From the team that brought you the New York Times bestselling Dry comes a riveting new thriller that proves when gods play games, even love is a lie.
The freeway is coming.
It will cut the neighborhood in two. Construction has already started, pushing toward this corridor of condemned houses and cracked concrete with the momentum of the inevitable. Yet there you are, in the fifth house on the left, fighting for your life.
The victim of the bet between two manufactured gods: the seductive and lethal Roxy (Oxycontin), who is at the top of her game, and the smart, high-achieving Addison (Adderall), who is tired of being the helpful one, and longs for a more dangerous, less wholesome image. The wager—a contest to see who can bring their mark to “the Party” first—is a race to the bottom of a rave that has raged since the beginning of time. And you are only human, dazzled by the lights and music. Drawn by what the drugs offer—tempted to take that step past helpful to harmful…and the troubled places that lie beyond.
But there are two I. Rameys—Isaac, a soccer player thrown into Roxy’s orbit by a bad fall and a bad doctor and Ivy, his older sister, whose increasing frustration with her untreated ADHD leads her to renew her acquaintance with Addy.
Which one are you?
Every book I’ve read by Neal Shusterman has held me spellbound, and this one was no exception. It’s unlike anything I’ve come across. Just be prepared to have your heart ripped from your chest and put through a meat grinder.
You know from the first few pages one of these two main characters isn’t going to live. During the course of the story I changed my mind countless times about which one it would be. The second chapter flashes back to two months earlier, and that’s where the story begins. Isaac seems to have his life together – good grades, plans for college and a career. His sister Ivy isn’t quite as organized. Because of untreated ADHD, she’s at risk of failing her senior year of high school and also has a history of trouble with drugs and alcohol. Both of these characters are extremely well-crafted and easy to connect with, and their paths to addiction are very plausible and relatable.
The conversations between Roxy (Oxycontin) and Addison (Adderall), as well as others (Al, Lucy, Molly, Crys, and Phineas to name a few – all types of drugs) are wildly imaginative, thought-provoking, and profound at times. But also sad. Bringing these two teens to “the Party” is only a game to them, and seeing Isaac’s and Ivy’s downward spirals makes for a gut-wrenching, difficult read.
Roxy is an incredibly dark, gritty novel that focuses on the devastating effects of addiction and how anyone can be susceptible to dependency. It will gut you, but is so well-worth the read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.