Thursday, May 6, 2021

Review: Gutter Girl by Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount

 Today's read snuggles up into warm feelings and takes a fun swing into crushes, love and romance. High school style, of course. You may have noticed that I don't hit this genre very often. Usually, I'm into a bit more action/fantasy and 'dark' tones when it comes to romance. Or a bit of ridiculous comedy is nice, too. But I do enjoy a pinch of sweetness every now and then. 

The blurb won me over on this one—Mr. Perfect meets Goth Girl. I was hoping to wouldn't be too cliche or gooey...or even too issue centered, since it does hit upon bi-polar issues as well. But I ended up enjoying this one quite a bit.

Twin River High, #1
by Lynn Rush and 
Kelly Anne Blount
Entangled Publishing
Young Adult Romance
294 pages

MAY 10th!!!

Star football player Jace Rovers has a secret. And not just any secret—a shocking secret… He writes romance. The kind with swords. And dresses. And kissing.

Nobody knows. Not the other kids at Twin River High. Not his overbearing parents. And certainly not the millions of fans who’ve read his book on the writing platform Scribbles. And that’s the way he plans to keep it.

Except suddenly one of the other football players grabs his notebook in jest and starts reading a kissing scene out loud…and Jace knows he’s busted.

But then McKenna Storm, resident goth girl who avoids the spotlight like a virus, snatches up the notebook and tells everyone she's the author. And lucky for Jace, she later agrees to continue the ruse...for a price.

Heck, he'd give her anything not to reveal his secret. But when they start to fall for each other, he knows he'll have to keep the biggest secret of all—his darkest character is based on her…

GOODREADS   /   KOBO    /    AMAZON   /    B&N


                                      * hits upon Bi-polar issues
                                      * friendship and respecting personal space
                                      * sweet romance
                                      * high school setting
                                      * not as in-depth a read as first appears


Trust, opening up, finding ones-self, knowing when to seek help, true friendship, and chasing dreams all mold into a cute romance, which leaves a smile on the face.

McKenna has one goal—leave town as soon as graduation hits. Since her family rammed disaster around her sixth grade year, she's been keeping her head low, trying to stay invisible, while dealing with her mother's disease while keeping life going alone. She's almost made it until keeping her head down causes a collision in the school's hallways and her notebook gets switched with the one guy she's secretly liked...well, forever. Not that she's ever really played with the idea that'd they'd be together. She's not that stupid. But she doesn't know all sides of him, either. No one does. And that might just turn everything upside-down.

After reading the blurb on this one, I expected a slightly edgier read with depth thanks to some of the issues. This, however, is not the case. The romance starts almost right away, and it's pretty clear where everything's going. There are several cliches—the popular jocks, cheerleader girls, geeks—and the reactions are nothing surprising. But despite the lighter side of things, this romance works and was easy to read. It just wasn't what I was expecting.

McKenna has problems at home. Big ones, but what these really are and how they exactly play out dribbles in little by little as the story unfolds. This tale is more about the romance, anyway, and it is sweet, predictable, and simply a nice high school relationship. That both sides have something to hide and aren't ready to step out of the masks they've been living behind, suits the age group well. There isn't much dark brooding or heavier scenes. Rather, the problems both sides face run more on the sidelines of the romance drama. This creates an easy to read and digest romance for younger teens and tweens. 

I did enjoy it quite a bit, found both characters to root for, and let the cliches simply unfold with all of their fun and sweetness. 


Mark said...

Back in the Pleistocene, in 7th grade, Vicky Pleshek was in the elite and easily was voted in Student Council. She was very pretty and calculating.
When school ended, she began to work with the gutter girls of the time, or greaser variety--no Goths then.
But when school started again in the 8th grade, she slowly, very slowly, distanced herself away from the greasers and returned to the elites. She was solidly back in order to win another election to the student council.

'Tis truth, not fiction. This story reminded me of those events.

Tonja Drecker said...

Fiction comes from reality in some way or another. Interesting that those events are so close in so many ways.