Tyson Trice is a 17 year old from the streets of Lindenwood, CA. After recovering from a gunshot wound, he must move to Pacific Hills, a wealthy coastal town, where the Smith’s have agreed to be his guardians. The Smiths have an a 17 year old daughter, Nandy, who is Pacific Hill’s golden child and doesn’t want anything to do with the “thug” from Lindenwood. All Nandy cares about is having the best summer of high school before senior year starts. The relationship between Nandy and Trice, as he likes to be called, is tenuous, but maybe they don’t dislike each other as much as they seem to.
This is a debut novel and I must say it is a strong debut. I found that I really cared about the characters and I loved seeing their growth throughout the story. Admittedly, Nandy is a lot to take in the beginning and Trice comes off a little stereotypical, however once you get to know their stories, it doesn’t seem so bad. I really enjoyed the way the Whitney unfolded the reveals in the story. I didn’t feel like she kept them from us for too long and that the pacing of the reveals was great.
The ending to me was a little contrived and melodramatic in my opinion but I could see why things may have had to go that direction. Also, there is a situation that happens that I felt the parents reaction was a little unrealistic. The last thing that didn’t really jive with me were the pop cultural references. They seemed a little dated for the time that the book is set.
Overall, I will definitely be recommending this book to many people looking for an own voice, black representation in a book.
*****I received this book from Inkyard Press via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All opinions are my own.*****************
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