DiscoverYoung Adult

Broken Melody

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Worth reading 😎

Broken Melody deals with the very real world of drug abuse, addiction, and the costs that comes from the struggle of sobriety and relapse.

Synopsis

Alana has just graduated high school and is now more free to do as many drugs as she possibly can. She suffers from bipolar disorder and uses drugs to self-medicate while her loving friends and family watch her decline in horror. As her addiction worsens she befriends people who wouldn't care if she survived. Alana enters rehab with the coaxing of her friends and girlfriend where she finds herself through therapy and sobriety. Still, she relapses. Soon, she owes the largest drug dealer in town a lump of cash with no way to pay him back. Can she get her head straight and get out of this mess, or will she be murdered because of it?

Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Nikki Haase for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.


Broken Melody deals with the very real world of drug abuse and addiction, and the costs of struggling with sobriety and relapse in a young woman.


Recent high school graduate Alana is struggling with her drug addiction to cocaine. Despite being a stellar student and previously able to balance her addiction with the rest of her responsibilities, being out of the confines of school has given her more freedom to do more drugs when she likes. As the drugs start to take over her life, her loved ones urge her to go to rehab to help her detox, and get back to being the person that they know and love. However, being on cocaine for years is not an easy habit to break.


Alana’s reasoning for resorting to cocaine is to help her deal with her bipolar disorder, saying that the drugs help her with the mood swings. She says that she has been self-medicating since she was a kid, so the many years of being on such a hard drug are long. She has already learned how to hide the fact that she’s addicted, and if one were to see how her life was progressing, one would never have thought something was amiss. But now, since she no longer seems to have a need to hide it, her family, friends, and girlfriend want her to get help. It even gets to a point where Alana brings shady people into her life that wouldn’t care whether she lived or died.


Haase’s exploration of addiction, recovery, and relapse was a difficult one to see. As I can’t speak to the representation of whether or not the depictions of drug abuse, drug addiction, and bipolar disorder are done correctly, I can only say that it is here. I hope that there will be more people that have experience in either of these areas that can read this and attest to the authenticity of the representation.


In other aspects, the writing style and the prose was easy to follow, and one that I could read in future books from Haase. I am curious to see what is coming next from Haase, and what other kinds of topics she will explore in future books.

Reviewed by

My favorite genres are Fantasy, Dystopian, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi, & Contemporary. I mainly read Young Adult. I identify as an #OwnVoices Reviewer for Japanese, Chamorro, Chinese, Spanish, Cherokee, Korean, Black, Fat Rep, Mental Illness, Bisexual, and Disability Representation.

Synopsis

Alana has just graduated high school and is now more free to do as many drugs as she possibly can. She suffers from bipolar disorder and uses drugs to self-medicate while her loving friends and family watch her decline in horror. As her addiction worsens she befriends people who wouldn't care if she survived. Alana enters rehab with the coaxing of her friends and girlfriend where she finds herself through therapy and sobriety. Still, she relapses. Soon, she owes the largest drug dealer in town a lump of cash with no way to pay him back. Can she get her head straight and get out of this mess, or will she be murdered because of it?

The house is quiet and dark. Alone once again, the only real sounds are my staggered breaths. Cautious and slow as they might be, they are still audible. My own shadow makes me paranoid, as if it is cast from someone else entirely.

No one is home except for me, my parents’ pride and joy, the straight-A student who is guaranteed a promising future from her teachers. Thankfully school has finally ended. I have my diploma in hand and no longer need to worry about keeping up with my classes.

The flames lick greedily around the wick as I watch the wax melt slowly away. No one will barge through the front doors of this humble abode to disrupt anything. It’s almost like a self-induced solitary confinement. Only better. On the table lies a metaphorical mountain of all sorts of drugs. They sparkle in the candlelight, taunting and teasing.

I can’t just let them sit there, now can I? I can’t let them go to waste. 

Any sensible person would disagree with me. Any sensible person would just get rid of any evidence of drug possession to avoid a possible run-in with law enforcement. 

Well, I’m not a very sensible person, and I tend to ignore the voice in my head that is a bit more reasonable. I know what I am doing will destroy a part of me and shatter everything—everyone—in my life. I have long since realized that this hideous beast that disguises itself as temporary bliss will slowly devour me, but I hardly care. All losers and no winners here, but I still have hope that I can kill the monster inside me.

My body begins to ache. The need to inhale what is in front of me grows stronger alongside my paranoia. I don’t bother turning my stereo on to drown out the sounds of my body doing what bodies do: breathe, pump blood, and tremble with anxiety. My mind shuts down, and the instinct from the demon in me takes over the bleak common sense that I had once possessed. With shaky hands, I slowly cut a few lines of cocaine and lean over the table. It burns my nostrils with a familiar pain that I lust for and after just a few seconds, it slams into me. It works through my nasal cavity and hits my brain in a wave of euphoria and concrete. My head shoots forward and I sniffle before making three more lines and repeating the process until I nearly forget who I am. The drip from the drugs makes my throat and tongue tingle with numbness. I bag up just enough for a handful of lines later and shove it into my pocket. 

I am in complete bliss. 

Standing up straight, I clean everything in a frenzy, making sure I get every nook and cranny. Even the tiny specks of dirt in the cracks of the table don’t get past me—I take a credit card from my pocket and carefully pick them out. Once that is done, I head into the small, dirty bathroom and fix my makeup. There is no need to do my hair, as I shaved it off a few nights ago when my impulse control had left me. I’d been sober that night, but I hadn’t felt like I was. I hide the drugs in a loose floorboard of the house before heading outside. 

How is everyone so oblivious to what is going on? 

Maybe they’re too worried to speak up and do something about it. Perhaps they know that if they confront me about my addiction, I’ll just use more to forget the conversation ever occurred. 

It’s okay though. I am far past help. I am the monster I’m trying to kill.

About the author

Nikki Haase is the author of the dystopian sci-fi trilogy, Experiment X. She has an Associate Degree in English Literature from Bucks County Community College and is working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing at SNHU. view profile

Published on July 19, 2020

Published by

80000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Young Adult

Reviewed by

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