Thursday, September 28, 2017

Review | New Kid In Town (Bryant Rockwell Book 1) by Jacky Gray

Liv, Jude and Kat are greater than the sum of their parts. Separately they are Brainy, Sporty and Arty. Together they are invincible. Until Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Ray wheels up.

The intravenous chocolate, hatred of sports and loss of her partner-in-crime have taken their toll on Liv, leaving her flabby, unfit and best-friendless. Add in a wicked tongue, lack of boyfriend, and a mortal enemy determined to destroy her, and you’re pretty much up-to-speed.

Liv’s life isn’t a complete pity party: Jude, sporting superstar, and Irish songbird, Kat, have her back. And her front, when it’s not bursting out of a blouse two sizes too small. As they prepare for the school show and looming exams, Ray explodes on the scene, taking no prisoners.

Every girl wants a piece of the new boy in town, but wheelchair-bound Ray chooses Liv’s group with devastating results. He trades insults with Liv, lusts after Jude in her ice skating dress, and upstages Kat when he hams up Shakespeare in their English class. As his presence threatens the life-long friendship, Liv becomes convinced he hides a dark secret.

Described as a pitch-perfect blend of drama and romance for fans of “10 Things I Hate About You” and “Glee,” this young adult story is snappy, eclectic and edgy. An enjoyable read which will appeal to anyone with a sense of humour and an ear for the ironic.

Dealing with issues of self-image and peer abuse, this well-written, intriguing series shares many elements with “13 Reasons Why” as the complex characters grapple with issues such as sexuality, bullying and misread signals. It gives a convincing depiction of mercurial teenage relationships and that dreadful sense of hope and fear combined around transforming friendships into relationships when you don’t quite dare take the plunge in case your feelings aren’t reciprocated.

Available for $1.75 on Amazon NOW
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If you’re a big fan of the 90s rom-com, 10 Things I Hate About You, (which how could you not be??) then you’re probably someone who will really enjoy this book by Jacky Gray. Set in England & containing the cheeky dialogue of the English, New Kid In Town is a charming coming of age story about three teenage girls and how Ray, a handsome, snarky, yet wheelchair bound (not that it matters) boy …err…young man, comes into the picture and impacts their relationship(s).

New Kid is jam-packed with drama (what teenage life isn’t?) surrounding family, friendships, and of course, high school. It surrounds the lives of Liv, Jude, and Kat, three best friends who bring their own unique flare to the story. Their dialogue was by far one of my favorite elements of the story and will leave you laughing out loud at times, grinning from ear to ear, or perhaps even reminding you of the sometimes ridiculous conversations you had with your own best friend(s) in high school. (I’m aloud to say that considering I’ve been out of high school for amount of years.)

If you’re out of high school, it’s hard to forget the hesitation surrounding the murky waters that is, “I like him….but does he like me?” When feelings of friendship turn into something more, but you’re unsure if the feeling is mutual, New Kid handles the topic beautiful and I can only imagine that it’ll be expanded upon in the sequel, which I am thrilled to be starting shortly! Despite it being a fun read, there were some also rather serious elements to the story, which contributed to its real-ness and the readers ability to relate. Topics such as, the death of a parent, bullying, sexual exploration (without being explicit), and the struggle of self-image primarily dealt with in teen girls. As an adult, well out of her high school (and college…cough, cough) years, I still found this book to be relatable and one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I truly did remind me of 10 Things I Hate About You, as well as one of my favorite British movies, The Bad Mother’s Handbook. 

If you’re on the hunt for a quirky YA read, then give this a try. I’ve included the Amazon link above!

four out of five stars

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