White Lines by Jennifer Banash

White Lines by Jennifer Banash
Publisher: The Penguin Group
Genre: Recent Historical (1980’s), YA
Length: Full Length (288)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream: she has her own apartment on the Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream. Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control.

Cat’s story was riveting. It was filled with such suspense, it had me on the edge of my seat. I do not know which was worse, Cat’s social life or her family life. It was clear from the beginning she was willing to fill the holes left by her parents with anything available including a risky environment and drug usage.

Cat is a character I wanted to hug at times to tell her life can be different and at others shake her until she realized the error of her ways. She was unfortunately dealt a bad hand in life when it came to her parents. It is clear that this is a major force in what has made her act and think the way she does. Unfortunately, it also created a teen who looked for attention and release from the wrong places. Her story brought out a multitude of feelings from me because it was so accurate to how life was during this age for some, as well as reminded me of some people I know that fell victim to this type of outcome or behavior. It definitely left me raw with emotion on multiple occasions, which is a testament of the author’s ability to create mental images with the words.

I found parts of this story tough to read, because of the subject matter. There is vast amounts of reckless behavior including various types of drug usage, underage drinking, underground clubs, and sketchy situations that could have deadly results. While this type of behavior is accurate of the underground club seen in the 80’s, it just felt a little too real at times.

This is a story that will stick with me for a while. I cannot help but wonder who Cat really was, and what happens to her in life. I would not be surprised if this character was based on a real person, because it was clear in the author’s writing that Cat’s story touched her and in turn touched me as well. I would love to read a sequel about Cat’s life and whether or not she was able to truly escape the lifestyle she so naively entered, or if she found a way to lift herself above and become a productive citizen in the world.


  1. Astilbe says:

    This book sounds incredible!

    Were the drug abuse scenes graphic?

  2. Thank you for the lovely review! So glad you enjoyed the book 🙂

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