Samantha is a pretty typical thirteen year old girl. She gets good grades in school (except she hates phys ed), she spends every Saturday night with her three best friends, and she wonders what it would feel like to have Drew Maddox (the hot guy she sees at the library) kiss her.
But Samantha also has a few things about her that aren’t typical. First of all, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, the “breast fairy made a visit” and that’s all the obnoxious, immature boys notice, and her father is an alcoholic and not even her three best friends know it.
Feeling the need to confide in someone, she leaves a note at the table in the library where she has noticed a high school girl named Juliet sitting. Thinking this Juliet would know what to do in most any situation she pens a confession about her family and asks Juliet to respond by leaving a reply in a book that hasn’t been checked out in thirteen years- The History of Modern Whaling.
And sure enough, a note is there the next time she checks. Sam and AJK leave each other notes on a regular basis. It helps a little to get things off her chest.
Sam struggles in the relationship with her father. She’s embarrassed by him and she doesn’t want him around. She wants to believe him when he says this time he’s going to stop drinking but she doesn’t. She’s conflicted between loving him and hoping things will change and hating him when in a drunken rage he accidentally hurts her four-year-old brother Luke and leaves him scarred for life.
I felt the emotions that Sam displays in Lush to be pretty realistic. I am fortunate enough to have never been around an alcoholic, but I believe the feelings Sam has. Your parents are usually the ones you look up to , love and respect, and rely on to keep you safe. When that is taken away from you it must leave you floundering.
Lush was a well written book that would perhaps let other teens in this same situation realize they are not alone. I found absolutely nothing in this book that would make me demand that this book be banned. 3.5/5 stars