Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Righteous by Kim Lehman

2 "Let Me Get Off My Soap Box" Stars


Back Cover Blurb -
A story about a troubled girl and her effed up, going-nowhere life.

Quick witted, sharp-tongued Righteous Andrews is troubled by a broken past, fed up with her present circumstances, and resolved to a hopeless future.

On the first day of her senior year of high school she gets in trouble, landing in the principal’s office . . . again. There she meets Colt Jackson, the new kid with a troubled past of his own. Despite her attempts to avoid him, Colt seems to show up everywhere she doesn’t want him to be, and soon they strike up an unexpected friendship. Righteous is wary. Friendships aren’t her thing. But something about Colt is different; something about him makes her curious, makes her wonder . . .

Is Colt Jackson really different from everyone else? Does happiness and love truly exist? Or will every relationship in her life always end in lies and heartache?
If my parents named me Righteous, I might be a bit of an asshole too, I’m just saying. 
So in this story, we meet Righteous, a rebellious young teen with a chip on her shoulder. Life has not been kind to her and so in turn, she is not kind right back. With no expectations or aspirations, she finds herself coasting along in life and doesn’t expect much from herself or those around her. School is mostly a joke and she slowly counts down the days until she graduates and can do her own thing, that is, until Colt arrives in her life. 

This is your typical tale of teenage angst and first loves, the unfairness of it all and the people that show up in our lives hoping to make a difference. This is a hard book for me to review, because being a teenager myself once, that grew up in less than ideal circumstances and hardship, I find it hard to close off my own opinions and differentiate myself from our heroine. Teenage life is hard, there is no doubt about that, but I find it hard to feel sorry for someone that has the opportunities to make better decisions, but doesn’t and just uses their circumstances as a crutch. I have seen and heard stories of true horrors that teenagers have had to face and in light of that, the things that Righteous goes through almost seems like a cake walk in comparison. Her “poor-me” attitude really grated on my nerves and all I really wanted to do was scoop her up and take her to an orphanage or on a mission trip to a third world country to show her the faces of people that know what true hardship is and who are still able to smile in spite of it all. Something else that I resented while reading this, was the “trailer park trash” stereo type. I have family members that live in trailer parks and their trailers are nicer, more well-kept and the neighbors nicer than some people I know that own homes. Living in a trailer park does not mean that you are poor and trashy! I will stop myself here, before I go off on a tangent, but I really resented the fact that Righteous living in "trailer park" was something to be ashamed of and used as a means to further her “poor me” outlook.

Overall, I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t like it. I found that the more I wrote my review, the more resentful I became of the book and my opinion of it lowered accordingly. If you want me to feel sorry for your character (besides her name), then don’t give me the cookie cutter reasons to do it. They are tired and played out and this is not the 80’s. Having absent parents does suck, but it doesn’t make you handicapped. Living in a trailer doesn’t make you trash, it is how you act that does that. And for Christ sake, not having a lot of money does not mean that you are impoverished, be thankful for what you do have – i.e. that trailer that puts a roof over your head and your own bed that you can sleep in at night! So no, I would not recommend this book, because if you yourself have experienced any kind of hardships in your life, you might find yourself resenting it like I did and if you haven’t, then I would hate for you to read this and fall victim to the stereotypes that it portrays.

Happy reading, until next time…

I would like to thank NetGalley and Lucky Stars Publishing for the ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

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