Madeline is sent away to Spring Meadows to help with a drinking and rage problem she has. It's a pretty intense place, but there is the weekly movie night in town--where Madeline meets Stewart, who's at another rehab place nearby. They fall for each other during a really crazy time in their lives. Madeline gets out and tries to get back on her feet, waiting for Stewart to join her. When he does, though, it's not the ideal recovery world Madeline dreamed of. Both of them still have serious problems. And Stewart's are only getting worse....
Knock, knock says Maddi on recovery’s door…
And once behind those doors Maddi will face detox, life in rehab and the trials that will soon follow her as she deals with life sober. In rehab Maddi will also learn to shift through her emotions, control her snarky mouth, make a friend and meet Stewart, a guy also struggling to get clean. At the bottom of the pit just waking up from a haze of drugs and drinking Maddi and Stewart fall in love, giving each of them a sense of hope and a glimpse of excitement to an unknown future. Maddi is released first, she’s in a place in her head to be strong and make it, she’s eager to start over and cant wait for Stewart to get out of rehab and join her in a new life. When Stewart does get out though, things don’t go as planned and the realities of life and addiction come stumbling back. The road isn’t always paved with good intentions and Maddi and Stewart will each face their own demons on that road, which will more than likely bring each of them down.
Nelson's Recovery Road was hands down good- the plot being very realistic, pulled off two recovery addicts facing the same dilemmas in addiction, yet different in nature. Told entirely through the perspective of Maddi, readers see the aftermath of addition and what Maddi and Stewart get to face (always alone) while trying to stay sober. Stewart being older (19) has to be pretty much on his own and Maddi's parents who for convenience sake of the story care once and awhile but let their daughter do whatever she wants. Maddi's friends know shes a recovering addict yet smoke, drink and do drugs in front of her, the battle to fight addiction while a countless number of temptations bombard her everyday dont make the road easy. It was frustrating reading this at times and wondering why Maddi had to do this alone, wondering why her parents would host cocktail party's when their teen daughter sits in her room struggling not to drink and why they would place her in the same environment that made her stumble over and over. It was lazy, selfish parents, the oh-so popular flakes that grace most of the YA market. In a nutshell, Maddi was a 16 year old living an adults life, she had access to money, freedom and as much sex as she wanted, while being blessed with rich look the other way parents, its not hard to see why drugs and drinking came easy.
What I did enjoy the most was the small love story and how Nelson presented it. Maddi and Stewart were in-love but the love aspect did not revolve around the plot or showcase sappy teen romance. It was raw and honest and about as depressing as two messed up teens could be, in a twisted way Maddi and Stewart needed each other to make the next vital steps in their recovery's, but their relationship only gave the reader anticipation for the inevitable failing as a couple. Love that was at first exciting got riddled with everyday reality and soon gave way to stress between two naive and immature individuals dealing with things beyond what even a mature adult could handle, still though Nelson had me hanging on a thread that things could turn out happily ever after.
On the writing itself things here were interesting, the story was a bit fragmented and chopped into really small pieces, making the book a one setting read and hard at times to connect to Maddi as a character, due to the lack of depth and the overall dry personality she emitted. However, Maddi gets props in the strength department, I really loved watching the progression of her sobriety and seeing her character tackle each obstacle, for a messed up recovering addict, Maddi gets a high five in redeeming herself. The ending left me sad, even with the small glimmer of hope I wanted to cry... a little…….
Recovery Road is recommended to a mature audience and contains: Drinking and drug use, sexuality, graphic language, violence, death, teen partying, out of touch parents and rehab scenarios. Many scenes while not explicit are graphic in nature.