Thursday, April 04, 2013

Review: White Lines by Jennifer Banash

White Lines by Jennifer Banash
Release Date: April 4th, 2013
Number of Pages: 304
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Source: NetGalley
GR - Amazon - BD - Chapters
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.
I was really excited to get my hands on White Lines by Jennifer Banash, and I simply couldn’t wait to read it. I was curious to see how the settings would be affecting the story. Sadly, the story, even though it had potential to be really interesting, failed to really impress. I felt like the story being set in the ‘80’s didn’t really affect the plot that much, and that really disappointed me. The time period was one of the reasons I really wanted to read it, and it didn’t wow me.

More than that, there were other little things that made it hard for me to really enjoy this novel. The pacing was slow, and the story lacked excitement. White Lines should have been a heavy and emotional story, but I felt like many part of the book were superficial.  I felt no connection to the story and narration, which gave me the feeling of reading the story as seen by someone from afar. It lacked emotions, and White Lines seemed like the kind of book that should have been able to really touch the reader deeply. After all, Cat’s story is full of drug, abuse, and heartbreak.

White Lines is the kind of novel in which the main character takes an important part in liking this book. I might have felt pity for some parts of Cat’s past, but I simply couldn’t find it in me to really find her story interesting. Cat was a little all over the place as a character, and there were things about her that didn’t work for me. Also, Cat’s drug use, or rather the consequences of her drug use, felt wrong to me. She doesn’t really appear to have consequences on her that much, other than leaving her tired from all the partying. Shouldn’t cocaine leave her some more effects than only the dark circles under her eyes? Well, I’m not an expert on cocaine, but it felt weird.

Overall, White Lines by Jennifer Banash simply wasn’t really working for me. I had high expectations for this novel, and they were far from met. I know this book will please many readers, but it didn’t include me. I might give Jennifer Banash’s other novels a chance, but this book simply charmed me.

About the Author:
From GoodReads

Jennifer Banash was born and raised in New York City. She now lives in Southern California with her beagle, Sigmund, and her vast collection of designer shoes.


  1. Oh no! This book did sound so good, but I'm sorry you found it a disappointment. I won't be reading it now. This is a really thorough review though! Happy Reading!

  2. Bummer. This one sounded so good and I also wanted to read it because it's set in the 80s. But if that didn't reallt show up that's no good. Hmmm, don't know how I feel about this now?

  3. I read White Lines this past weekend and while I liked it a little more than you I think it had its fair share of issues. I think what it really came down to to me was the writing, it was just missing something.

    Personally I thought she did a fair job of showing what NYC was like in the 1980s (how awful the subways were, Alexa's fear of going below 14th st, all the XXX shops), although I'm a little too young to clearly remember NYC in the 1980s so I can't really confirm that.

  4. Aw, this is a shame. I'm planning on reading this soon once I can get my hands on a copy. I was really attracted to this because of the time period and the setting, so it's sad to hear that it didn't really affect the story all that much. I'm still looking forward to it, but my expectations have been lowered a bit XD

  5. I was so excited about the fact that this one took place in the 80 's, I have seen a few reviews of it and they haven't been super positive, might just be a library pick. Thanks for your thoughts!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

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