White Lines

White Lines

3.8 6
by Jennifer Banash
     
 

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I don’t want to be this person anymore, but I’ve been running for so long, I don’t know how to stop, how to stand still, how to begin again.

Seventeen-year-old Cat is club kid royalty, with the power to decide who gets past the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. She lives for the night with its high-inducing energy,

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Overview

I don’t want to be this person anymore, but I’ve been running for so long, I don’t know how to stop, how to stand still, how to begin again.

Seventeen-year-old Cat is club kid royalty, with the power to decide who gets past the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. She lives for the night with its high-inducing energy, pulsing music and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain. Her days are something else entirely. Having spent years enduring her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons.

Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping, coming-of-age tale for readers of Willow.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At 17, Cat is on her own in New York City’s East Village. She has fled the penthouse apartment where her abusive mother lives, and it’s easier for Cat’s emotionally distant father, who lives in Connecticut with his girlfriend, to pay Cat’s rent downtown than to admit that his ex-wife is dangerously angry. Ensconced in the club-kid world of the late 1980s, Cat works the door at Tunnel nightclub and is increasingly dependent on cocaine to get her through long nights followed by days at her second-chance high school. Things pick up a bit at school when Julian transfers in, and Cat does have a few friends looking out for her, but she’s being pulled deeper into the scene, especially now that her boss has started hitting on her. Banash’s Elite series takes place on the Upper East Side, and she knows N.Y.C., but Cat doesn’t feel like more than the sum of her many problems. When she finally pulls herself out of her downward spiral, it’s not especially surprising: she’s a familiar character and this is a familiar arc. Ages 14–up. (Apr.)
Booklist
 "The gritty and emotionally charged story pulses like the rapid heartbeat of a girl in distress."—Booklist
Rachel Cohn
"A wild and startling ride."—Rachel Cohn, co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Nick Burd
"White Lines is sometimes heartbreaking, occasionally hilarious, and always impossible to set aside."—Nick Burd, author of The Vast Field of Ordinary
BCCB
"Banash captures the pulsing atmospherics of the '80s club scene in minute and perfect detail, juxtaposing her descriptions of the outlandish fashions and stylized personalities against evocative, lyrical metaphors of Cat's brittle inner life. The effect is emotionally lashing; readers can't miss the note of desperation, sadness, and insecurity that threads through and in fact drives the relentless party scene for all the players, or that Cat's only moments of happiness come when she's high. The steadying presences of Sara and a new boy bring Cat back from the edge to end her story with a note of hope; give this to fans of Francesca Lia Block to see what Weetzie might have looked like on the East Coast."—BCCB
Children's Literature - Kasey Giard
Seventeen-year-old Cat slogs through school days, waiting for nighttime, when the flashing lights and pulsing music of New York's hottest clubs to bring her to life. Waiting to float away on the little white lines, what started as a dream, an unending party, twists into something more sinister. Cat can feel her life rocketing out of control, but she feels powerless to stop it. As pressure from her boss and her abusive mother pile on top of her, Cat wants to retreat further into the haze of anonymity in the club scene. All that holds her back is the mysterious boy who makes her want to experience life and feel things that ordinarily terrify her. As the pull of her night life and her attraction to Julian yank her in different directions, Cat must make hard choices and force her fears into words before she fractures completely. In a genre already crowded with stories of teen drug experimentation, self-destruction, and recovery, Banash boldly writes with equal measures grit and empathy. Cat's battle extends far beyond drug addiction into issues of abandonment and abuse, which only adds to the believability of her plight. Though the end was a little too neat and tidy to fit the rest of this dark tale, the message of hope and recovery is sure to be encouraging to readers who've struggled with addiction personally or through a friend or family member. Reviewer: Kasey Giard
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—From the outside looking in, 17-year-old Cat has it made. She has her own tiny apartment in New York City and is a "club kid," which means that she works the velvet ropes and is treated like royalty at some of the hottest clubs in town. But her life is spiraling out of control. She lives for the night-the throbbing music, the pulsating lights, the crazy clothes, but most of all, the drugs. Things like school, food, and friendships become secondary to her. Emotionally and physically scarred by her abusive and disturbed mother and abandoned by her father, who refused to see the abuse, Cat shrinks from real emotional relationships. But there is something about Julian, the new guy at Manhattan Preparatory Academy, that makes her want to reach out and connect with him. Will the drugs keep pulling her back? The portrayal of the drug culture and club scene of 1980s New York City is detailed. The first third of the book is incredibly unhappy reading, but such dark plotting is necessary to show the hopelessness of Cat's situation. The language is extremely strong throughout, used casually and (mostly) without emotion. After a climactic and pivotal scene, the ending seems a little pat. If your teens like gritty, urban fiction, White Lines might be something they'd pick up.—Lisa Crandall, formerly at the Capital Area District Library, Holt, MI
Kirkus Reviews
Despite the title's obvious drug reference, this is less a scare-'em-straight story than a memoirlike account of a lost club kid navigating 1980s New York's underground parties. At 17, Cat lives in an apartment in New York's East Village, away from her physically and emotionally abusive mother and her distant father. She spends some time at school and some with her pre–club-scene friend Sara, but her home is Tunnel, the club where she throws a regular party. By the time readers meet Cat, she has begun to weary of the scene and its drug-heavy lifestyle; in fact, despite a few joyous flashbacks, it is initially difficult to understand the club scene's appeal. Patient readers, however, will see Cat's life slowly unfold through the flashbacks, painful conversations and a constant cycle of parties and exhaustion. The prose and dialogue are largely evocative, though some of the imagery comes out overwritten ("The early winter sky outside the window is a leaky ballpoint pen"). The characters are diverse and carefully drawn, from Cat's friend and fellow club kid Giovanni to her frightening employer Christoph, and the overall mood is intense without ever aiming for shock value. Subtle, sad and, eventually, hopeful. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)
From the Publisher
"Daily transformations from punk to avant-garde highlight Cat's complex personality and style; her New York world is so tangible from Banash's text...[her] unhealthy relationship with her mother is highlighted in startling flashbacks of control and cruelty. A bevy of bizarrely realistic characters round out the story; Sara, Alexa, Julian and more all strive for lives that balance their own wishes with those of their parents."—VOYA — VOYA

"Subtle, sad and, eventually hopeful."—Kirkus — Kirkus Reviews

 "The gritty and emotionally charged story pulses like the rapid heartbeat of a girl in distress."—Booklist — Booklist

"A wild and startling ride."—Rachel Cohn, co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Dash and Lily's Book of DaresRachel Cohn

"White Lines is sometimes heartbreaking, occasionally hilarious, and always impossible to set aside."—Nick Burd, author of The Vast Field of OrdinaryNick Burd

"Banash captures the pulsing atmospherics of the '80s club scene in minute and perfect detail, juxtaposing her descriptions of the outlandish fashions and stylized personalities against evocative, lyrical metaphors of Cat's brittle inner life. The effect is emotionally lashing; readers can't miss the note of desperation, sadness, and insecurity that threads through and in fact drives the relentless party scene for all the players, or that Cat's only moments of happiness come when she's high. The steadying presences of Sara and a new boy bring Cat back from the edge to end her story with a note of hope; give this to fans of Francesca Lia Block to see what Weetzie might have looked like on the East Coast."—BCCB
BCCB

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399257889
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
04/04/2013
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

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Meet the Author

Jennifer Banash lives and writes in Los Angeles.

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