Published by Self-Published on 07/15/2016
Genres: Young Adult
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.
It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while I find myself completely blindsided by a book. Usually I lose myself in a sweeping romance or marvel over a character’s personal transformation, but sometimes the story is just so touching and well-rounded that I can’t help but add it to my all-time favorites list. This is what I’ve found in The Hard Count.
The heart of this powerful YA novel is an incredibly well balanced and thoughtful storyline that grabbed my attention right from the synopsis and completely overwhelmed me as the story unfolded in the subsequent pages. I fell in love with the characters and in the way they came together despite their differences, the sweet first love between Nico and Reagan, and the writing that flowed beautifully making this story unforgettable.
I know this is a short review compared to some others that I’ve written, and you might be expecting something longer since I loved it so much. However, what I’ve found when I have such a strong reaction to stories like this one, where I’m beyond touched or enlightened, is that I want to keep my feelings to myself, bottle them up and remember them when I need something to make me feel good. That’s weird, right? I’m so weird then, but please know that the themes found in this story made me think, the dialogue made laugh, the storyline left me both heartbroken and hopeful, and the characters managed to settle themselves permanently into my heart. I cannot recommend this story of family, friendship, and first love enough as I place it on my shelf of all-time favorites. It was absolutely fantastic and I hope you love it, too.
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).