29 June 2010

How I Made it to Eighteen by Tracy White

Tracy White tells the semi-autobiographical account of what landed her in a mental hospital at seventeen years old. In words and pictures, in honest graphic novel format, the emotions and thoughts of Stacy Black are laid out and pulled apart. It is both a portrayal of a confused teenager who feels less-than-perfect around her friends, her family, and her emotionally abusive boyfriend, as well as that of a strong woman learning to survive her own emotions and addictions. Much of the story is told from Stacy's own perspective, but the reader also gets feedback from Maria, a childhood friend with little connection to Stacy now; Violet, a recovering alcoholic who was Stacey's boarding school roommate; Lola, a friend from middle school with similar issues and ways of thinking; and Ashley, a depressed teenage girl assigned to the same house in the mental hospital. Everyone seems to have a slightly different image of Stacy -- including Stacy -- but there are positive and negative connections among them all that resonate with the reader.

Tracy White's story is honest and engaging and recommended to most older teen readers, especially those fascinated by the struggles of addiction and depression.

Call number: YA GRAPHIC WHITE (Teen Room)

Reviewed by kate the librarian.

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