Title: White Lines
Author: Jennifer Banash
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 4.50
Published: April 4th, 2012
A gritty, atmospheric coming of age tale set in 1980s New York City 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. Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping tale and the reader won’t want to look away.
White Lines was a beautifully written story with some faults that deterred me from completely falling in love.
White Lines is New York in the 80s when the kids were partying way too hard and all the rules were thrown out the window. In the middle of this frenzy you get Cat, a lonely 17 year old seeming to be having the time of her life. She lives alone, she parties at the best club, and she experiments with narcotics. Her parents? Not a clue, she isn't an orphan, but they don't care enough to reel her back in. Boyfriend? Heck if I know, doesn't have one, might like one. So we get to go with her through her "scene" life, and watch as her life spirals out of control.
Every other early review I've read about White Lines has been a 5 star review, "loved it", "amazing", and now I am here to sadly be the "bad guy". I mean, it's not like I didn't enjoy the setting, the writing, and the idea of the overall story but there were two things in particular that killed it for me.
One was the main character. I am a character driven girl, I need to connect with my main character in some way in order to love the story. White Line's main character, Cat, is a broken girl with various issues; afraid of intimacy, druggie, can't deal with reality... To name a few. Don't get me wrong the way the character is portrayed and handled is fine, but I just didn't like, or see anything in her that won me over. She is overall dazed and unable to take control of her life, and whenever a brilliant idea actually manages to creep onto that her of hers she immediately squishes it and decides to do the exact opposite. She also plays the victims card far too much, and I am not into victims. I am into ass kicking heroines. So the main character was a problem for me because I just couldn't connect with her, she doesn't have that thing that makes me want to read about her for more than one book.
Number two is the pace of the novel. I don't know, but it went so slowly to me. There wasn't something urging me to come back and keep reading. I believe it took me about a week to finish this book, and that's a no-no. I felt like there wasn't a finish line in sight that I was eagerly running to cross, it was slowly evolving relationships and mistake after mistake.
Other than that this novel really was beautifully written, so I can see why a lot of people would love it. Here are some examples:
Jennifer Banash is a very talented writer, so I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another one of her novels, only this one just wasn't completely what I was looking for. The way she described New York, the night club "scene" and everything really made you feel like you were a part of it. Like you could feel it yourself. So that was my favorite part, the writing, New York, and getting to experience something I wouldn't have experienced in a thousand years. White Lines is bound to make some noise.