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In Ecstasy
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Gr 9 Up-Two girls, BFF, discover, at 15, that the "forever" part may be F for "finished" instead. Lovely Sophie and shy Mia take ecstasy at a party, both thinking the experience will provide something different-and it does, but not the way they anticipate. Told in alternating voices and chapters, the girls' divergent paths unfold, each filled with poignant hope, illusion, and ultimately pain and peril, as one momentous decision takes them down separate, life-changing roles. Mia gathers her own friends and thinks she's finally made it with the in crowd, and cuts off her relationships with her family and with her best friend since kindergarten. Sophie, who knows that a pretty face is only part of who she is, finds herself fending off the perceptions of others, at great cost. The quicksand of gossip and popularity, spite and jealousy, the ever-growing shadow of drugs and the kids that indulge and abuse them, sweep Sophie and Mia into a maelstrom of brutal tragedy and painful awareness. Mia sinks deeper into the trap that she has stumbled into, existing in a drug-induced haze. McCaffrey's characterizations, dialogue, setting, and plot build steadily and believably. It is easy to be frustrated with and empathetic to the girls' dilemma, and teens should find the circumstances compellingly realistic. This is a cautionary wake-up call to the dangerous snowball effect of recreational drug use, cloaked in a well-written character novel.-Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

McCaffrey is gifted with a winning and eminently readable style, and her dual leads are distinct and vibrant. Not always nuanced, but sure to be popular.--Daniel Kraus"Booklist" (12/01/2009)

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