by Kelly Vincent
GENRE: Contemporary YA
Retta Brooks thinks her life is on track after convincing her overprotective mom to stop home-schooling her and allow her go to Buckley High. She comes home from a night out with friends to find that her whole world has changed, and she has extremely hard decisions to make. Not to mention finding the answers to questions some people would rather she not know. Is she strong enough for what lies ahead?
“Did he just hit us?” I asked, turning around. I couldn’t see anything behind us except the vague shape of a car with a silhouetted driver—it was so close the headlights weren’t visible.
We were speeding up, already going way too fast for this road, but the car was still right on the truck’s bumper.
I clutched the dashboard as Jack tried zig-zagging a bit to shake the guy, but it didn’t work. Then the truck accelerated, and finally the guy fell back. Jack hit the brakes pretty hard, and I hit the door and was jerked to the floor as we took a corner sharply.
“Retta!” Jack yelled. “Are you okay?” He leaned over and gripped my arm, helping me back into the seat before speeding back up.
I put the seatbelt on before stealing a glance behind us. “I don’t see him.”
“No, I think he might not have made that corner. It’s what I was trying to do, but I never would have if I’d realized you didn’t have a seatbelt on!”
“I’m okay, it’s fine.” I shook my head, having to extricate myself from the top half of the seatbelt to pick up the phone off the floor.
Girllllll!!! The Nixons are mentioned. The Nixons are mentioned! You have my whole heart now. I was NOT a fan of the whole grunge music scene but I grew up with Zac Maloy, lead singer. Wow, just wow. Now, I need to dig out the CD’s so I can annoy my family during the stay at home. Can you guess that I’m from Ada, OK. I bleed Sooner red. Unfortunately, I grew up in Texas and still live there but my heart and most of my extended family are still in Oklahoma. Ok…on with the review.
This book is one of the most subtly powerful books that I’ve ever read. I applaud Wild Rose Press for publishing it and for Ms. Vincent for writing it. I agree with Ms. Vincent that the books needs to be in the hands of high school libraries, counseling offices, etc. It deals with subject matter that needs to be discussed with teenage girls, like NOW. Retta is trying to be a typical teenage girl when her world is rocked to the core. She needs to find the strength within herself to move on and in most ways, she does throughout the book. She’s not flighty but when your mother has lied to you your entire life and you need to find the truth, it isn’t easy for her. Reaching out to her extended family, she eventually finds what she is looking for but it’s a tough road for her.
There isn’t a romance, per se, but Retta does find a boy that she can count on but she does have her doubts considering the circumstances and Ms. Vincent does a great job with that plot thread. She made me think of all the boyfriends that I had to see if there was a pattern and luckily, there is none. From the time that I started reading the book, I couldn’t put it down. I read it in one afternoon and I’m still thinking about it as I write this review. There is so much that I wish I could say without completely spoiling it for you but I highly recommend it.
It’s one of those books that you might not look at but you need to and share it with your daughters, nieces, and granddaughters. It’s a powerful lesson that needs to be taught and discussed. Ms. Vincent doesn’t sugarcoat it and your characters are very vivid. Retta has a voice that I haven’t read in Young Adult for some time and I just loved her. Plus, The Nixons!!!! Peeps. The Nixons!!!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kelly Vincent wrangles data weekdays and spends the rest of her time playing with words. She grew up in Oklahoma but has moved around quite a bit, with Glasgow, Scotland being her favorite stop. She now lives near Seattle with three cats who definitely help her write her stories. She’s also working toward the Red Earth Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Oklahoma City University.
Twitter and Instagram: @kvbooks
Also available on Apple Books. Will be on Kobo and Google soon.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Kelly Vincent will be awarding a $40 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.