Book Review: Recovered, Jay Crownover

38085184.jpgIt was hate at first sight…

Affton

I hated Cable James McCaffrey.

He was entitled, spoiled, a user…and an addict.

He was out of control and didn’t bother trying to hide it.

He had everything anyone could want but still seemed miserable and lost.

Every move he made, every mistake he stumbled his way through, rubbed me the wrong way. However, I couldn’t stop myself from trying to save him from himself when no one else would. In the sweltering heat of the summer, Cable taught me that having it all means nothing if you can’t have the one thing you want more than anything else.

Cable

I was obsessed with Affton Reed.

She was rigid, uptight, and no fun. There was something about her innate goodness that called to me.

She acted like she was above all the normal faults and failures that clung to the rest of us like the scent of smoke after a fire.

I was infatuated with her, but that didn’t stop me from acting like she didn’t exist.

In the scorching heat of summer, Affton taught me that there is always a way back from the brink of despair. She showed me that the trick to having it all was realizing that it was already there, in my hands. All I had to do was hold onto it.

The road to recovery is full of twists and turns no matter who is in the driver’s seat.

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“Addiction didn’t care about the square footage of your house or the kind of car you drove. It didn’t care about your pedigree or your GPA. Addiction was an equal opportunity life-ruiner.”

Oh my gosh. The depth of this book completely caught me off guard. I’ve read many stories relating to addiction, and if you know me, you are aware of my love (aka obsession) regarding crime, murders, the drug trade, and the like. Any time a story relating to those topics crosses my path, I go for it. What I love most about fictional stories is the ability to get the chance to relate to the struggles those with an addiction face. I can’t say I’ve ever faced anything like that, so I love being able to admire their strength, resilience, and drive.

Affton and Cable meet in high school, but run in rather different circles. Cable is THE MAN on campus, and Affton is just a new girl forced to move during high school. All she wants to do is get through in order to get to better things. Unfortunately she couldn’t ignore the signs that Cable was headed down a dark path, and she got herself caught up in a way that would alter her life. Because of stepping out and speaking up, she got herself chained to this boy and his mess for an entire summer.

During this summer, Affton realizes that Cable’s issues are not just related to his addiction, there was so much more to him that she had imagined. It’s in this time that she, and Cable, realize there may be more here than they’d imagined. The beauty, is, that this is more than a simple romance – Affton is so strong, her heart is amazing, and she just takes no crap from anyone-especially Cable.

Cable, on the other hand, is a HANDFUL. He doesn’t want a babysitter for the summer, he doesn’t want Affton in his business, and he definitely isn’t willing to share the storm that’s raging inside of him. “I thought she would heed the no trespassing signs, but I underestimated her need to save the unsavable. She danced around everything I threw at her like a goddamn ballerina. She pushed just as hard as I pulled…” Cable realizes there’s so much more to Affton.

This story seriously pulled me in all the directions. It gave such a beautifully heartbreaking picture of the struggles surrounding addiction, and brought to light all the things that can go alongside addiction. Life is never the same for any two people, and there isn’t always a clear reason why people make their choices – this story truly shows all of those angles.

There’s the kind of broken everyone can see. The kind that leaves a mess no one wants to get stuck cleaning up because i’ts obviously going to be a lot of work. And, even if you try to get it all, you’re going to miss some of those sharp, jagged pieces. Then there’s the kind of broken no one can see. The kind that’s made up of hairline fractures and narrow fissures that cover the entire surface. It’s the kind of broken that’s held together by some kind of miracle and pure strength of will. All it takes is one little bump, one wrong move, and that kind of broken shatters. There is no cleaning up that mess. There are too many pieces, and they scatter everywhere.

This quote … this is the story. Everyone has some broken in them; some people it’s easy to see their brokenness, while others hide it with every fiber of their being. This story needs to be told, and we need to take the time to understand what people are suffering before we simply take in their outside facade.

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