I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Grit by Gillian French
on May 16, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Reading Challenges: 2017 Debut Author Challenge
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.
I don’t read many thrillers or mysteries and Grit by Gillian French made me ask myself why. This book was pretty amazing. I was hooked from the first page until the last.
Grit is a small town story. I’ve lived in a small town my whole life and I can attest that Gillian French captured the suffocating feeling of a small town perfectly. Grit is full of atmosphere. You can almost feel the dusty heat and hear the whispered gossip as you’re reading. The setting and descriptions were one of my favorite parts of the story.
Darcy was a hard character, but I liked her. She made bad decisions and did reckless things but her heart was always in the right place. She cared so much about her family. I really loved their dynamic. She lived with her mother and her sister and her aunt and cousin lived next door. They were all close but they didn’t always get along, or even like each other. It felt very realistic.
Grit takes on a lot. There’s two different mysteries that are somehow interwoven. There’s Darcy’s budding romance and her reputation as a slut. The story deftly handles some really tough issues like rape and slut shaming. For such a small book it had a lot going on, but it was never too much. Everything was executed so well.
I was really left guessing throughout the book. I usually unravel a mystery before it’s revealed, but I didn’t with this one. I had no idea how everything was going to turn out. I also really liked that the story had an eerie feeling throughout the book. It added some much more to the story.
Grit was a captivating debut. I highly recommend it. Make sure you have a lot of time to spare before you start it because you won’t want to put it down.