Saturday, August 6, 2016

Review: Ripple by Heather Smith Meloche

RippleTitle: Ripple
Author: Heather Smith Meloche
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 20, 2016

When their too-adult lives lead them down self-destructive paths, these broken teens find a way to heal in this YA novel perfect for fans of Ellen Hopkins.

With her impossible-to-please grandmother on her back about college and her disapproving step-dad watching her every move, Tessa would do anything to escape the pressure-cooker she calls home. So she finds a shot of much-needed power and confidence by hooking up with boys, even though it means cheating on her boyfriend. But when she's finally caught red-handed, she’ll do anything she can to cover up what she's done.

Jack is a prankster who bucks the system every chance he gets—each transgression getting riskier and riskier. He loves the thrill, and each adventure allows a little release because his smug smile and suave demeanor in the face of authority doesn’t make life at home with his mom any less tough. He tries to take care of her, but the truth is he's powerless in the face of her fragile mental health. So he copes in his own way, by defacing public property and pulling elaborate pranks, though he knows in the end this’ll only screw up his life even more.

As they both try not to let their self-destructive patterns get the best of them, Tessa and Jack gravitate toward one another, discovering the best parts of themselves in the process. An honest portrayal of the urges that drive us and finding the strength to overcome them.

This book guys.  This book.  I'm not even totally sure what to say.

We follow Jack and Tessa, who have both had to grow up a bit too fast.  Tessa sleeps around to deal with her problems.  And Jack causes as much mischief and trouble for authority figures as he can.  Tessa's home life is terrible.  Whereas Jack is hiding a secret.  If anyone learns the secret, his life will forever change.

I didn't think I would like this book as much as I did.  There were a lot of parts that were difficult to read (I mean in the"omg this hurts it's just such an awful situation" kind of way).  But the characters were surprisingly likable, and constantly made me want them to have a happy ending.

Ripple deals beautifully with issues that caregivers go through--caregivers for those with mental illnesses specifically.  It even shows little bits of certain kinds of abuse and/or neglect, and what kind of effect that can have on a person.  

While I wouldn't say the romance was anything steamy, I did enjoy it.  Mainly because I loved how Jack and Tessa became pillars for each other.  Each became the other's strength.  It was really nice to see them grow a friendship when they didn't have anyone else to turn to.  And so their friendship grows.  Until they learn of something that happened that has affected everyone.  Jack was a surprising character to me.  I hadn't expected him to be what he was.  And I certainly didn't expect to like Tessa.  But I did.  She's just trying to figure out what to do with her life when everyone is laying plans for her and not asking what she wants.

Reasons to read this book
1) The idea that one event can change everyone around you is pretty interesting.
2) The characters are interesting.
3) It deals with mental issues.

Reasons not to read
1) Cheating is involved.
2) Mental issues (if that is an issue)

This was a really good read.  If you like darker contemporary, you'd probably enjoy this one.

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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