Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Review: Grit by Gillian French

Grit by Gillian French
May 16, 2017
304 (Hardcover)
My Rating:
4.5 of 5 stars
His presence beside me is like heat, like weight, something I’ve carried around on my back too long.
Raw and moving, this contemporary realistic debut novel will leave readers of E. Lockhart and Gayle Forman breathless as it unflinchingly unfolds the tragic secrets being kept in a small, deceptively idyllic Maine town.

Seventeen-year-old Darcy Prentiss has long held the title of “town slut.” She knows how to have a good time, sure, but she isn’t doing anything all the guys haven’t done. But when you’re a girl with a reputation, every little thing that happens seems to keep people whispering—especially when your ex-best friend goes missing.

But if anyone were to look closer at Darcy, they’d realize there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface. Staying out late, hooking up, and telling lies is what Darcy does to forget. Forget about the mysterious disappearance of her friend. Forget about the dark secret she and her cousin Nell share. Forget about that hazy Fourth of July night. So when someone in town anonymously nominates Darcy to be in the running for Bay Festival Princess—a cruel act only someone with a score to settle would make—all of the things that Darcy wants to keep hidden threaten to erupt in ways she wasn’t prepared to handle…and isn’t sure if she can.

It's books like these that make me wonder why I'm more likely to pick up a fantasy book over something like this. Grit really surprised me, not only with the writing, but also the entire story did. I guessed that there would be slut shaming based off the synopsis, but I didn't expect all the other components of the book. It was just refreshing to read a contemporary book that had next to no fluff and also dealt with some important issues. 

All the characters in this book are flawed and that's what sold me on this book first. Each character has a reason for their behavior, even if it's not a good one. It made all the characters so realistic and more likeable. I absolutely loved Darcy as a main character. She is so unapologetic about who she is, even though she's the target of slut shaming from peers her age, adults, and family. I probably couldn't count the number of books that had a main character slut shame other girls and with the amount it goes on in the real world, it's incredibly important to get the point of view of the girl that's targeted by it. 

Darcy and her family are not well off. They rake berries all summer with the migrant workers in order to earn some extra money. I thought that the tension between the locals and migrants was really interesting and something important that should have been explored a little more. I also did not really understand the point of the pageant that Darcy and her cousin, Nell, participate in. It didn't really relate to the rest of the plot and felt a little like filler, even though I enjoyed some of the scenes with them practicing and the event. 

I thought this book would be a little more about Rhiannon than it actually was. She was still a part of the story, but her importance was kind of shoved to the side for some of the book. I still really enjoyed that part of the book though, even if it wasn't always the main focus. It seems that the book really focused on Darcy's relationship with her peers.

I really enjoyed the writing and story for this book and I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by this author in the future. 

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

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