Friday, December 1, 2017

ARC Review: Fix Me by Lisa M. Cronkhite

Book: Fix Me
Author: Lisa M. Cronkhite
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
Genre: YA Mystery; Contemporary; Drug-Related Issues
Pages: 205
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About The Book: 
Penelope Wryter's life has been a mess ever since her sister committed suicide a year ago. Now Pen's hooked on Fix, an illegal drug that makes her feel, think, and see differently. The hallucinations are intense, but there's one vision that keeps Pen coming back for more--Nate. He's the only person who cares about her. Too bad he's just a side effect of the drug. Pen knows she's going nowhere fast. She's desperate to change. But when she tries to say goodbye to Nate, he professes his love for her making her more confused than ever. Then, when a girl from school goes missing during a bad Fix trip, Pen realizes she may be in a lot more danger than she ever imagined. Unless Pen straightens up and faces reality quick, she might be the next missing girl on the list.   

My Review: 

The book cover is mind-blowing, being vibrant and telling of the way Fix trips your mind. This book definitely hooked me from the start and took me on a mind trip journey along with Pen. Pen is addicted to a drug called Fix, also known as Phixeedifore, ever since her sister Tabatha committed suicide a year ago. Her sister's death takes a toll on her and she starts hanging out with the wrong crowd. Her circle of friends are also hooked on Fix and encourage her to keep taking it, especially her friend Rose. Pen also deals with issues at home with her mother, with whom she has a strained relationship with. So Pen finds comfort in Nate, the person she feels she has a connection with and who cares about her. She is constantly drawn to him. He is an addictive hallucination from the drug Fix, which is part of the reason why it's hard for her to quit it. The book also includes a mystery involving some missing female classmates from Pen's high school, the most recent one being Candace after a Fix trip. 

This is a very fast read, but deals with heavy topics, such as mental disorders (depression), suicide, drug-use/drug abuse, bullying, and issues that go along with a neglectful parent and a broken home. This story packed in a lot of things in terms of the storyline, and intertwined them in a way that made sense, but it made the story a little less focused. There is a lot to follow and while the ending brings everything together, I was thrown a little off balance and taken aback by the revelations at the end, especially when it came to Nate. My perspective regarding him changed towards the end because of his actions in the story, despite enjoying his character in the beginning of the book. Despite some of these issues I had, I still enjoyed reading the book. There was never a dull moment and you were always drawn to the next chapter. The book itself becomes its own addiction for the reader, at least for me. I did not figure out the mystery until it was finally revealed, which always makes things more exciting to read for me! That means the writing was very clever and smart. And going back I see the well groomed hints, so it all made sense. The writing was seamless, and flowed very well. I definitely felt a connection to Pen and felt empathy towards her.

The descriptions of Pen's Fix trips and hallucinations were well done, from the way the she felt, to her heightened senses based on what she was seeing, hearing, smelling, and experiencing. Cronkhite really focused on the visual and auditory stimulations, with vibrant colors and intense sounds, and detailed visions. You are definitely transported into a difference world and really feel as if the drug Fix also took a hold of you as well. It was as if you had infiltrated Pen's brain as it was being affected. It was incredibly fascinating in terms of a biological or psychological perspective, to dive into a world that you otherwise would never experience or understand. Pen's experience was specific to her and what made Fix unique was that she had some control over it, unlike other mainstream drugs.

By the end of the book, the term "Fix Me" ends up having a double meaning, which was really clever. Drug abuse is never easy to read about, but in a world where addiction is a big problem, it's extremely important to discuss. There is always a learning lesson. And sometimes initiating a talk with someone about it isn't always the easiest thing to do. So that's why having literature that deals with real issues is important because it can possibly spark the mind of someone facing a similar burden and encourage them to talk to someone to try to get some help. Because usually the drug abuse is caused by a traumatic issue much deeper than the drug abuse itself. It's never too late to get help, whether facing depression, suicidal thoughts, bullying, or addiction.

My Rating: 4 Stars

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