgr8_teen258 More than 1 year ago
I got this book after I read anither book by Natasha Friend, called BOUNCE. BOUNCE was absolutely amazing and I was very excited to read this one. It was a short read, but I think that the storyline was very good. When Samantha's dad always comes home and is drunk, she is very frusterated, and it soon becomes a handful. WHen He comes home and never remebers anything in the morning, Sam is very agitated,. Since Sam cannot tell any of her friends that hjer dad is drunk all the time, she picks a random person in the library to write notes to. The person gives her good advice and Sam goes to it for everything. One day Sam decides to go to a party with a highschooler, and it begins to get out of hand. He trys to it her and when she tells him that she is only a "chlid, " only thirteen he freaks out and leaves her. After she gets abducted by lamos from her class and she is pressured to do things she isn't. When she herself is drunk, Sam sees through her dads eyes. But then the unexpected happens and Sams dad hits her brother with a wine bottle she must euither go for help or protect her dad. What will she choose? read on to find out!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sam has a secret. Her dad is a swiller, a sot, a toper, a guzzler. Her dad is a lush. She has to navigate junior high, while at the same time keep things from falling apart at home. Watching her mother remain quiet while the family walks on eggshells around her father is driving her crazy. Luke, her four-year-old brother, is who she worries about most of all, though. He isn't old enough to read the signs. The signs of whether it's going to be a good day or a bad day. With no one to talk to, since she doesn't want anyone to know about her father - even her three very best friends - she decides to write a note, sharing all of her feelings, and give it to a total stranger. Sam makes the trip to the local public library several days a week in order to scout out just the right person. She sees a high school girl and decides to make her move. Sam folds the note and leaves it in the study carrel the girl always uses. Sam writes in the note that if she wants to write back, to leave her response in the book The History of Modern Whaling, catalog information 360.68 Ton, between pages thirty-two and thirty-three. Sam chose this book because it has been at least thirty years since someone has checked it out. She is sure the dust-covered book wouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon. Someone does write back, though, but not who she expects. The two start a lengthy correspondence where Sam receives several pieces of advice until finally an incident occurs that leads the secret 'advice-giver' to set up a time for them to meet. Natasha Friend has written a touching novel centered around a strong female character. The cycle of emotional abuse that is associated with alcoholism seems to be realistically portrayed and comes full circle, ending with the healing process and what it takes for a family to survive a tragedy, heal, and stay together. **Reviewed by: Karin Perry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG_ITS_JASON_DERULO More than 1 year ago
AMAZING,,,,one of the best books ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Friday cant post so hes at dubliner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am back are u here ~ty~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
will explain more if this goes through - Isabel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was fun. Where the hell did you get the idea that we were dating?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I own the real book and i love it so far great for teens and preteens i love it :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing nd i never wanted to put it down PLEASE READ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book lush,is ssooooooooo amazing and inspirational. Very many kids in the world are going through the same thing sam was going through and when they read that book, it gave them advice without them being too embarrased to ask. And for the person who said this book was horrible; i know its only an opinion, but thats hekka wack
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That is a good book that is good for 5 stars
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best and its so relatable and enjoyable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever made by natasha friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the first book perfect and it was great i will get this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Great author. Thats all I have to say :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book sooooooo much because it felt like I was the girl in the book. Highly recamended.