Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: Tough Girl

Tough Girl
Tough Girl by Libby Heily

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Fiction
Reading Level: While the character is MG, the author has warned “This book contains adult themes and adult language.” This is a book for adults, or for people with the inner strength and maturity to handle the storyline.
Recommended for: anyone to whom it appeals
Trigger Warnings: (implied) rape, violence, domestic violence, bullying, (implied) child molester
Animal abuse: Cats left to their own devices outside in a city.

Please note: Libby Heily was a guest on my blog January 25, 2013 in conjunction with her blog tour promoting this book. Please click on this link (where formatting permitted) to visit and read it. If you are reading this review on a site that does not allow formatting, please visit my blog, Now is Gone, which is linked in my profile, to see the post.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Danger lurks everywhere in eleven-year-old Reggie's world—from the bully next door to the unwanted attentions of a creep at school. Raised by her mentally ill mother, Reggie is left to fend for herself. She escapes in daydreams, battling aliens with her alter ego, Tough Girl.

When Reggie's mother disappears, her fantasy life spirals out of control and starts to invade reality. She is hunted by a creature of her own design, and even Tough Girl is not strong enough to stop him.

Will Reggie survive long enough for her mother to return, or will her dream world take over?

My Thoughts: This is a very stark story, brutal and honest, but at the same time absolutely enthralling. I felt so badly for Reggie! Her mom keeps slipping into catatonia and (although it is not explicitly stated), it is understood from the hints that this is a result of a violent assault. Reggie herself easily slips into dream worlds and apparent hallucinations, and then we have the story within a story about Tough Girl and her adventures, which apparently play out in Reggie’s mind. Tough Girl not only allows Reggie an outlet for her creativity, but also serves as a bit of an escape hatch and a form of self-motivation, I think.

Even what I’ve mentioned will unfortunately be a bit of a spoiler, but I haven’t really said anything more than the blurb, which is why I haven’t placed this whole review under a spoiler tag. I can’t say anything else about the plot, because the whole thing rests upon not knowing what is real and what is part of her daydream worlds.

I really hate to cry, and this book made me cry a lot, especially the last 15 percent or so. It was so very sad, and I just wanted to take Reggie in like a stray kitten or something and take care of her. It definitely made me want to become a foster mom, just in hopes I could help someone like her. We’re not financially stable enough to do that, of course, but if we ever become so, it is something I think I’d like to do. Very poignant story, very heartbreaking because it is so real. I still have a lump in my throat.

Absolutely recommended to anyone who would like to read it. Be warned: it is very sad. But the ending is worth it. I need to now find something lighthearted and upbeat to take my mind off this, though...

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  1. That was a terrific review. Thank you.

    1. It was a terrific book! Now I'm sad, though... I need to find something fun and happy to read to cheer me up...

  2. Awesome review, Katy! Glad to see more love for Though Girl. :)

    1. Thanks, David! I enjoy reading a good, well-written book, no matter the content, so Libby's stuff is a joy to read, that's for sure!


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