Teens are growing up, learning who they are, and developing their beliefs. Some teens, or their friends and family seek alcohol or drugs to numb themselves, push down a secret, because of peer pressure, or to avoid conflict. In these YA novels, teens cope with their own addiction or the drug and alcohol abuse of family and friends.
Other Broken Things by C. Desir
After doing a stint in rehab, Nat is in AA. Feel good friends and an ex-boyfriend all want her to go back to being the drunk party girl, but meeting an older man, Joe, in her meetings along with confronting turmoil at home, Nat doesn’t think she wants to go back to being the drunk, but not before she also opens up about a big secret. Desir’s novel that confronts who you were before and who you want to be after a life-altering incident.
Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall
This novel focuses on how substance abuse of a loved one effects the protagonist. Pearl’s mother is a drug-addicted former rock star whose biting words have hurt Pearl and poor money management has led to their homelessness. The ramifications of drug or alcohol abuse are felt emotionally and in Pearl’s case even affects her physical safety, so the far-reaching effects can connect teen readers.
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
When siblings do wrong, usually the others are inadvertently or intentionally punished for their mistakes. Peyton drives drunk and puts their family into a tailspin, so Sydney must explore who she is when all of the focus is on her ‘perfect’ brother. Continue reading Learn From Their Mistakes: Drugs and Alcohol in YA Literature