Recovery Road

Recovery Road

4.3 23
by Blake Nelson

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NOW A TV SERIES ON FREEFORM“An intriguing look at the aftermath of addiction.” —Los Angeles TimesMadeline has a drinking problem and anger issues, so she’s sent away to Spring Meadows, a rehab center in a row of rehab centers known as Recovery Road. On a weekly movie night in town she meets Stewart, who’s dealing with demons


NOW A TV SERIES ON FREEFORM“An intriguing look at the aftermath of addiction.” —Los Angeles TimesMadeline has a drinking problem and anger issues, so she’s sent away to Spring Meadows, a rehab center in a row of rehab centers known as Recovery Road. On a weekly movie night in town she meets Stewart, who’s dealing with demons of his own. It’s an intense time, and the two of them come together intensely. When Madeline gets out of rehab, she tries to get back on her feet, and waits for Stewart to join her. When he does, though, it’s not the ideal reunion that Madeline has dreamed of. Both of them still have serious problems. And love seems more like a question than an answer. True and insightful, Recovery Road is a story about finding the right person at the worst possible time. And loving that person anyway. No matter what.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nelson offers another sharply focused portrait of a teen in crisis in this story of ex-party girl Maddie, who struggles to renew herself after being released from a rehab center. At Spring Meadow, Maddie's best moments come during her fleeting romance with another young patient, Stewart. After returning home, 16-year-old Maddie counts the days until Stewart's release, hoping they can take up where they left off. Meanwhile, she battles loneliness and isolation at her high school where her earlier drunken escapades earned her the nickname "Mad Dog Maddie," and her old friends pressure her to start using again. "It's so weird being straight," Maddie thinks. "You have no defenses. Shit happens and you have to feel it." Predictably, reuniting with Stewart isn't the answer to Maddie's problems, and tension rises as both teens' resolve to stay sober shows signs of weakening. Nelson (Destroy All Cars) gives a hard, honest appraisal of addiction, its often-fatal consequences, and the high probability of relapse. This is an important story that pulls no punches. Ages 13–18. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Recovery Road :

• “This is an important story that pulls no punches.” -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
“With depth of understanding and no small amount of humor, Nelson sketches a complex universe of recovery.” --Newsday
“Readers will be captivated.” --Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
"You can't tell what Spring Meadow is from the road," begins Nelson's moving novel of the powerful and enduring first love sixteen-year-old "Mad Dog Maddie" finds during her stay at the rehab centers along "Recovery Road." She first sees Stewart at "movie night," their instant bond intensified by the ban on male-female "fraternization." But hard as it is for the two of them to sustain their deepening relationship under the rehab regulations, it is vastly more difficult when each returns to life outside: high school and implausible college dreams for Maddie, continuing battles with addiction for Stewart. Nelson gives Maddie's first-person narration a compelling voice, showcasing his gift for memorable dialogue: e.g., when Maddie's rehab friend Trish, impressed by Maddie's violent past, peppers Maddie with questions about what it is like to "beat people up," Maddie tells her, "It's a great way to meet police officers." When Trish comments, "I would love to beat people up. How did you learn to do that?" Maddie answers, "I got really, really drunk and then it just came to me." Nelson delivers a searingly honest portrayal of the horrors of alcoholism and drug addiction without a shred of didacticism, and with deep and abiding compassion for the stumbling and scarred characters he creates. Highly recommended. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
VOYA - Walter Hogan
We first meet Madeline (Maddy) on a literal Recovery Road, the local name for a quiet loop of asphalt winding around a string of rehabilitation facilities. Maddy has been assigned to Spring Meadows to dry out from her chronic abuse of alcohol and recreational drugs, and to get her anger under control. A smart high school junior from a wealthy Oregon suburb, Maddy delivers a vivid first-person perspective on the self-destructive lifestyle from which she eventually recovers. Along the way, she loses a number of fellow addicts, each of them unable to find the combination of support, determination, and luck that pulls Maddy through. Most painful is the loss of gorgeous, charismatic Stewart, Maddy's first love, whose promise and vitality are tragically squandered. Nelson resists numerous young adult problem novel cliches in this well-told story. Like all of the teen dialogue in the book, Maddy's narration is convincing but not overly cute or jargon-ridden. The sort of contemporary pop culture references that quickly date many YA novels are thankfully absent. All of the major characters are complex and believable. Social institutions and their personnel are portrayed as well intentioned but not heroic or infallible. Maddy fights hard to resist intense peer pressure to drink and use drugs, and one of her most valuable survival skills proves to be her hard-won ability to stop worrying about how she is perceived by her peers. Maddy's own road to recovery, and her frustrating efforts to help fellow substance abusers she meets along the way, make this a compelling problem novel. Reviewer: Walter Hogan
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—After one too many incidences of drinking and fighting, Madeline Graham's parents send her to Spring Meadows, which is just one of a string of rehab centers on what is called Recovery Road. She is just getting used to the routine of it all—therapy, work, and mealtime—but then, on one fateful weekly Movie Night in town, Maddie meets Stewart, a damaged teen fighting demons of his own. The two begin an intense relationship that flourishes in the bubble of recovery's routine. Once Maddie is released, though, she finds that their connection just isn't the same, even though she still loves him. She has sex for the first time while not drunk. When she tries to move on with her life, though, she feels the need to keep rescuing Stewart from himself. The story, told by Maddie, is all about finding the wrong kind of love and trying to make it right. She and Stewart have a deep connection because they understand one another on a different level due to what they are both going through. Maddie is a strong, likable teen, and the rest of the characters are believable and genuine as they help her move on with her life after rehab. The chapters are concise, which will grab reluctant readers. This is a great book for teens who are, or know someone who is, dealing with drug or alcohol addiction. Nelson doesn't glamorize it, but paints a portrait of the struggle that people go through when fighting substance abuse.—Kimberly Castle, Medina County District Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews

High-school badass and party girl "Mad Maddie" lands in rehab after pushing herself over the toxicity limit one too many times. At first her anger and stubbornness make it easy for her to resist the treatments and therapy sessions, but when she meets Stewart, an older, dreamy, floppy-haired resident at movie night, her attitude takes a turn for the better. Nelson then follows her rehabilitation from her re-entry into high school and then into college, packing in lots along the way. Recovery and relapse, love, forgiveness, regret and remembrance make for tough roadblocks along her journey. Each character is sharply drawn—particularly the new friends she makes outside of her old high-school clique. Thematically, the author handles the topic of addiction carefully. Readers know that Maddie and the friends she makes are making bad decisions, and they witness the fallout of addiction as it tears apart the victims' lives and her friends and family. Where the author excels in theme he falls short in plotting, however, and the passage of time from rehab to college feels messy and uneven, with too much packed into the book's slim span of pages. Still, readers will be captivated by the story of Maddie and people in her life, and the strengths and losses that help her succeed. (Fiction. 14-18)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
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Scholastic, Inc.
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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Recovery Road 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
iswimforoceans More than 1 year ago
Recovery Road is the story of two teens, Madeline and Stewart, both with blemished pasts and a brand new opportunity for a fresh start from rehab. At the lowest point in their lives, Madeline and Stewart fall for one another, giving them a sense of togetherness in a void of confusion, but when they're released, reality strikes back. When Madeline is released, she's determined to get her life back together, and she's excited for Stewart to join her in healing after rehab, but when he's released, it's clear the darkness is still there, and they're spiraling downwards together. Again. I've been dying to read Recovery Road for a long time now, in large part because of the captivating premise and simplistic cover. Blake Nelson has created a story where the characters are every bit as addicting as the addiction itself, spinning you along on a path of destruction, self-discovery and, ultimately, the desire for redemption. The beauty if Recovery Road lies in the realistic portrayal of the devastating nature of addiction, whether it be to drugs, attention, or companionship. Addiction, in itself, becomes a character, making it a raw and real adventure. Madeline is one of those characters that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to relate to but somehow could. She has rage issues, drug dependency and a desperate desire to find fulfillment somewhere and, frankly, anywhere. Stewart is presented as your typical bad boy, but there's an endearing edge to him, as well, making him someone you love to hate and hate to love. Throw in a few secondary characters with their own issues, and Recovery Road is a rollercoaster ride of emotion. I have to say that the plot was strong for Recovery Road, but the characters were strong, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's almost as though one fuels and tempers the other, making the pacing strong and steady. The only real issue I had with the book was the chapter length. They were only a few pages apiece, and I prefer medium-length chapters. Luckily, however, it didn't affect the pacing, so that's just personal preference. All in all, Recovery Road was a fabulous, fast-paced ride in which you feel for the characters every step of the way. I give it a very strong 4.5 out of 5, and I'd recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who like edgy stories and contemporary fiction, specifically. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book recovery road is a very good book. I really liked it because it was a real life topic because there is lots of teens who go to rehab to recover there issue they have with drugs or alcohol. I really liked the part that Madeline and Stewart met. I believe that really helped them through there rough life time at rehab. This book didn't bored me at all i enjoyed reading it, im glad i read this book . I recommend this book to anyone who likes reading good interesting books.
BryceNicole More than 1 year ago
It was wonderful Like words cant express it. I seriously think everyone should read this book. It made me cry. It was powerful and amusing and just overall AMAZING . 
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
I tore through this book. The chapters were short, the text was smooth and it was an exceptional read. The novel centers on Maddie who is in recovery and is later moved to a halfway house. You don’t spend too much time at either of these two places, just enough to connect to the characters and build background knowledge. Maddie, one of the youngest in the group connected with Trish who has now returned home. Alone, Maddie connects with Stewart, another recovering addict who Maddie is instantly attracted to. Their outing in the rain reminded me of something from a 1950’s movie and unfortunately, this evening of bliss gets them both in trouble. Maddie’s time at the halfway house is over and leaving Stewart behind breaks her heart. The novel intensifies as she tries to adjust going back to school and getting her life back on track all-the-while thinking about Stewart and handling her peers at school. As her friendships evolve, some disappearing and some transpiring, Maddie still has to contend with some of her peers heckling about her absence. Reconnecting with Trish and Trish’s pain, Maddie world seems full and then, in walks Stewart. Stewart, I loved him and then I hated him. I was waiting for him to speak, to say something but it seemed his actions spoke louder than his words. Maddie sensed it too. Maddie wanted so much from Stewart; she thought he was “it”, he was the one and she wanted to pour her life into him but there was something about Stewart, what was it though? While in school, Maddie meets Martin, he was a quirky guy but he ends up being a great person in her life. He’s honest, he speaks and when they talked you just never knew what the two of them would talk about. Sobriety isn’t easy, you have to want yourself and be willing to work for it which many in this novel have to contend with. I really enjoyed this book. 4.5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Your dumb this is an amazing fantastic read love it you probably have never even read it so shut up ps sorry im just a little sad u would say that about this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It has a wonderful insight on life and ending addictions that can be hard as well that some people arent going to change no matter how much you want them to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to read this book. So many unexpected twists d turns that will hook you. I cant stop thinking about the end thouh. Suh a great book. Definitly one of the best books i have ever read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So amazing! Kind of like a more twisted version of the fault in our stars...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book really was inspiring, although some twists in the story made me think about the plot of the rest of the story. Maddie stays strong and clean.. but Stewart is just a hot mess. When I read about him finding another girl while they were still together ripped my heart out of my chest and was stomped on. To think that Maddie stayed clean for Stewart and they really had love for each other. I almost threw my Nook across the room. This book was a good read, I hope there is more to the fate of Stewart and Maddie. D;
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angelica-sanchez More than 1 year ago
Recovery Road was one of the best books i've read. It tells the story of 2 teenagers that got put into rehab because of the use of drugs and alchohol. They both fall in love with eachother during the time they spent together in Rehab. Stewart gets released before Madeline but promises to wait for her until she gets out. Once Madeline gets released, she's excited to start new and get her life back to the way it was. On the other hand, Stewart went back to his old ways.and Madeline still stayed with him to try and help him until she couldnt take it anymore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I could not put it down ,i finished the book in 3 days. The ending did leave me hanging not knowing what happened with Stewert. The book was different and this was a differen kind of book that i have never read before and it was written very good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a waste of money. Def not worth reading. It was slow with nothing interesting. Save your money.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recovery Road is a book about two teenagers who find themselves in rehab in Spring Meadows. Madeline and Stewart. This is where she first finds her first true love. But one of the rules is not to have contact with boys because it can be a distraction. The two meet on movie night, which happens every Thursdays. They both find that they have something in common and soon fall in love. As they spend time in rehab and movie nights, Madeline is soon released and graduates rehab. Since Stewart is still in for another month, they promise to both wait for each other and begin something new together. Madeline finishes her senior year or high school and tries to succeed and go to college. Since she was gone for a long time from rehab, she doesn’t have many choices for college and has to take summer classes. Stewart moves with his father to Portland and tries to start fresh also. Madeline on the other hand, finishes second semester of high school with straight A-s and gets accepted to the University of Massachusetts.  Many bumps in the road with her relationship with Stewart such as trying to control staying sober, separating for a period of time, and dealing with issues as it is. Madeline risks not going to college for Stewart down in Portland who hasn’t been staying sober, but she will do anything she can to help him. He seems to not be on track with his life as he promises he will be, but he attends AA meetings twice a week to help him stay focused and clean. Madeline flies off to UMass to start her new life in college.  She succeeds in her new lifestyle but finds that Stewart has gotten himself into trouble. When she is on break, she immediately flies herself back to find him, but cant seem to find him anywhere in sight. She searches for days and finally sees him like once again an addict on the street with his friends just like he used to be. Madeline offers help, but he refuses, yells, and just tells her to leave. She does so and claims to call him as her “ lost prince “ who she will always be there and look out for. She also claims he is “ her first and true love “.  Both separate and continue their lives separately. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was good, but not whatbi expected. I picked up this book expecting intense, sweaty, hot, sexy love scenes. I also thought there would be heart thumping drug scenes too. But no. This book didnt show anything good about drugs, it just showed how crappy they really are. In my oppinion this wasnt even a love story ( dont get me wrong, romance does play a major part in the story though). This book was so real it actually seems like a memoir. Almost evreything that happened in the book would happen in real life and its kind of like a slap in the face. But it is what it is and evreybody needs a slap in the face at some point. I would reccomend this book to really anybody especially people that are older. I dont mean to be annoying, im not one of those people who are going to be like "this book was sooo inappropriete!" In fact i didnt find it inappropriete at all but i just feel that older people will appreciate it more. READ! (Please excuse my terrible spelling)