Cynnie takes care of herself—and more importantly, she takes care of her little brother, Bill. So it doesn't matter that her mom is drunk all the time. Cynnie's got her own life. Cynnie's the one Bill loves more than anyone. Cynnie's the real mother in the house. And if there's one thing she knows for sure, it's that she'll never, ever sink as low as her mother.But when things start to fall apart, Cynnie needs a way to dull the pain.Never say never.This unflinching look at the power of addiction is the story of one girl's fall into darkness—and the strength, trust, and forgiveness it takes to climb back out again.
Binge drinking, rebellious behavior and denial abound in Hyde's rather disappointing novel about a stubborn yet defiantly resilient 14-year-old and her battle with alcohol addiction. Cynnie doesn't exactly hail from the most stable of circumstances. Her older sister, Kiki, has disowned the family; her three-year-old brother, Bill, has Down's Syndrome; and her single mom is always plastered. So, when Cynnie takes off with Snake, her 15-year-old neighbor and possible love interest, a kidnapped Bill, and a bottle of gin, all seems to be righted in her world-until she totals the car and winds up in the hospital. The rest of the novel (aka the road to her recovery) reads basically like one long, grueling 12-step session. Unfortunately, the humor that leavened Hyde's Becoming Chloe is in short supply here, and Cynnie's much-needed period of healing comes off feeling rushed and lacking the weight to carry its otherwise uplifting message through successfully. Readers might have a hard time believing in her struggle-or its rosy outcome. Ages 12-up.