Sunday, June 23, 2013

{Review} Smashed by Lisa Luedeke

Author: Lisa Luedeke
Release Date: August 21, 2012
by, Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: *a copy was provided by the author for review purposes*
Pages: 336
A field hockey star grapples with addiction in this riveting debut that will appeal to fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak. 
Stay out of trouble for one more year, and Katie Martin can leave her small town loneliness behind forever. She is a field hockey star on the fast track to a college scholarship, but her relationship with alcohol has always been a little questionable. Then trouble finds her. Alec is the most popular guy in school, and also the biggest bully—with his sights set firmly on Katie. When Alec turns on the charm, Katie thinks she must have been wrong about him.

Except that she wasn’t. On a rain-soaked, alcohol-drenched night, one impulsive decision leaves Katie indebted to Alec in the worst possible way. This debut novel is a fast-paced and compelling story of addiction, heartbreak, and redemption.{Goodreads}
  I've read my fair share of contemporary books with the theme being a broken girl thrown into a mix of lies, broken family, etc. It's easy for these kind of books to merge together, each one becoming a replica and nothing outstanding. I have to say that Lisa did a great job at creating Smashed so that it does not blend in with the background but instead, stands out!

  Upon reading some reviews of this book I was wary to start it. I heard things about way too much foul language, explicit sexual description, etc. I even read this one review where it said just this:

"I am now going to tell you what happens and save yourself the embarrassment of having read something so awful.

Guy attracts alcoholic (pretty, successful, and needy) girl, who is dumb enough to coerce herself into his groping hands.
Alcoholic girl parties with guy for half the book.
Alcoholic girl drives drunk with guy and crashes them into a tree, disfiguring said guy. 
Guy takes the blame for the crash so she will owe him sex. 
Guy stalks girl for half the book.
Guy rapes girl.
Girl has PTSD and then beer is found in guy's school locker. 

oh yeah, there was supposed to be something about her dad...? Yeah there was, but it was so irrelevant and stereotypical I have forgotten..."

  Ok, I am not even the author by I'm offended. There was so much more to this book than that!! I don't know but I like the broken stories the best. The ones about the girl with so many problems she is practically drowning in them. Where the girl is so strong that she can pull through from all her problems. I think those protagonists are the strongest ones of all. They have more courage, faith, and strength than the ones fighting the government in resistance, trekking through a forest filled with demons and other scary stuff. Why? Because they hold truth. These could be the stories that help a girl or boy out because they are going through the same things.

   "Dumb enough to coerce herself into his groping hands"!!??? Excuse me!!? It is so far beyond that!! Did you not read any of her thoughts? It wasn't a fact of being dumb it was the fact of being a decent human giving someone a benefit of the doubt. She liked him. She thought he was a nice sweet guy. She didn't expect him to attempt rape! Haven't you ever been in love? It can be frighteningly true when they say "love is blind". No girl wants to be raped. No one wants to think someone they know and care about is capable of it. To be honest. I probably might have thought those thoughts before but then I read Knee Deep by Jolene Perry and it kind of opened my eyes a little more to these things that happen. It gave me a different way of thinking about girls that struggle through alchohol addictions, lying, being raped, staying in abusive relationtships, etc. You would think it'd be so easy to just turn away. I mean you'd have to be stupid to stay in an abusive relationship right? Wrong. It is so much more than that and I feel as if whoever is quick to judge is the stupid one. Now, please take note I am not calling the author of the quoted review stupid. I was just deeply offended by it and felt as if I needed to explain something.

  Now, enough with that rant, on to the book. Please, completely disregard any reviews like that. Read it for yourself and see if you agree or disagree. Take head. Don't read it. Read it. You may do as you please. The problem now a days is we see something, hear something and we are too quick to believe it. Instead of finding the facts out ourselves and thinking "Well, based on all the data I have gathered, what do I think?" and do get all sides of the story. Don't read a good review and think "Oh I am going to love it" may as well just hate it! Don't read a bad review and think "Oh, well that's not worth it. Might as not read it ever!"....because you very may just have loved it...found a favorite book of yours. Would you know that? No. Why? Because you took someone else's word way too easy and too much to heart. You didn't find out yourself so you lost the chance of falling in love with a book. Heed this warning. Don't. The choice is up to you.

  Ok, I did it again. I ranted and now I am already six paragraphs in and haven't talked about the book like I am supposed to!! And it is a rather boring and high on emotional ranting...Oops! ;D Where'd the fun go!? So Katie has her problems. One problem leads to the other and it all kind of just starts snowballing leaving her run over at the bottom of the hill by the huge snowball that has been falling and collecting for sometime. I felt so sorry for her. But then, I didn't. If she hadn't gone through all that stuff I don't think she would be nearly as strong as she was by the end of the book. It's hard to see but all the bad that happens to us happen for a reason. A reason we may not be able to understand at the time but a reason none the less. Isn't that a horrific thought? But its true. What doesn't kill us really does make us stronger. 

  Katie's friends were the true hope in most of the book. I loved Stan and I loved Matt and I loved Cassie. They were her backbone. Katie didn't realize it while she was being plowed but they were. No matter what she did she still had their support. It'd be nice to have those right? We can if we associate ourselves with the right people. That was one of Katie's of the things that lead her to her ultimate downfall. She associated herself with the wrong crowd, pushed away the right crowd, then let herself be alone....think she was alone. Those who truly love us won't ever leave us alone. 

  Mr. Luedeke created a wonderful, heart wrenching, inspiring tale that absolutely touched my heart. Her writing was soulful, ugly in truth but beautiful in outcome. She really explored what it means to find love in others, and especially yourself. Life isn't easy...this is what Lisa shows us. The brutal honesty Lisa portrays is exactly what I loved about this book. It had its flaws. But don't we all? Nothing is perfect and nothing will be. I just wanted to show this one last paragraph from the previously quoted review:

Let us look at the most penetrating, deep questions Katie poses to herself:

"Why did I ever do half the things I did?" (P.76)

"What did I really want?" (P.179)

Sadly, she never quite finds out. At least she apologizes for being an idiot on page 316, but she does nothing to change it.
This book perpetuates the YA lit lie that things improve without personal change. Absolutely despicable. Just think about it. We teens are getting the message from the protagonist that it's OK to smoke weed. It's OK to get hammered every chance you get. It's good in fact, because your life will improve while you do all these things! Just look at Katie! Just look at her and her stupid life and stupid choices and the utter lack of ability she has to control her own actions!

Indeed, if you take a look at all, take a good long look.
And don't forget this terrifying read."

  No. She doesn't find out exactly what she wants. Or why she did what she did. Do you? Do you know exactly what you want and why you did the things you do? If you do, damn. Color me jealous. No. Katie DOES change. She is able to have the courage to face her fears, step away from her past and start over. You can't go back and change the past. Sometimes you have to move one and completely start over. If you are constantly looking over your shoulder, you might miss that you are walking to your own death. Haha not once did it encourage the smoking of weed or to get hammered. No. SHIT! You have got to be kidding me. The hell!? Katie's life did NOT improve because of those....they let to her utter demise! She was DESTROYED because of it. She lost EVERYTHING! Have you never made a stupid decision in your life? If not, well then color me jealous TWICE. We learn from our mistakes.

  I am sorry but I found that completely insulting. We are entitled to our own opinions but if those opinions are insulting, rude, ignorant and disrespectful don't even bother opening your damn mouth. Sorry my feathers are completely ruffled. I do encourage you to read this book. I liked it. I found it inspiring and lovely. It was true. It was honest. It was done right. I don't encourage you to go and do what Katie did. I don't encourage you to make every damn mistake possible so you can "learn from it". Yes, some of Katies decision's were stupid. So are some of mine. Again, not encouraged. I encourage us to make the best decisions possible. To do what is best for you. Will you make the wrong choice sometimes? Yes. Will that cause you trouble? Most likely. Negative outcomes occur. But life doesn't come with a warning "Do this and this will destroy you". Humanity has blessed with a conscience. A conscience some people refuse to use...A conscience some choose to embrace. There is humanity, morals, goodness! Whether we choose to use them is our choice. There is no perfection in this imperfect world. Katie did some terrible things but it cost her. It molded her. It scarred her. It transformed her.

4 of 5 stars!!

Thanks for stopping by!
Have a wonderful day!!

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