Hickville Confession – small town life, an outsider romance, and some big social issues

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Hickville Confession – small town life, an outsider romance, and some big social issues

I like books about country kids.  I spent many a night cruising town, making pit stops at Sonic and trying to keep myself out of trouble in a place fairly empty of entertainment possibilities.  I also understand the judgement and support that only a rural, small town society can dispense.  This book came across as an accurate depiction of this kind of setting, so if you have a similar background (or just wish you did), you might enjoy this book, and maybe even this series about a trio of sisters who are uprooted from the big city to small town Texas.

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Goodreads Summary

New town. New look. New beginning. High school junior Ryan Quinn has a past. She will do just about anything to keep it hidden, even if means joining the ultra-conservative, no fun allowed, Purity Club. But secrets are hard to keep in a small town and when the Purity Club girls discover the truth, they viciously attack Ryan.

Justin is the kind of guy who can make Ryan forget her vow to change. He’s the kind of guy she should avoid at all costs. But he knows her soul secrets. He understands her and it is torture when she is away from him. But as she deals with the outward scars on her face and the inward shame of her past and Justin’s home life continues to spiral out of control, their relationship becomes as convoluted as their home life. Will they find the courage to open their hearts to each other in spite of their family drama?

My Thoughts

I sampled this book before I requested it for review, and I have to say the surprisingly vicious attack that it opens with, followed by the simple, human heroics that cuts the attack short engaged me immediately.  I requested it and read it straight through in a few hours.  Part of my interest probably came from the fact that I hadn’t read the first book in the series, so I couldn’t even comprehend what prompted the inciting action.  I think it might have been a bonus, actually, because I didn’t have preconceived notions about these characters, and the book did a good job of getting me up to speed on what I missed.  I think I was also interested because these are my kind of people – country kids who knock around a small town focusing on football games and trips to the Sonic.  I had a pretty easy time visualizing this town and the way it’s social systems worked.  I even appreciated the fact that it deals with some pretty hard hitting issues and still managed to read like a book and not a counseling pamphlet.  So, why did I only give it three stars?  It does come across as a little “hard hitting issues lite.”  The ideas are big, but there are a lot of them, and it feels like that took away from the time spent really covering any of them in a thorough way.  No big deal, but it just isn’t going to have a huge impact on readers because they are dealing with a lot.  Also, the pace was a little off for me.  I thought there were some lags in the storylines.  Finally, I just didn’t connect with either of the main characters. That is not necessarily the fault of the book because I am not the target audience, but it is worth noting that I didn’t feel as emotionally invested in the outcomes as I probably should have been.  I still think it is worth reading, especially if you like to see two kids who are struggling find a connection that helps them both.  Also, there was a really compelling kickoff to the next book in the last sentence of this one, and I’m really thinking I need to get my hands on it.  That aspect reminded me a little of Sea of Tranquility, so if you enjoyed that book, you might give this one a whirl.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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