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Smashed by Lisa Luedeke
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Smashed

by Lisa Luedeke

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Katie Martin is on track to get a field hockey scholarship that will be her only chance to go to college. She’s hard working and has some good friends but all is not right in Katie’s world. Her father abandoned the family when she was young and his absence haunts her. Her mother is hardly better. She has a personal agenda that keeps her away from her children a substantial amount of time. Alec is the big man on campus at Katie’s high school; the popular jock who struts around and does whatever he likes. When he begins to pay attention to Katie, she’s puzzled but actually likes how thoughtful he is and how well he listens. Maybe people have misjudged him and he’s not really a jerk? Alec’s interest begins a change in Katie’s personal life and events occur that could result in her scholarship hopes being dashed. Luedeke’s book is a hard read not because of the writing but because Katie’s actions spiral out of control, leading toward a precipice that one fears is coming. Readers will dread each step in Katie’s demise into alcohol, drugs and a dangerous relationship. The book is frank and straightforward in depicting the partying of high school students. It has a balance between the kids who party and those who abstain and are not total nerds, but Katie is caught up with her depression and guilt and leaves behind her level-headed friends. There’s no magic wand to erase Katie’s bad choices; the reality is that she must deal with her actions. Alec’s character is not a simple stereotype; there’s complexity to him. He does some very thoughtful things for Katie and at times seems genuinely caring. But there’s always that inner voice telling Katie and the reader that he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The dialog rings true and the books is a smooth read. Luedeke writes with honesty about adolescents making poor choices. The reader will be torn by wanting to see what happens between Katie and Alec, and dreading what will happen. ( )
  love_of_books | Jan 16, 2014 |
Smashed is a gritty and hard hitting book. I connected with Katie and it was hard to watch her spiral down and lose so much and be in so much pain. I could predict what would happen, just not how she would get there, but it was still a hard and emotional journey.
Smashed is for mature teens because of the drinking, drugs, and hard and dark issues. While Lisa handles everything with finesse, it is still a dark book. It is laced with hope and healing, but it is a long journey to get there.
I was invested in Katie and the characters, especially her best friends Matt and Cassie. I really loved their friendship and how it is not perfect but they are there for each other no matter what. I can't imagine being in their shoes, seeing Katie in so much pain, and not knowing what to do, especially when she starts withdrawing, and looking so bad.
I can totally understand though where Katie is coming from, the rough home, the questions of being loved because of her father abandoning them and her absent mom. On top of the roller coaster of a relationship with Alec, and the guilt that comes from "the event."
Smashed deals with some important issues, drinking and its negative consequences, bullying, and how things can escalate... intentionally or not. There are some omissions of truth that Katie lets happen, and it snowballs on her and leaves her with a lot of guilt and a sense of owing someone that gets her into worse positions.
The pacing was good, there was always something going on and character development. I didn't want to put it down, and I wanted the best for Katie.

Bottom Line: Darkly beautiful journey that led Katie down a hard road and to her healing.
  brandileigh2003 | Jan 24, 2013 |
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Maine high school senior Katie Martin is set to win a field hockey scholarship until her life is derailed by drinking, a car accident, and an angry classmate.

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