Monday, May 15, 2017

Grit by Gillian French-- Darcy Prentiss is totally book BFF material

Darcy Prentiss is a girl with a bad reputation.  Things aren't made better when she's nominated for the Bay Festival Queen and must participate or break her sweet cousin Nell's heart.

As her, her sister, and Nell work in the blueberry fields for the summer, questions about what happened last summer start to surface.  Darcy's ex-best friend disappeared and the police are sure that she knows something about it.  The truth is, Darcy is hiding something-- but that something is a secret between her and Nell, and it's one she won't break.

I've been interested in this book ever since I first heard about it.  I mean, it has all the ingredients that make this something I would like: "town slut" issues- CHECK, secrets- CHECK, beauty queen pageant- CHECK, a missing girl/murder mystery- CHECK.

The synopsis mis-led me a little though, because while I was expecting this to be a mystery/suspense book, it was more a coming-of-age/character study book.  Which, I'm fine with, but I was hoping the mystery aspect was bigger.

So let's talk about what I liked about this book because I did really like it.

The Atmosphere.  I loved reading about this small, dusty, agricultural town in Maine.  It was interesting to read about these girls who were farming for the summer!!  I'm sure there are lots of people who do this, but I've never really read about any of them, so points for being different!!

Darcy.  As main characters go, Darcy ranks up there with some of my very favorites.  She's smart and tough and fearless.  I loved the relationships that she had with her sister and cousin (they were like the 3 musketeers), and the complicated relationship she had with her mom and aunt.  It felt real.

So much of this book was about Darcy dealing with her past.  The past she had with the missing girl, the past she's had with guys, and the past her dad left her.  I liked that she was a wild card-- you never knew which direction she was going to head in, and I liked that she stuck to her guns.  Darcy is not going to change who she is because you don't like her.  She's unapologetic about that-- and I loved that about her.

Nell was also a stand-out character.  She was portrayed as innocent and sweet-- a girl that has a learning disability and is sheltered and watched over.  I knew she had more in her than that, and I was glad I wasn't wrong.  I think Nell is going to have a lot of life to live, and I think she's going to live it-- someday...

The romance was my least favorite part.  I didn't really "get" the appeal of Jesse.  He was just a guy, and was pretty much just there so we could see how bad the other guys talked about Darcy.  There wasn't anything wrong with the romance, I just wasn't wowed by it.

OVERALL: It wasn't as mysteryful as I was hoping for, but that turned out to be not a problem.  The atmosphere and coming-of-age story was more than enough to hold my interest.  I definitely recommend, and I'll definitely be reading more from Gillian French!!

Date Published: 5/16/2017
How I got this book: Thanks to HarperTeen for providing me a copy to read and honestly review.
Publisher: HarperTeen

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 4/5

Character: Darcy Prentiss
Book: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

  • Small town + girl with a "reputation" + mean girls = totally something Darcy would relate to.

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  1. I really loved the atmosphere too! The small town feel was so well done and I loved the berry picking stuff. I loved Darcy too! This was a great debut. I can't wait for more from this author.

    1. YAY!! Glad you liked it!! I'm super excited to see what else she comes up with!

  2. I haven't read this one but I'm glad it was a winner for you! Sorry it wasn't as much of a mystery though.


    1. Yeah-- it was made up for in other areas (basically bc Darcy was such a kick-ass girl). It was more a character study/small town setting commentary than it was a mystery. But there was a slight mystery thrown in.