Publisher: Amulet Books

Friday, April 07, 2017

Different in a Good Way: Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

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I received this book for free from Amulet Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Different in a Good Way: Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole LemonDone Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon
Published by Amulet Books on March 7th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Amulet Books
Buy on Amazon

Tourmaline Harris’s life hit pause at fifteen, when her mom went to prison because of Tourmaline’s unintentionally damning testimony. But at eighteen, her home life is stable, and she has a strong relationship with her father, the president of a local biker club known as the Wardens.

Virginia Campbell’s life hit fast-forward at fifteen, when her mom “sold” her into the services of a local lawyer: a man for whom the law is merely a suggestion. When Hazard sets his sights on dismantling the Wardens, he sends in Virginia, who has every intention of selling out the club—and Tourmaline. But the two girls are stronger than the circumstances that brought them together, and their resilience defines the friendship at the heart of this powerful debut novel.

Motorbike clubs is always a good way to get a person’s attention but I honestly did not expect what I got from Done Dirt Cheap. I assumed there would be an element of fluff to the book but instead, what I got was a complex, thoughtfully crafted novel with words that just jumped off the page. There are some books you finish that will oddly make you feel nostalgic for something you don’t even quite remember and Done Dirt Cheap was that book for me. In some ways it was reminiscent of the contemporary YA novels I grew up on.

I think part of the nostalgia for me came from the focus on female friendships in this book. Like both the main characters have their love interests and those relationships are important (and thoughtfully developed) but the way Tourmaline and Virginia interacted WAS the highlight of the novel. It is what breathed life to it and what made it such a compelling piece of work. It kind of reminded me of the powerful female friendships I read about in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when I was a bb8, growing up.

The romantic relationships ~are~ important in the novel but only so much as how the main characters are defined by them (but also, those boys were both cute and IDK which one I liked more.) I love that they don’t necessarily read like an after thought but the novel doesn’t center around them. It only uses the relationships as a way to further character development.

There are more than just compelling female friendships in the novel though. THERE ARE GOOD FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS. Good in that they are well developed. They are not at the front and center of the novel bu they linger in the background in ways you can tell are important and that the book wouldn’t be the same without them.

Honestly, this book is like a 7 layer bar. Its got subtle details that might not work on their own, but together, ITS A FEAST. But maybe that’s not the best simile. There are just a lot of complex layers to the book that make it what it is. Details that shouldn’t matter but the book wouldn’t be the same without it.

The reason why this book doesn’t get all five stars though is that I felt like the plot was missing something. It is a character driven book and there is nothing wrong with a book being character driven but plots are equally important and I wish I had been able to see more of a definite plot arc.

Overall though, Done Dirt Cheap is a book you will want to have on your TBRs if you love character driven contemporary novels with pretty covers.


4 Hot Espressos

A Middle Grade Novel in the Vein of Grave Mercy: Maresi by Maria Turtschanioff

Posted by on 01/10/2017 • 2 Comments

Maresi is being marketed as YA but is very much a middle grade novel. I mention this because I know a lot of people don’t enjoy MG the same way they do YA but don’t write off Maresi right away. This well-formulated MG novel is clearly a set up for even more energetic, high-stake sequels that are more YA than MG.

I think the biggest draw-back of this novel was the writing. I assume part of it is that translating from one language to another is no easy feat and I don’t want to dismiss the hard work that goes into translating. The writing did however feel a little clunky and like it needed a whole lot more polishing. I was able to move past that and ultimately really enjoy the book.


Giveaway: The Haters by Jesse Andrews

Posted by on 04/04/2016 • 1 Comment

Thanks to the lovely people at Abrams Books, we have a copy of The Haters by Jesse Andrews up for grabs today! Jesse Andrews’s debut novel, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, was published to critical acclaim and starred reviews. His adaptation of the book for the big screen won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Jesse is also a musician and screenwriter. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Visit Jesse at

PRAISE for The Haters:

“truly hilarious….a teen road trip packed with music and drama.” — Kirkus

“an uproariously funny addition to the teen-road-trip canon…readers will be sucked into this story, a raunchy bromance in the vein…

Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Posted by on 10/02/2014 • 20 Comments

Ooh what a wonderful, incredible, and perfectly cryptic story! It’s with no surprise that I absolutely adored this novel; having loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds a year back, I already knew the talents of Cat Winters’ storytelling, and I thoroughly expected to be transported into yet another fantastic tale – this time full of magic, mystery, with a dash of horror and romance.

The year is 1900, and Olivia is one of many women who’s currently fighting for the rights of women. But with a father who’s determined to shut her up, dreaming of a better life is not an easy feat. Olivia is a girl with a lot of opinions and strong views. She’s determined to have a future that is not controlled by men, to help…

Review: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Review: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Posted by on 07/08/2013 • 30 Comments

It excites me so when I come across a novel that shows me there can still be books that thoroughly stand out from any other in its originality and outstanding story-telling. I can not even believe that In the Shadow of Blackbirds is Cat’s debut novel!

What I love most from this book is how, through impressive research, Cat achieves an exceptionally poignant historical atmosphere from a time that saw through so much death and horror. The fall of 1918 had not only the highest death toll from the Spanish Flu which killed over 50 million people (some sources even say up to 100 million), but it was also in the throes of the first World War. Having been fascinated by an epidemic flu that, even to this day,…