Welcome to THE HARD COUNT review tour with Ginger Scott, hosted by Wordsmith Publicity. Be sure to check out all the participating blogs, reviews and enter the tour giveaway!
THE HARD COUNT
Mature YA Contemporary Romance-Stand Alone
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Nico Medina’s world is eleven miles away from mine. During the day, it’s a place where doors are open—where homes are lived in, and neighbors love. But when the sun sets, it becomes a place where young boys are afraid, where eyes watch from idling cars that hide in the shadows and wicked smoke flows from pipes.
West End is the kind of place that people survive. It buries them—one at a time, one way or another. And when Nico was a little boy, his mom always told him to run.
I’m Reagan Prescott—coach’s daughter, sister to the prodigal son, daughter in the perfect family.
Life on top.
My world is the ugly one. Private school politics and one of the best high school football programs in the country can break even the toughest souls. Our darkness plays out in whispers and rumors, and money and status trump all. I would know—I’ve watched it kill my family slowly, strangling us for years.
In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.
I hated him before I needed him.
I fell for him fast.
I loved him when it was almost too late.
When two ugly worlds collide, even the strongest fall. But my world…it hasn’t met the boy from West End.
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It's impossible for me not to feel excitement about a forthcoming Ginger Scott novel when the author herself is all over social media sharing bits and pieces of her work, declaring how much of her heart is in her latest project. It's infectious and as a result I was beside myself waiting for the arc.
For a senior in high school Reagan is a well-adjusted young woman with aspirations of going to film school. She's currently working on a documentary about her high school football team that's coached by her dad. It's an interesting look at the football program - the highs and lows, the politics surrounding it and the people involved. That aspect reminded me of Friday Night Lights. Seeing it as a student, the coach's daughter and as a filmmaker offers a different perspective on life. I thought her observations, especially how the adults behaved and interacted were incredibly interesting and refreshing for someone of her age. It's through this documentary that she begins to see Nico n a different light. Nico the scholarship kid, the one kid in school who routinely vexes her through their continual verbal sparring in class. The kid who broadens her awareness of the world around her not just the microcosm of the school they attend. Nico, the outlier becomes the quarterback who can save their football season but that's not without resistance.
I regularly ask myself what it is I enjoy about YA novels. The easy answer is that it's fun to go back to that time in life where everything is a first: first crush, first glance, first kiss on the cheek, first date, first real kiss...firsts. All that awkwardness and exuberance becomes nostalgic for most. My story is different. I went to an all girls high school so I didn't get to experience the rush that comes with seeing the cute boy pass by my locker or watching the boy stride into class or the giddiness that comes with saying "hey" as we crossed paths. Reading a Ginger Scott novel is letting her be tour guide through that time period, and through her words I feel as if she's picking me up and dropping me into someone else's shoes. I get to live vicariously through her characters.
One can be forgiven in assuming that The Hard Count is simply a high school romance. It's deeper than that. It examines social economics and dynamics, how people are perceived based on which side of town they live in, how money and privilege affect the haves and have nots; all this through Reagan and Nico's impressionable eyes. It delves into the consequences of outside influence and pressure on families that are expected to perform, succeed and be examples to the community. It's also about how individuals can be capable of escaping their closed-mindedness. You'd be hard-pressed not to draw any correlation between the novel and what's happening in the news. And most importantly, it'll have you taking a hard look at your own views and internal dialogue when you come face to face with a social issue.
What can I say? Congratulations to Ginger Scott for scoring another touchdown with this one. She managed to tell so much story that fit into this little part of the world and I'm so happy that I got to read it!
+ + + GIVEAWAY + + +
1 signed copy of In Your Dreams, $10 Amazon gift card
+ + + ABOUT GINGER SCOTT + + +
Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless and In Your Dreams.
A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.
When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).
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