Read White Lines by Jennifer Banash Online


In 1980s New York City, seventeen-year-old Caitlin tries to overcome her mother's abuse and father's abandonment by losing herself in nights of clubbing and drugs, followed by days of stumbling aimlessly through school....

Title : White Lines
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780399257889
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

White Lines Reviews

  • Wendy Darling
    2019-05-06 06:16

    This isn't the sort of novel that I would normally be attracted to, so I am really glad that a copy landed on my doorstep. 17-year-old Cat is living a teenager's dream in the 1980s--she has her own apartment in New York City, which is bankrolled by her neglectful father. By day, she is a fragile creature struggling with infrequent visits from her abusive mother. By night, she loses herself in the frenzied, glittering world of the club scene, where she fends off skeevy characters and succumbs to the allure of heroin.There are incredibly evocative scenes that capture both the frantic energy of the dirty glam music scene as well as the dreamy stupor of (what I imagine) using drugs feels like. The writing is powerful and poetic, the emotions a pained jumble, and the story has a certain tragic sophistication not unlike a French novel. For awhile, this was almost headed towards 5 stars for me, except that the ending felt a bit rushed, and certain aspects could have been addressed or developed better: the effects of withdrawal, as well as the relationships with everyone aside from her parents, for example. But it's still a stunning debut, and unlike any other YA novel I've ever read before. Recommended for mature teens and adults, and perhaps for fans of Steve Brezenoff's Brooklyn, Burning.This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

  • Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
    2019-05-17 07:11

    White Lines is going to KNOCK you right out of your shoes! Man oh man this book is set in 1980's and we all know that the 80's was the era of wild sex and wild drug use. No one lived back then that did not party at one time or another. The thing about the 80's was all about experimenting and seeing how long you could go without sleep. To be you in the 80's was a great time to discover who you were.White Lines is about a girl named Cat. She is 17 and lives on her own. Her mother has some emotional issues and her father has decided it is easier to check out than pay attention to what is going on around him. Cat's father decides he is going to leave the family and leave Cat with her mother who is unstable. That is until Cat's mother beats her up and and child welfare gets involved. Cat is removed from her mother's home and she asks her father if she can have her own apartment and he agrees and gets it for her.So at 17 years old Cat is raising herself and doing whatever it is she wants to do. She decides to try her hand out on the party scene being a promoter. She is not that good at it at first but she meets Sebastian and Giovanni who have been doing this scene for a long time. So she parties all night long and goes to school in the morning sometimes. School is not really a priority for her but one day at school she meets the new boy Julian and she is determined to try and go to school.Julian is her bright spot in school until one day he starts acting funny and she blows him off. She misses him and she tells her friend about him but her best friend Sara is determined to keep them apart because Julian has some issues. With all this drama going on around her Cat's anxiety comes to rear it ugly head and the only person there for her is Julian. He stands by her and helps through it all. When her mother has beaten her down and her father has ignored her what is a girl to do?This story is so gut wrenching I cried and I laughed and I yelled at the book like a crazy person. This is a MUST READ for everyone! So give it a go and see what happens to cat and Julian and the gang!

  • Jenni Arndt
    2019-04-27 00:17

    Somewhere between 2.5 and 3, I can't decide.We all know that I have an intense relationship with YA contemporary issue books, so you can imagine my surprise when I sat back to think about it and realized that I had never read one that dealt with drug abuse. I’ve read all kinds of issue books; eating disorders, physical abuse and emotional abuse, among others, but White Lines is my first venture into drug abuse territory. I hadn’t been too sure what to expect with this one as I had read nobody's thoughts on it nor had I seen any number ratings for it and I have to say that that whole experience was very "middle-of-the-road" for me. Cat lives in New York and is a “club kid”; she works the door at the underground clubs and is not afraid to put anything up her nose. She hasn’t had the easiest of lives, with an abusive, mentally ill mother and a father who doesn’t give a crap, she has ended up living in downtown New York in her own apartment at 17 years old. I felt bad for her, when it was deemed that she could no longer live with her mother her father simply signed a lease and never even entertained the idea of her going to live with him and his new girlfriend. Being thrown away like that at such a young age has taken it’s toll on Cat and she has been losing herself in her nightlife. I think Cat’s way of dealing with her situation was handled really well; she has a lot of issues with intimacy and just conversing with others. She has a few good friends who are there for her along the way in Giovanni and Sara. I liked both of these characters. Giovanni was pretty cliche as the gay best friend who is always dressing her, but I loved how present he was in her life and his willingness to hold her hair as she vomitted at 4 AM. I loved Sara for her brutal honestly, she didn’t sugar coat things and when Cat was acting like an idiot she was the first to let her know.While I did like the characters in the novel, I think what I took issue with the most is the pacing. There was a lot of reminiscing right in the middle of scenes. Cat would pick up the phone, hear her mother say “hello” and then we would go into a two page memory from when she was living with her mother before getting back to the conversation. This happened a lot and while I did enjoy getting the back story in the beginning, it became quite draining from the middle on because I just wanted to the story to progress, to actually go somewhere. There isn’t much of a plot here, it’s more the story of some time in Cat’s life as she slowly delves down to rock-bottom. I appreciated watching this unfold, but I was constantly in a state where I wished I had something to look forward to, an end point that I could work with I guess. It felt a little aimless at times I guess is what I am trying to say.There is a bit of romance here and even hints of a love triangle. Not too much happened in this department because of Cat’s inability to open up but I did really like her time with Juliann and watching her figure out that she was being an idiot with the creepy Christoph. I did enjoy this glimpse into Cat’s life and the ’80’s references were pretty fun but I found myself getting bored from about the 50% mark on. I would have liked a bit more of a story and little less back story. This was a touching read about a young girl forced to grow up way too young, but one that I don’t think I will remember a month down the road. An Advanced Reader's Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.--You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

  • Vivien
    2019-05-16 07:05

    Set in the 1980's, you would think Caitlin is living the high life. On the surface, she's a seventeen year old girl living on her own in New York City. Working as a club promoter, she parties her nights away. No curfew or parents to answer to at home. She is her own person who decides when and if she goes to school. It sounds like a dream, right? The truth is more like a living nightmare.After undergoing years of abuse, Caitlin finally escapes her mother. Rather than take her in, Cat's father would rather pretend she's an investment than his daughter. He pays her rent, but other than supporting her financially, fatherhood is an afterthought. On her own, Caitlin turns to the party scene. It's easier than dealing with reality. White Lines completely captures the feel of a club kid in the 80's. It's a very dirty and gritty scene. It becomes a life of constant escape. Living on one high to the next. What I loved about this book so much was the fact that it didn't go in any direction that I thought it would. It's not a story of a guy fixing a girl. This girl makes her own decisions. Good and bad. She comes to her own conclusions at her own pace. This makes it feel more genuine and not forced in any way.The writing is the standout for me. Very poetic and filled with metaphors that I lingered over. While some may think it's overdone it really helped me connect to Caitlin. She isn't a character that you understand fully from her dialogue. It's how she thinks that you see her true self. I savored this book and wanted it to be longer. But not in the sense that I was missing something. I just didn't want it to end. A raw and haunting novel, memorable until well after you have finished with it.

  • Stephanie
    2019-05-19 00:12

    Amazing. This book is everything I hoped it would be and more. The writing is beautiful and the story is so realistic. Caitlin is a 17 year old girl who has moved into her own apartment to escape her home life. Her mother is abusive and her father has turned a blind eye to the situation. Cat finds all the wrong ways to try to cope and ends up spiraling downward into drugs an alcohol. By losing herself in the club life she thinks she can forget all the bad things, at least for a little while. In the end she has to figure out who she is or risk losing herself entirely. I felt Cat's pain and was right there with her as she fought though all the trials in her life. Such a powerful story. A definite must read novel.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-22 02:04

    Caitlin is 17 and living on her own. Her father moved away and her mother is really abusive so her father agrees to pay for her apartment. Why her father thought she should live alone at such a young age is beyond me. Cat feels abandoned and unloved. There are flashbacks with her mother throughout the book that really show it was probably best for her to get away. The only place she feels loved and like she really fits in is the club.I could relate to Cat wanting to be at the club. When I turned 18 I lived at the club on the weekends. I was never popular in high school but at the club I really fit in and made friends. But I wasn't clubbing on school nights. Cat works at the club until 2am or sometimes even 4am and then tries to make it to class at 8am. There is just no way that is healthy. Not to mention the drug use. Cat explains how it started slow and she tried to do it on special occasions but now she is doing it every night. The way the drugs help her forget. We just watch her spiral downwards but as the saying goes someone has to hit rock bottom before they realize they need help.Cat meets a new boy named Julian at school. Julian is kind of an outcast too and they begin a friendship. Julian was super sweet and adorable and their romance even gave me butterflies. Cat is very broken though so she often pushes him away. Cat does have a few good friends such as Giovanni. There are flashbacks of how she met him and got into the club scene. How it feels for her to be there. The writing was gorgeous and depressing but really descriptive of how Cat feels and how the drugs make her feel better if only for a little while. She begins to hit bottom. The way older club owner hits on her and she sees that one of her best friends has things way worse. Cat finally begins to see she needs help. As the synopsis says the book was very poignant and raw but so beautifully told.---"I would die of embarrassment if I had to wear this outfit on the street in broad daylight, but the club is a place where anything is possible.""Standing there in front of him, I begin to believe maybe for the first time that he just might really like me. It's in those eyes, the way they take me in--not just my body and face, but all of me. Even the parts I don't want anyone to see. It makes me feel nervous and exhilarated all at once.""At that moment, Julian leans close to me, our shoulders touching, his hair brushing my cheek. When I turn to look into his eyes, he slowly lowers his lips to mine. I close my eyes and breathe in the scent of shampoo and Ivory soap as he cups one hand under my chin, his fingers reaching up to brush the hair back from my face. At the feeling of his hands on my skin, all nervousness falls away. We are kissing softly, Julian's hands touching me tentatively as if I might bolt. Something in his kiss, in the way he looks at me, makes me feel worlds away from the girl I know that I am, the girl with the screwed-up family and the weird job, the girl who can't feel much of anything except the disappointment and fear. When we finally come up for air, I open my eyes to find his lashes fluttering as if he's just woken from a dream, the kind you try to find again after waking in the morning light."Wow," he whispers, dropping my hands for the first time all night and pushing his dark hair back from his face."Sitting here with a man who is old enough to be my father, a man who possesses that same smug sense of entitlement as my parents, I know that I have become my worst self, a girl who will do anything to avoid looking at her own frightened reflection in the mirror. A girl who runs away, straight into the dark of an eclipse, just to have someplace to go.""Words fail me once again, and I wish more than anything that I had a glass of champagne or a line to make it all recede far into the distance, to make everything hazy and unreal again."

  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    2019-04-30 04:17

    The funny thing about expectations is how often they're wrong. I really did not expect to like this book, because I hate reading about spoiled rich kids acting out for attention, and the reviews I'd seen had been largely middling. Actually, an unsolicited review copy arrived on the very day I decided this book wasn't for me, because the universe has a sense of humor. Anyway, I actually ended up really enjoying White Lines, which won me over for the strong voice and gritty feel.On the surface, White Lines is every bit the heir to novels like Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis, and it's even set in roughly that era. There's the same pompous sense of style, the flair and snobbery and focus on what people are wearing. Money, drugs and alcohol flow with abundance. Parents flit through only to provide money and housing to their children, too busy with their high society lifestyles to actually parent. Immediate gratification is the main goal of these kids' lives, with questions of the future put off as something to deal with at some later date, as though the problems will melt away.If what you want from White Lines is a depiction of the seedy club scene of the 1980s, then you will not be disappointed. Cat parties every night, and does a lot of drugs, though primarily cocaine as the title implies. Though she remains somewhat of an innocent in certain areas, she sees a lot and hears about even more. Her job as a promoter brings her into contact with a lot of shady people, most especially the owner of the club where she works, a man in his 40s who obviously has interest in her.All of that is quite well done and solidly atmospheric, but it's not what sucked me into White Lines like Cat sucked cocaine up her nose. What kept White Lines from feeling tawdry and like a historical fiction version of Gossip Girl was Cat. Obviously, Cat is fucked up, raised primarily by her physically abusive mother, who constantly berated and hit her for not being the perfect little daughter. Cat's father ignored the situation, and eventually divorced her mother for a younger, hotter, more exotic woman, setting Cat up in a downtown apartment by herself.While Cat struggles with a lot of emotional problems as a result of the physical abuse (fear of being touched), mental abuse (self-doubt), and neglect (feelings of being unwanted), she remains surprisingly self-aware. She knows she's doing stupid things and acting out, but doesn't want to stop. Though she suffers from depression and anger, she doesn't whine. Her primary emotion is rage and not self-pity, which is the thing I cannot stand from characters given every opportunity in life who choose to flush their futures down the toilet. Since I appreciated Cat's willingness to take her life at face value, even if she's not handling it well, I really rooted for her to come to some resolution and not to OD before she can grow up and find people who care about her.The ending, however, came off a bit too rushed. It reads almost like an epilogue, though it's not labeled as such, jumping into the future and detailing what became of everyone in the short term. This skips a lot of details and character growth that would really have added to the emotional impact of the story. The sudden conclusion left me vaguely unsatisfied and unconvinced.White Lines is a hard-hitting story of the dark, drug-laced 1980s club scene in New York City, and will appeal to readers who enjoy the works of Bret Easton Ellis or have an interest in that era. It's a very dark, upsetting story, but a worthwhile one. I will be curious to see what Banash tackles next.

  • Liviania
    2019-04-29 02:56

    I haven't read a novel this fierce since Stephanie Kuehnert burst onto the scene with I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE. WHITE LINES will be a revelation to anyone familiar with Jennifer Banash from The Elite series. The rich kids remain, but all soap opera antics are banished. WHITE LINES is raw, a real bleeding wound of a story.Cat lives by herself on the Lower East Side even though she's only seventeen years old. She could no longer live with her abusive mother - the State agrees - but her father lives with a younger woman who doesn't like her. So he pays for her to have an apartment. Few teenagers, given free reign of their lives, would make the best decisions. Especially not in 1980s New York. Especially not when working the door to a club to make a little extra money. Especially not when the drug dealers are willing to offer a rock of cocaine to get in. Especially not when the music and the dancing and the personalities and the drugs are so much better than being alone in an apartment, remembering.There are people who care about Cat. There's her friend Sara, who first convinced her to get a fake ID and go to a club and didn't follow her deeper. There's Giovanni, fabulous and Puerto Rican, who dresses Cat like a doll and forgets his own problems with her. There's Julian, the new kid in school, someone she could see herself with if she can stop herself from giving him the cold shoulder. There's Alexa, the coolest girl in school, who sees something in Cat - although it might just be a way to get herself closer to the top. But they're all flawed people and some of them are druggies too. Her interactions with them show what a beautiful person Cat is. She has trouble reaching out, real panic, but she doesn't give into that internal voice every time. She struggles against it and makes connections, risking the pain.Drug addiction isn't pretty. Some people are functional addicts. Cat manages to hold down a job and manages to go to school enough not to get kicked out (even if it is a school for "special" kids). She's sort of in the best case scenario, but there are dangers lurking around the edges of her life. I was so afraid of the turns WHITE LINES could take, of the awful things that could happen to Cat. WHITE LINES is gritty in the best way. It doesn't heap humiliation or degradation upon its heroine to show the evils of her way of life. Her life is risky, and sometimes unpleasant, but not gratuitously so.And, well, drug addiction tends to bring out the worst in people and it would be a shame to lose the best parts of Cat. There's so much potential in Cat. She's got a big voice, one that absorbs you in her life. She can be witty and clever when she's functional. "Oh my God," I drawl, staring at Giovanni's face in the mirror. I begin to smile in spite of my annoyance. "I'm only seventeen! How old could I possibly look?" - ARC, 36WHITE LINES was an intense read. It'll suck you into the 1980's New York club scene and make you feel like you're living it even if, like me, you weren't born until it was over. I kept my fingers crossed that somehow, someway there would be a happy ending. Somehow, someway. And the ending of WHITE LINES was a relief, a release of all the tension of the novel, healing. Cat had a tough past, lives a rough present, but she's still got a future. And a future is the essence of Young Adult.

  • Marie
    2019-05-08 03:59

    This review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.When I first heard about White Lines in July 2012, I knew I had to read it. New York City + 1980s + club scene = yes please! As time went on I was afraid it would be one of those books that I build up so much in my mind that the real thing couldn't possibly live up to my expectations. Thankfully I was wrong. White Lines is a beautifully written, haunting, and dark story about a damaged club kid trying to find her place in life. I was immediately drawn into Cat’s world and the seductive life of the club, the drugs, the music, the people, the power. Cat felt like a freak and an outcast, but in the club she was somebody, and you could feel that heady power-rush feeling emanating from the pages. She had little control over her own life, but the club was the one place where she held the power. She was the guardian of the gate so to speak - she controlled the velvet rope - and she was in charge.Cat was a character who, for me, was perfectly imperfectly. She made mistakes, her judgment was questionable, and she was certainly flawed, but I loved her. She was human, and I felt her hurts and her triumphs. My heart broke repeatedly for her. When she did drugs, she didn’t have to worry about anything - not her emotional baggage or her horrible childhood or the fact that her life was completely messed up. She was afraid of so many things - afraid of being touched, afraid of being hurt, afraid of being loved, and even afraid of feeling, because then she had the potential to get hurt, and all she’d ever really known was hurt. It was heartbreaking and at times so poignant I was left speechless.White Lines is one of those books that is so beautifully written, it’s almost lyrical. No matter what was happening - even the things I couldn’t relate to - I felt like I was right there with Cat, living it all. I could see it, taste it, smell it, and feel it, and I loved that. White Lines is a book that will suck you in, grab hold of your heart and make it hurt, but also fill it with hope. With a strong, complex, and almost hypnotic narrative voice that gets under your skin and into your blood stream like a drug, Cat’s story is one you won’t soon forget.

  • Merin
    2019-05-02 05:03

    Drug addiction is a subject I haven't personally read a whole lot of, but the two books I have read that dealt with the topic - Crank by Ellen Hopkins and The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx - were quite eye-opening and compulsively readable. As such, I was extremely intrigued with the summary for White Lines, particularly since it seemed like there was going to be a lot more going on in this book than just the drugs. What I found in its pages was a very damaged main character who, despite her issues and flawed way of thinking, was someone I was completely rooting for and hoping she'd figure things out before it was too late.This book is quite dark, and not just because of the drug use. Cat is emotionally wrecked, doesn't trust easily, and is well aware that her choices aren't the best. The book is scattered throughout with flashbacks to her childhood, when her mother would abuse her or her father would ignore her, and that added a very tangible sense of sadness to the story, even if she herself wasn't necessarily drowning in sorrow the time. Cat was a very conflicted narrator, equal parts sad and angry, mostly going through the motions. Only when she was at the club or doing drugs was she "alive" if you will (which of course was the main draw for her to the drugs in the first place), and I have to give major kudos for the way those scenes were written, in such a psychedelic fashion. The clothing, atmosphere, music and excess were nearly dripping off the page, keeping time with the chaotic and drug-infused thoughts careening through Cat's head. All of this was just utterly atmospheric and kept me thoroughly engaged the entire time.My one complaint about this book is that the ending is rather nice and tidy, if you will. One of the things I liked most about The Heroin Diaries was when Nikki recounted just how difficult it was to get himself together and leave the drugs behind. I couldn't help but notice that, aside from a paragraph or two, that is decidedly missing from White Lines, and somehow keeps the story from being as completely fleshed out as it could have been. In my opinion, a book dealing with a subject as all-encompassing as drug abuse and addiction is shouldn't be tied up in a nice, neat bow, and I couldn't help but feel that that was precisely what happened here.Nonetheless, if you're looking for a realistic, gritty and dark YA read that deals with a number of tough topics, do pick up White Lines. The book does a very good job of transporting you to the 1980s, complete with John Hughes movie and New Age music references that made me smile. There are no minced words when it comes to the drug use and club scenes, but all of it comes together to form a really well done book that's extremely readable and really pulls you in. I'd definitely recommend it!An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***To see more of my reviews, please visit me @ Read and Reviewed!

  • A Beautiful Madness
    2019-05-03 03:16

    I was really excited to get my hands on White Lines by Jennifer Banash, and I simply couldn’t wait to read it. I was curious to see how the settings would be affecting the story. Sadly, the story, even though it had potential to be really interesting, failed to really impress. I felt like the story being set in the ‘80’s didn’t really affect the plot that much, and that really disappointed me. The time period was one of the reasons I really wanted to read it, and it didn’t wow me.More than that, there were other little things that made it hard for me to really enjoy this novel. The pacing was slow, and the story lacked excitement. White Lines should have been a heavy and emotional story, but I felt like many part of the book were superficial. I felt no connection to the story and narration, which gave me the feeling of reading the story as seen by someone from afar. It lacked emotions, and White Lines seemed like the kind of book that should have been able to really touch the reader deeply. After all, Cat’s story is full of drug, abuse, and heartbreak.White Lines is the kind of novel in which the main character takes an important part in liking this book. I might have felt pity for some parts of Cat’s past, but I simply couldn’t find it in me to really find her story interesting. Cat was a little all over the place as a character, and there were things about her that didn’t work for me. Also, Cat’s drug use, or rather the consequences of her drug use, felt wrong to me. She doesn’t really appear to have consequences on her that much, other than leaving her tired from all the partying. Shouldn’t cocaine leave her some more effects than only the dark circles under her eyes? Well, I’m not an expert on cocaine, but it felt weird.Overall, White Lines by Jennifer Banash simply wasn’t really working for me. I had high expectations for this novel, and they were far from met. I know this book will please many readers, but it didn’t include me. I might give Jennifer Banash’s future novels a chance, but this book simply charmed me.

  • Danielle (is trying to escape reality)
    2019-05-04 05:04

    An unflinching look into a broken New York girl's life alone in the 80s. The title says most of what you need to know. Club raves, insecurity, a psychotic mother, and gay best friends fill in the rest. The writing in this book was great, uber quotable. I will definitely be on the lookout for the author's other books. I highly recommend this one for something different then your normal YA fare, that's gritty and real and got a neat time period to work with. It's got serious subject content, but it written in a way that makes you just want to keep reading on.

  • Lauren
    2019-05-14 01:14

    Cat has it all: she lives on her own, parties every night at the hottest clubs, and rolls into high school the next day with no one the wiser. But getting what you want isn't all it's cracked up to be, and Cat is starting to feel the pressure and buckle. Banash crafted a stunning debut, one that will appeal to teens and adults. I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next!

  • Lauren
    2019-05-03 07:03

    I was pleasantly surprised by this one! Like, wow. It's a fun read, and then all of a sudden it's heavy and dark. Way cool.

  • Heather
    2019-04-26 06:54

    *This is an ARC review and will be published to my blog The Flyleaf Review closer to publication.*When I read the synopsis for White Lines, I knew it was something I wanted to check out. Set a YA book in the 80's or 90's, the time when I actually was a young adult, and I am usually ALL over it. Especially when there are music themes. But really, White Lines doesn't really have so much a music theme as a party theme. I mean look at the title folks, that is pretty blatant. Although the exact year is never given, White Lines seems to be set in the late 80s (judging by the music referenced.) We are introduced to seventeen year old Caitlin, who is heavily involved in the NYC club scene, hanging out with Club Kids, the over the top party promoters who ruled the scene, and spending her nights working the door at Tunnel, the hottest club around. My knowledge on NYC during this time period is limited, but after a little investigating online, it sounds like Banansh may have based many of the characters on real life club kids and club owners. I don't know that for sure but there are a lot of similarities. Tunnel and some of the other clubs mentioned in the book were real clubs, that much I DO know. Having never been involved in the late 80s NYC party scene, this book was all kinds of fascinating. And though I didn't live in New York, a lot of what was going on up there was also going on in other parts of the country, my hometown included. So, this book triggered a lot of nostalgia for me as well.A little more about the story: Caitlin seems to be living every teenager's dream. She's seventeen, living on her own, all expenses paid by her father, and working a prime position at one of the New York nightclubs everyone wants to get into. It's the kind of place that the stars and other beautiful people hang out at. It's one of those clubs where not just anyone can walk into. You have to be chosen, and only the people who can add something to the scene, or are very well connected, are allowed entry. And the good times roll for Caitlin every night because there are drugs-a-plenty in every direction. But Caitlin wasn't always like this. Before her father left her mother for another woman, Caitlin lived in a swank apartment, attended a prestigious private school, and had a very normal existence. All of that changed after the divorce. Caitlin's mother, who had always been more than a little physical in her punishments went off the deep end and began to violently abuse her daughter. Social services finally intervened but instead of taking his daughter to Connecticut to live with him, Caitlin convinces her father to let her rent her own apartment in the city while she finishes school. Don't ask me why, but her dad goes for it, setting her up in a small place in the East Village. It's not too long before Caitlin finds herself getting into bars and clubs (with a fake ID procured by her best friend) and a whole new world opens up to her. In the club she can let go of her problems, she can become someone else, and with the help of a couple of new Club Kid friends, she transforms into a totally different girl. Student by day, dance club door girl and new darling by night.Well, you can probably figure out what happens next. Late nights aren't conducive to early mornings at school and she is eventually expelled from her swank private school and sent to another swanky private school for "problem" kids of wealth. In White Lines we witness first hand Caitlin's dark downward spiral as her life spins out of control.White Lines is most definitely a cautionary tale. It never glamorizes the lifestyle Caitlin is living, in fact, the reader is made witness to some pretty dodgy and scary stuff: drug overdoses, smarmy middle age club owners propositioning teenage girls, and backstabbing betrayals among the Club Kids. Underneath all of that is Caitlin, who may be acting like a a twenty-something living the high life, but is in reality, a very lonely and damaged young girl. There is some pretty dark subject matter found within these pages, you guys. It's an intense book and often very bleak in tone. But there is a sense of hope in the story as well. Caitlin does start to recognize how far she has sunk and she does begin to wise up up about her circumstances. It was easy to sympathize with Caitlin's life, even though I shook my head in dismay at many of her choices. But what is great about her character is she she is 100% redeemable. I never felt like she couldn't find her way out of her situation, while I was reading. There were life lessons to be learned and I always felt that Caitlin had it in her to learn them. There is a very light romance featured in White Lines between Caitlin and a boy who also attends her school. It's not focused on very heavily but it does have it's sweet moments. There is also a nice friendship written in between Caitlin and another club goer, Giovanni. Both are messed up kids, but they both have a strong loyalty to each other and that was a nice little ray of sunshine in this intense book. Writing wise I found Jennifer Banash's style to be very accessible and easy to read. It's not flowery and lyrical but neither is the subject matter. I haven't read her earlier series, The Elite, but I quite enjoyed how she told Caitlin's story in White Lines. Overall, I enjoyed White Lines. I liked the setting, it was cool to read about all those famous NYC landmarks, and I loved the time period and music references (of course). But make no mistake, this book is gritty and uncensored. It's life in the fast line in all it's blazing and twisted glory. Oh, and by the way, that cover ROCKS. That girl is exactly how I picture Caitlin to look as she stumbles around Tunnel rubbing elbows with all the beautiful people:)

  • Jenna (Bookiemoji)
    2019-05-23 06:15

    Full review available at Making the Grade.It’s been a long, long time since I’ve rock-and-rolled through a novel as darkly engaging as WHITE LINES by Jennifer Banash. And oh, how I do looove rock and roll, especially the hair shaking tunes that take me back to the 1980′s.Although I may have been a little too young to experience that decade in exactly the same way that the main character of WHITE LINES does, any John Hughes fan can easily relate to the dark humor and the perfectly imperfect lifestyles outlined in this gritty “80′s club scene” novel. WHITE LINES is more beautifully written than most anything I have read in recent years, with a voice as deeply hypnotic as the very white lines of which the book speaks. (Obviously, with the title “WHITE LINES” you had to know this book would involve the use of drugs.)At the start of the novel we join her in the seemingly divine high life that any teenager would die for in the 80′s. She’s bumps elbows with the coolest crowds in the city, up-doing her hair in ways that defy gravity, dancing the night away to the beat of Duran Duran and Culture Club and, although only 17 years of age, she lives ALONE in an apartment in NYC. What can get better than that, right?Alas, beneath the eye shades and lipstick lies a character who is so emotionally exhausted and so lonely that only the pulsing music and tempting white lines can take the pain away. This book is a story of a girl’s struggle to find meaning in a world that (on the surface) appears bright and fabulous, but really is bleak and pointless. You will be taken through this girl’s struggles, become lost with her and dragged down to levels so low that even you will wonder if one could ever be pulled up from such depths – not without permanent repercussions, at least.Cat comes from a broken family and a tortured past. Her father has no time for her and her mother is horribly controlling and abusive – it’s no wonder this girl lives on her own! Cat balances her night life and her school life with friends as contrasting as black and white. In addition, she meets a boy named Julian who causes her to question whether or not her night life was ultimately dragging her down. While some of the secondary characters are explored greatly and I actually developed an emotional connection to them, I felt that Julian fell a bit flat. Ultimately, this did not matter too much to me because I found the romance to be a small matter in the overall story. While I did enjoy the romance, I cared more about the black hole that Cat was digging herself into and whether she would ever get herself out. The romance just helped Cat along the way.As the story progresses, we learn more about what troubles Cat through poetic passages that are strategically placed to coincide with the book’s events and are horrifyingly metaphoric in their delivery. These passages are a brilliant addition to WHITE LINES, adding greater emotional depth to the novel. Though the story’s pacing may lag here and there in the middle of the book — especially as we seem to be dragged deeper and deeper into Cat’s dark world — the writing gives the reader something to bask in on nearly every page. I cannot wait to see what Jennifer has in store for us next, as I am desperately hopping to read more of her beautiful words.Reading WHITE LINES made me feel as though I had obtained a ticket for Marty McFly’s 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 and was propelled back to the later years in the decade. While I have never experienced the 80′s NYC “club scene”, through Cat’s eyes I can easily imagine how things might have been. While the music of this age was beyond amazing, there are some lines I would rather leave untouched.Yes, it’s a cautionary tale that Jeniffer Banash tells, though never entering the realm of “after school special”. It’s too dark for that. Rather, WHITE LINES simply tells the way things “are”, allowing the reader to consider their actions and appreciate what they have. If anything, I can certainly thank WHITE LINES for my renewed appreciation of my hum-drum “normal” life.An emotional and gritty exploration of the 80′s “club scene”, bursting at the seems with cool kids and even cooler tunes, WHITE LINES is a book that any contemporary fan should read. Bump this title to the top of your reading list today.

  • usagi ☆ミ
    2019-05-18 06:04

    3.5/5 stars.We really need more dark, gritty contemps like this in YA, guys. I'm just going to lay that out there now. "White Lines" is incredibly hard to read at times because it's filled with a lot of darkness, a lot of frustration, and a lot of pain, but it's also an important book to read as well. Banash brilliantly brings back late 1980s New York with ridiculous ease and a vibrancy I haven't felt in YA contemporary in quite a long while. This is not the feel good book of the year, but if you want one of the more meaningful ones, definitely check out "White Lines".The biggest issues I had with this book: the pacing, and the ending. The pacing was more than a bit uneven - almost bipolar in some areas - it seemed to drag the most during Cat's days outside of the clubs, and was the most eventful when she was doing her job at night inside of the club. I'm not sure if this was a conscious decision on Banash's part - to show how empty Cat's life was, and how it positively dragged when she wasn't dancing, doing drugs, and feeling free at Tunnel. Looking back on it, it might just have been. I just wish there'd been a little bit more action during the day, a little more tension and a little less exhaustion to plod through.The ending: It felt far too neatly wrapped up for my taste, especially considering how messy everything was for Cat in her life throughout the book. It was almost a fairytale ending, if you think about it (though I won't spoil it here), and while for Cat it's a badly needed thing to help heal her and get her on the road to recovery, it happened way too fast to be realistic. I do love the climax of the book - where everything is literally going to hell around her - but the resolution was just too easy. I will say, though - Banash definitely knows how to kill her darlings, and kill them well. Cat goes through SO much in this book, and afterward, you just kind of want to hug her forever. She may not be the most likeable MC, but she's definitely one of the more relatable ones to come along in YA contemp in awhile. Banash holds nothing back with creating Cat as her MC, and that too was refreshing. The suffering, the alienation, all of it felt very, very real, and I loved every bit of that. The world that Banash helped create through Cat's eyes and experiences felt very true to the real late 80s New York - where it was all drugs and clubs, yuppies and parties - and some of her little added dashes of hints of things to come (Sebastian and his blue spots was a VERY nice touch when you think about what those blue spots mean - AIDS) within the next few years, and how it all starts to turn around. Banash took many risks with this book, this MC, and this world, and for that, I definitely tip my hat to her.But what really takes the cake is her absurdly awesome use of sensory language and imagery. A lot of it felt like the same imagery evoked in Francesca Lia Block's "Weetzie Bat" series, which took place and was published in the 1980s, and it felt really real. If anything, I'd say that while Block's prose still retains a dreamy element to it in the "Weetzie" series, Banash's look back into one of the darker parts of the late 20th century is absolutely visceral in quality, to the point where there were some scenes where I had to put the book down, catch my breath, and continue later. You know an author's done their job when you feel their story in your guts and you have to actually step away from it for awhile to process what's going on.Final verdict? While not perfect, "White Lines" still delivers as a heartstopping debut for Banash, and makes me want to read more of her work. I'm definitely looking forward to whatever she puts out next. "White Lines" is out from Penguin on April 4, 2013 in North America, so definitely be sure to check it out when you get the chance!(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and

  • Taschima
    2019-05-23 06:57

    White Lines was a beautifully written story with some faults that deterred me from completely falling in love. White Lines is New York in the 80s when the kids were partying way too hard and all the rules were thrown out the window. In the middle of this frenzy you get Cat, a lonely 17 year old seeming to be having the time of her life. She lives alone, she parties at the best club, and she experiments with narcotics. Her parents? Not a clue, she isn't an orphan, but they don't care enough to reel her back in. Boyfriend? Heck if I know, doesn't have one, might like one. So we get to go with her through her "scene" life, and watch as her life spirals out of control.Every other early review I've read about White Lines has been a 5 star review, "loved it", "amazing", and now I am here to sadly be the "bad guy". I mean, it's not like I didn't enjoy the setting, the writing, and the idea of the overall story but there were two things in particular that killed it for me.One was the main character. I am a character driven girl, I need to connect with my main character in some way in order to love the story. White Line's main character, Cat, is a broken girl with various issues; afraid of intimacy, druggie, can't deal with reality... To name a few. Don't get me wrong the way the character is portrayed and handled is fine, but I just didn't like, or see anything in her that won me over. She is overall dazed and unable to take control of her life, and whenever a brilliant idea actually manages to creep onto that her of hers she immediately squishes it and decides to do the exact opposite. She also plays the victims card far too much, and I am not into victims. I am into ass kicking heroines. So the main character was a problem for me because I just couldn't connect with her, she doesn't have that thing that makes me want to read about her for more than one book.Number two is the pace of the novel. I don't know, but it went so slowly to me. There wasn't something urging me to come back and keep reading. I believe it took me about a week to finish this book, and that's a no-no. I felt like there wasn't a finish line in sight that I was eagerly running to cross, it was slowly evolving relationships and mistake after mistake.Other than that this novel really was beautifully written, so I can see why a lot of people would love it. Here are some examples:[image error][image error]Jennifer Banash is a very talented writer, so I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another one of her novels, only this one just wasn't completely what I was looking for. The way she described New York, the night club "scene" and everything really made you feel like you were a part of it. Like you could feel it yourself. So that was my favorite part, the writing, New York, and getting to experience something I wouldn't have experienced in a thousand years. White Lines is bound to make some noise.

  • Hollyberry
    2019-05-25 03:18

    White lines is a story about a girl named Cat who is a 17 year old club kid in 1980's New York. This book engrossed me from the very beginning, and I could not put it down. We find out at the beginning that due to different circumstances in her past she finds herself living alone at her young age, and she is trying to manage going to school and also being a club promoter.The way Jennifer was able to detail everything down to the last detail was tremendous, especially when it came to the "white lines", I have never done that myself, but I feel like I don't need (or want) to now after reading this. She was able to describe the sensation of the high and the side effects from it in such a way that I felt like I was there with her, and I think that is something that is not easy to do.I felt connected to Cat on some levels and I could understand why she was doing what she was doing even if I didn't agree with her, or would not make the same choices in her situation. Her Mother is probably one of my most hated characters in a fictional novel, and once you read this book, I would guarantee that you will agree with me, I cannot understand her at all, and there were many times during the book that I wanted to choke her for her actions, and I love when I get emotional like that while reading.As far as the club kid scene goes, I loved the different kids for all different reasons, but one of my favourite parts was the outfits! Did that ever take me back to the 80's, oh how I do not miss the neon (even though apparently it is coming back?), and she got them bang on too, who remembers wearing a lot of tulle and lace, oh and the spandex with the elastic at the bottom to go under your feet? I do! This is not a book that I will forget any time soon, there are so many different and serious topics covered that I think it should be a mandatory read for teenagers (starting in grade 9). The first one that comes to mind is the fact that I think way too many kids are having to grow up way to soon and have their teenage years and what should be "normal" teenage experiences taken away from them, and the serious consequences that it can have. The next is drug abuse and how a lot of people think that the "have it under control", and it is not by any means, the drugs are the ones in control.I liked this book from front to back, and even the ending is not the "hollywood happy ever after" that can sometimes happen, I think it is a very realistic ending and I am so grateful that Jennifer wrote it that way. If you are looking for a more serious novel about what some kids are going through around the world on a daily basis, this is it! Fantastic 5/5 from me!

  • Erin
    2019-04-24 02:56

    Reading WHITE LINES helped me to blur my own set of lines in young adult book reviewing world. WHITE LINES by Jennifer Banash isn't a fantasy novel. It's the exact opposite. Banash takes a hard look at one teenager's reality in the 1980s. Learn more about Jennifer Banash and her book here.Normally, this isn't the kind of book that I would pick up without knowing anything about it, but after I read the back cover, I couldn't wait to read it.Now you know what cover to look for in the bookstore and a little bit about what the book's about. But should you buy it?I say YES! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Banash's writing style is clean--almost perfect. I never once tripped over a sentence or thought a page could have been shortened to a paragraph.She writes in first person and not only is her first person viewpoint a convincing teenager's voice, but she's fun, likable, and even though she's going through a lot of tough stuff, she doesn't sit and wring her hands for 100 pages.There's romance with a great guy, but not so much it overwhelms the story or becomes obsessive or unbelievable. The character has unique friends--some that you like, some that you don't like so much. But everyone has a sympathetic side. Sometimes you wonder who exactly is right and what path the main character should choose in the end.The book deals with many gritty issues--child abuse, neglect, loss, death, drugs, sex, inappropriate relationships, and so much more. But it does so in a tactful, respectful way. This is a book that not only kids will like but so will parents, educators, and adult readers.At a couple of points, I held my breath and almost cried. I smiled. I laughed. I rode the roller coaster ride with the main character and enjoyed every minute of it.So get a copy! At any cost!To read more of my reviews, visit

  • Susan
    2019-04-25 02:22

    White Lines is a gritty and raw coming of age tale that readers will not want to put down. Compelling and poignant, this is a young adult novel on the cusp of New Adult. Jennifer Banash does a wonderful job in delivering a stellar mature young adult novel, that is full of powerful emotion, atmospheric wonder, and a captivating storyline that is sure to wow and stun readers. Dangerous and out of control, this is a story that will embark readers on a rollercoaster ride of epic emotion, sprialing downwards and filled with strength that has no where else to go but up. The characters are real, honest, and raw. Banash pours everything she has into telling the story of Cat, who comes alive by nightfall, and is the lonliest girl by day. Her story is painful, beyond the telling as she grapples with personal demons that threaten her happiness. Suffering physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her mother, abandonment by her father, she tries to cope the best way she knows how. It isn't until she meets Julian, that she feels truly alive from the inside out. White Lines is a dirty and gritty story filled with heartaching pain. It's beautiful, the emotions that Banash is able to evoke with her beautiful poetic words, atmosphere, and the vulernable way she leaves her characters open and exposed. The story and the characters within, start to take on a life of their own and it's gorgeous to come along for the ride. Truly stunning and brilliantly written, White Lines, is probably one of the year's most touching and heartwrenching stories told. This is not a novel that readers want to miss out on. Simply, unputdownable.

  • Bob
    2019-05-06 03:15

    Extremely well written, and very descriptive. This centers on the life of Cat, a 17 year old girl living in her own apartment in NYC. She is in a high shool for troubled kids, and has a job in one of the clubs in New York. (This is a world I know nothing about, yet the writing quality is so good it made me feel I was there.) Her job keeps her p all night, so she has limited engagement with her scholastic life.I was spellbound by the world viewed through her eyes. Even though I knew she was on a train to to nowhere, her actions and her expectations made perfect sense. She was so consumed with living for now that there was little energy left to devote to tomorrow. Actually, isn't that true for most people when they are 17? It was her PARENTS job to plan for her future, but they failed to step up.Ultimately, there did seem to be hope for Cat. At least to some extent. I'd love to be able to fast forward about 20 years to see how things did end up for her.Somehow, everything seemed to point toward better things for the future. Mostly because Cat spent much time in her own head, and she was OK with that.

  • Emily♥
    2019-05-14 03:00

    Besides this book being a great story, it’s laced with some of the most gorgeous writing I’ve read in awhile. That is what makes White Lines a truly amazing book.Caitlin’s story is powerful. The fast life she lives would be envied by most scene kids in 2013. Cat just kind of floats through life, never truly knowing what the hell she is doing. Just doing for the hell of it. Living life to its fullest without much meaning. Until she meets Julian, and the hard wall she’s put up slowly begins to plummet away.I enjoyed reading about her nightlife adventures, but the hard drug use was sometimes difficult to see. I hate seeing young people ruining their life on ridiculous shit. Even if this was the 80’s, a lot of what Banash wrote about can be applied to our modern society.The writing is absolutely marvelous. Every word flows like a seductive song, pulling me deeper and deeper within the chapter. I seriously couldn’t get enough.

  • Tara
    2019-05-06 02:11

    I am not a teenager so, I have to note that this is out of my realm of 'normal' reading material. I actually sought out this book because I used to fire dance at raves and I was into the club scene in the earlier years. I remember Tunnel. Anyway, when I read about the content, my interest was piqued. I thought this book was well written and brought me right there with the character. I felt for Cat and even related to a lot of the feelings and emotions depicted in this epic 'coming of age' formerly 'privileged' kid. The book follows some classic cliches: rich doesn't mean happy, freak doesn't mean with 'no friends,' and outcast doesn't mean you want to be there. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  • emma
    2019-05-10 05:21

    I don't know why i picked this book up. I'm 100 pages in and bored. The main character is a club going underages teenager in New York in the 80s. It's a bad trips in drugs and high school drama, and self pity all of which is very boring. Poor parentless teenagers forced into thinking getting high every night at clubs is the only way if coping with life. Maybe I'll finish it, but I've wasted my time already just getting this far.

  • E
    2019-05-04 01:15

    Unabashedly intense. Hard to deal with in large doses yet almost impossible to put down if anything besides work was summoning.This book was ferocious and powerful, marred only by a meandering plot and an extreme overabundance of similes and metaphors that were just too rich to cope with in such quantities. Don't get me wrong; the prose was beautiful. There was just way too much of it.

  • Kim Baccellia
    2019-05-14 02:12

    Wowza. Loving the emotional punch of this novel. 17 year old Cat's vulnerability of getting close to anyone is shadowed by her 'night' self where she lets the music, drugs, and high pulsing energy of clubbing try to erase her pain. Totally love the voice of this novel which paints a very realistic portrayal.YABC review:

  • Giselle
    2019-05-13 01:23

    Who wants an ARC of this pretty!? Enter to win up on the blog! (INTL)

  • Stacey Temia
    2019-04-30 07:18

    Awesome I finished in one night

  • Trinitie
    2019-05-15 07:56

    Loved this book. Very well written! I would love to read more of this author. I was actually sad when the book was finished.