Friday, February 25, 2011

Review: In Ecstasy by Kate McCaffrey

In Ecstasy by Kate McCaffrey

Pages: 272
Publisher: Fremantle Press
Published: April 1st, 2008
IBSN: 9781921361166

A best friend sinks into a quicksand of teenage addictions.

Sophie and Mia have been best friends for most of their 15 years. Sophie is popular, so when she suggests they try ecstasy Mia figures it can't hurt her own chances with the in crowd. Mia is elated when the drug lives up to its name and amazed when Lewis, the hottest guy in school, kisses her goodnight.

Soon Lewis is Mia's boyfriend, and she and Soph are running with his fast, rich friends, until Sophie is sexually assaulted by Lewis's drug-dealing buddy. Reluctant to say what happened, Sophie grows distant, leaving Mia to conclude she's jealous of her popular boyfriend. But to keep Lewis's attention, Mia grows increasingly dependent on the confidence that only E seems to give her. When things worsen, it is the girls' strained but solid friendship that finally helps bring Mia back from the brink.

[Synopsis by Goodreads]

In Ecstasy comes from alternating perspectives of Mia and Sophie, best friends for what might as well be forever. Sophie is gorgeous and irresistible, while Mia is funny but insecure and in her friend's shadow. At a party, Lewis, Mia's crush, starts showing interest in her, and offers her an ecstasy pill. How could she possibly say no and pass up the opportunity to get closer to him?

In Ecstasy takes an honest and raw look at teen drug abuse. With the story spanning over months, you see the user's slow decline. You see the drugs affect every aspect of her life - her friendships, school, her family; even her personality completely warps. Just when something happens you think will shock her out of it, she falls deeper.

Offering both the perspective of Mia and Sophie shows the reader how Mia feels due to her drug use as opposed to how it looks from the outside.

Both Mia and Sophie were dynamic characters with a lot of depth. Their friendship was apparently perfect, until Mia's change caused them to drift apart. Even when they weren't close anymore, both characters seemed to genuinely care for the other. In Ecstasy is as much about friendship as it is about drugs.

The plot wasn't action-packed or suspenseful, but it was intense. The writing style was simple yet engaging. The book on the whole was captivating, and I could hardly put it down.

I give In Ecstasy a 4 out of 5.


I read this book for the Aussie YA Reading Challenge.