Saving Beck by Courtney Cole

by - Friday, September 14, 2018

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Reminiscent of the beloved novels by Mary Kubica and Jodi Picoult comes a chilling portrayal of a son’s addiction and its harrowing effects on both him and his mother from New York Times bestselling author Courtney Cole.

There comes a time when offering your life for your child’s doesn’t work, when you realize that it’ll never be enough. 

The cold needle in his warm vein was a welcome comfort to my son at first. But then it became the monster that kept us apart. 

Heroin lied, and my son believed. It took him to a world where the last year didn’t happen, to a place where his father was still alive. What Beck didn’t understand was that it couldn’t bring his father back from the dead. It couldn’t take away his pain, not permanently. 

You think it can’t happen to you, that your kids, your family, will never be in this situation. 
I thought that too. But you’re wrong. 

Step into our world, and see for yourself. 
Watch my golden boy become a slave to this raging epidemic. Watch me try and save him. 

Drug addiction comes with a price. 
Trust me, you’re not equipped to pay it. 

Don’t miss this heartwrenching, evocative, yet hopeful novel—it will leave you forever changed.
Beck seriously broke my heart. His fall into addiction was so heart-wrenching. Inside his head was like being the proverbial fly on the wall. I felt his pain, anger, sadness, craving, oblivion, and destruction. It poured off the pages. I wanted so bad to reach out and hug him. To tell him he was worth it. That everything would get better. That taking this path wasn't going to bring anything but desolation. 

Natalie, Beck's mom, was a whole other ballgame. She's where I struggled a bit; hence the four star rating. Without sounding callous and insensitive, I found myself often so frustrated with her. I have never lost a husband, so I don't know how painful that is, but I can sympathize and totally get it will wreck you. Spiraling a person into depression; now that I emphasize with. I suffer from severe manic depression. I understand better than anyone how hard it is to come out of a low. However, she still had three kids to take care of. Two of them young. She still had three kids to comfort and help navigate through this tragic event. They lost their father. She dropped the ball majorly, and not for just a short period of time. She put the responsibilities of an adult (paying bills, taking complete care of his siblings and her, taking care of the house, etc.) on her teen son. The teen son who was in the truck with his father when the accident happened. The teen son who was behind the wheel that caused the accident. The same team son who had no therapy or support/comfort from his mother. 

It was easy to see how all that pressure could cause Beck to turn to drugs. He was just a broken as his mother and he saw no way out. His spiral was scary and tragic. It was a nightmare no mother/family wants to experience. This is where my soul hurt for Natalie. As a mom, I hope to never experience what Natalie did. When she got that late night call... When she opened her front door and found her son practically lifeless... Those days in the hospital sitting by his side, waiting...

All of that tore me apart. Tears were pouring out of my eyes. I could barely breathe. This is when I experienced her anguish. Her fear and sorrow. Her regrets and failures. This is where I felt her finally wake up and realize that she still had three amazing kids who needed her even more now. I cried when she cried. My heart stopped when hers did. I needed Beck to survive and get clean. I needed him to be all that he could be. I needed to see some happiness for this fractured family. 

The morale behind the plot is definitely poignant, especially when you get to the end and read the author's personal note. This is a very real part of her life. As I said above, every parents/family's nightmare.  Saving Beck is graphic in detail. Very real, raw, and gritty. It shows you the bad and ugly of drug dependency and how it starts. It shows you the tolls it takes on all of those involved. You will come away moved and with your eyes wide open. 

Courtney Cole wrote one hell of a book. 5 star worthy, if not for Natalie, in those moments I described. Maybe I am judging too harshly, and for that I am sorry. But it is what it is. Just because these things bothered me doesn't mean they would bother another. So I strongly recommend reading this. And I would even go as far as letting your teen read this as well. I know I will be. If it can save even one kid from falling down that hole it will be worth it. 

The winter air hit me in the face and took my breath away, but it still felt good. It felt like it was cleaning my lungs out, and was filling them up and I was a balloon and I might float away. 

But I shouldn’t. 

So I tied myself to the ground. 

I bobbed in the wind, and I was lost I was lost. The stars twirled together and they were in my eyes and the light was bright. 

The reds were endless, tinting everything, outlining the world. 

I collapsed onto a park bench in a place I didn’t know. I looked around and there were trees and a merry-go-round and it was rusty and red because of course it was red. Everything was. 

My head fell back and thunked against the metal bench and I stared at the night, my eyes wide open because I could see now, I could finally see. 
Everything made sense. 
Everything was clear. 

I was all alone in this world. Everything else was an illusion. 
My knuckles clenched and they hurt but they were insignificant. 

I pulled out my phone because I understood life, I understood everything, and I had to share that. I had to share it before I forgot it or I slipped away. 

I dialed at numbers, memorized numbers, and my mom answered on the second ring, and she knew me immediately because of course she did. 

“Babe,” she blurted. “Where are you? Are you okay?” 

“I understand everything,” I told her. My voice was slurred, but she’d know what I was saying. She knew me. “I get it. Nothing matters. That’s the point. None of us matter. You don’t, I don’t. It’s all a sham. It’s a f@cking scheme.” 
I was agitated, getting more so by the minute, and she was confused. 

“I don’t understand,” she said slowly. “Just come home. We’ll talk about it when you get here.” 

I laughed because she was trying to trick me because everyone was trying to trick me because the world was a scam. Did they think I didn’t know that? 

“Nice try, “I told her. “I’m never coming home. Don’t you understand? I’m going to be a f@cking star in the sky. And you can’t find me. No one can.” 

“You’re not a star,” she said and she sounded scared. “You’re a man. We’ve got to get you some help. Please.” 

“That’s a lie,” I insisted and I was shouting. “That’s a f@cking lie. I’m not an addict, I just know the truth. You need to find the truth, Mom.” 

From the corner of my eye, I saw people standing in the shadows, and they moved and reached for me, and I startled, glaring at them. 

“Get away,” I shouted at them. 

“Beck, what’s wrong?” My mom asked quickly. “Who is with you?” 

“They’re trying to get me, but they can’t,” I told her. The people backed up now, until they were just black blurs swirled into circles were their faces should be. 

“Beck,” she said, pleading now. “Please. Tell me where you are.” 

“You just want to put me away,” I told her. “I know that now. You don’t want me around because I’m a problem. I’m difficult. Well, guess what? I won’t bother you again. You won’t ever see me again. Forget that I exist. I’m going to forget about you.” 

She cried out but I hung up. And I threw my phone into the trash can so hard it shattered into a billion pieces.

Courtney Cole grew up in rural Kansas and now lives with her husband and kids in Florida, where she writes beneath palm trees and is still in love with the idea of magic and happily-ever-after. She is the author of Saving Beck.

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