The Alternative: Controlled

The Alternative Controlled.jpg

Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Patrick Jones
Publisher: Darby Creek
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9781467744836
Pages: 104

Rachel, a straight-A's AP student, has always listened to her parents’ advice and followed the rules. When her aunt passes away from a drug overdose, Rachel's family takes in the aunt's daughter, Misty. Misty has many issues, including those with alcohol, drugs, sex, and behavior. Quickly, Misty's attitude begins to change Rachel’s. Misty moves from school to school until Rachel’s family decides to take her to a psychiatric facility where she can be evaluated. When Misty is released and able to go back to Rachel’s family, they are hopeful but realize that her behavior has not, in fact, changed.

Controlled is a fast-paced, young adult novel that includes relevant and important topics that many teenagers face. Drugs, sex, and alcohol abuse are mentioned in every chapter. The chapters move from event to event, skipping details in between that are too important to omit. The transitions from each event are too quick and some crucial details could have been added in between. However, the way the book addresses hard topics outweighs the choppy transitions. Overall, the storyline is dramatic and real, with important messages and issues that many teenagers encounter.

*Contains mild sexual content, moderate violence, and moderate substance abuse.