Love Is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson

From the author of THE SUMMER PRINCE, a novel that’s John Grisham’s THE PELICAN BRIEF meets 20894021Michael Crichton’s THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN set at an elite Washington D.C. prep school.

Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. She has perfect hair, the perfect boyfriend, and a perfect Ivy-League future. But a chance meeting with Roosevelt David, a homeland security agent, at a party for Washington DC’s elite leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night.

Meanwhile, the world has fallen apart: A deadly flu virus is sweeping the nation, forcing quarantines, curfews, even martial law. And Roosevelt is certain that Bird knows something. Something about the virus–something about her parents’ top secret scientific work–something she shouldn’t know.

The only one Bird can trust is Coffee, a quiet, outsider genius who deals drugs to their classmates and is a firm believer in conspiracy theories. And he believes in Bird. But as Bird and Coffee dig deeper into what really happened that night, Bird finds that she might know more than she remembers. And what she knows could unleash the biggest government scandal in US history. –

The description of this book sounded fabulous to me – I’m a fan of early John Grisham and anything Michael Crichton, so I thought I’d be hooked immediately.  But – not so much.

The plot and the mystery behind this story were great ideas, but I really struggled with a few things.  In the first few pages, so many characters were introduced that by page ten, I was completely lost.  Then, to make matters worse, some characters were occasionally referred to by their nicknames, then their real names in other sections, which made it difficult to connect with them.  The jumps between present day and flashbacks were a little confusing and I’m still unclear about what actually happened to Emily that night.  My confusion made it hard to get into this book and I found myself skimming through several parts.

I think there was a good story in here, but this book just wasn’t for me.  This review is based on a digital copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

4 thoughts on “Love Is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson

    1. This one did frustrate me, and I hate to give up on a book, but I couldn’t see past the character confusion to get to the story. Does that make sense – a forest and trees kind of thing.


      1. Yeah, absolutely. I rarely give up on a book, but sometimes it gets to the point where I can’t go on with it. It takes all the joy out of reading if you’re trying to force yourself to read something you’re just not enjoying. Square peg, round hole…


  1. One thing that turned me off was the description, it felt a little disjointed. I lost track of who was who just in the description! O.o

    You’re right though, the idea behind it sounds very promising.


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