Finding Hope

200p. Dundurn. Apr. 2016. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781459732452.
RedReviewStarGr 10 Up—Fifteen-year old Hope has always fallen into her older brother's shadow. Eighteen-year-old Eric, once a hotshot hockey player, is now a meth-addicted shell of the popular boy he once was. Homeless and desperate, Eric relies on Hope for the money, food, and clothing she leaves hidden for him. But when Hope is sent to an all-girls academy, she finally has a chance to start a new life. At Ravenhurst, Hope quickly finds new friends and an online boyfriend. But as Eric's addiction continues to spiral out of control, his need for Hope's help is overwhelming. When he shows up at the gates of her new school, drugged out and needing a fix, Hope is conflicted about how she can continue to help him and still keep her broken family a secret. Nelson presents a sobering view of a normal family torn apart by addiction and abuse. Though their stories are painful, Hope and Eric feel like real people whom readers will root for. Told in alternating viewpoints, this realistic novel explores serious themes such as drug abuse, sexual abuse, and extreme bullying. Eric's chapters are especially well written, as they show Eric's thoughts and behavior during his meth-induced highs and lows. The siblings are believable characters who simply trusted the wrong people, with disastrous results.
VERDICT Both heartbreaking and hopeful, this will be a popular choice among mature readers of realistic fiction, particularly fans of Ellen Hopkins's "Crank" series (S. & S.).

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