I purchased this book over three years ago, and for some reason or another, I never got around to reading it until now. I was browsing through my Kindle library (which is pretty huge), and on a whim I decided to read this one. I was addicted to this novel from the moment I started reading it, and I finished it fairly quickly, in only a few days – which is pretty quick for me these days, since I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I used to!
Anyway, Recovery Road is an inspiring story about one girl’s journey from addict to recovered addict, and all the obstacles and bumps in the road that she hits during the way.
“It’s not like the movies. Nobody gives you a shot of sedatives to calm your nerves. Nobody lays a blanket over your shoulders. Nobody puts an arm around you and tells you everything will be fine.”
Maddie’s story starts out when she is in rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. She had gotten into trouble in school and with the police, and her grades had slipped. It has been a while since she was sober, and with her parents and teachers worrying about her, she is put into a rehab center to get clean and sober.
While there, she meets Trish, a friend that is the only other girl her age in the center. The two of them go to movie nights, talk and spend time together, and are genuinely friends. When Trish gets to go home, Maddie is sad and isn’t sure how she is going to manage to get by without her.
Then Maddie meets Stewart. Stewart is a few years older than Maddie, but she falls madly in love with him right away. The two of them are close until Maddie gets to leave, and then adjusting to life back outside the rehab center and missing Stewart cause her to be a bit confused and sad.
When she tries to maintain a relationship with Stewart, though it’s long distance, he seems as though he doesn’t harbor the same feelings for her that he used to, and it causes a rift between the two. The friendship between Maddie and Trish also becomes strained, and Maddie is forced to go back to school, find new friends, and navigate the student life while remaining sober and clean.
Recovery Road isn’t exactly what I expected it to be – for some reason, I thought the entire book was going to take place with Maddie in rehab, but it didn’t – in fact, she was out of rehab really fast, and the rest of the book focused on her navigating her way through school and her relationships with others both in and out of the school environment.
The relationship that she had with Stewart almost seemed like a one way relationship through a good portion of the book, and it was kind of on again off again. While I don’t necessarily have a problem with that kind of relationship in a book like this, I kind of viewed it as toxic to the two of them.
“That’s the thing: You can change things. You can repair mistakes. You can restart your whole life if you have to.
But some things you never get back. Certain people. Certain moments in time when you don’t know better than to shield your heart.
You don’t see those moments coming, you don’t know it when they’re happening, but later, as the plainness of life begins to show itself, you realize how important they were. You understand who really changed you, who made you what you are.”
There are a lot of trigger warnings in this book, and I want to point them out to be fair to those who are planning on reading this one. Drug use, rape, and alcohol abuse are all mentioned in this books (some more prominent than others, of course).
As far as character development goes with Recovery Road, I was so impressed by how much the main character, Maddie, changed from the beginning of the book to the end. She really evolved as a character and her personality changed due to her circumstances, making her quite believable and easy to relate to.
This was a really interesting read and I feel like it’s great at showing its readers what effects drug use and alcohol abuse can have. The ending of this book was a real shocker, and while sort of sad, it was also kind of fitting and I’m happy with the way it ended. It’s really honest and thought provoking.