Her main character, Jade, is a young college student from New York with some level of wealth who is around other students with the same or even more means. In a world of privileged young people, there is always way more than enough of everything: food, housing, clothes, luxury cars, designer everything, money, education…and then drugs – and not just pot but hard drugs, alcohol, depression, anxiety, stress, prescription drug abuse, family problems, drama, parties, and the soul sucking quagmire that is modern sexual behavior, yet another form of addiction to suppress the pain that lingers deep inside. While these kids don’t qualify for government student loans or need based scholarships, they are qualified for the same needs that every other human being has – the kinds that truly fill emptiness – the kind of emptiness that can’t be filled with all the excesses listed above. More than anything Leigh shows that no matter how much money you have, all people just want the same things: self and peer acceptance, true friendship, loyalty, meaningful relationships, respect, love.
The book centers around Jade’s panic attacks, anxiety and attachment issues and how she tries to navigate it all while in a time and place that is filled with overload of everything. Oftentimes, there is a concrete reason why these kinds of mental health plagues creep up on a person, and for a lot of the book I wasn’t quite sure exactly what the baseline was problem was for Jade. I liked how Leigh wrote that because neither did Jade, and it wasn’t until the end of the book, when Jade finally started making headway within her own self, that it became more clear the root of her mental health problems.
It is good that she was able to combat it into some level of submission at such a young age – so many women go many years never getting a grasp on what causes their pain that they waste half or more than half their lives screwing it up before finally addressing them.
The book also gave me a good education on Greek Life. My daughters are both in sororities and so to get a better picture of what that is all about was useful to me as a parent.
Great story for young adults. Look forward to reading more by Leigh Raines!