Thursday, August 22, 2013

Forever Hot/Truly Fine (Grovehill Giants)

Forever Hot/Truly Fine (Grovehill Giants)
Stephanie Perry Moore and Derrick Moore
$14.95, Softcover
Saddleback, 2013

Genre: Realistic, Romance

Age: 12+

Description: The first book released in the Grovehill Giants series focuses on Skylar Cross and Ford Frost. Skylar is new to town and automatically makes the cheerleading squad. While she is adjusting to being a new student at a new high school in a new state she also is pretty angry about some major changes at home—like having to deal with a new and annoying younger stepsister. She catches the eye of Ford Frost, one of the best football players on the school’s team. He, however, is dealing with his own problems at home. His parents have divorced and his beloved dad seems to want nothing to do with him anymore and has begun a life with a new family while his mom is dating his football coach who is known to have a reputation as a player.

Opinion:  Saddleback is known for its high interest/low lever reading books for struggling or reluctant readers. This book is, of course, at its heart a total gimmick but it is a gimmick that does work for some readers. One of my teens, who is a great reader, saw it in the pile of ARCs and was like, “Flip book! Must read!” The thing that I do like about it is that it isn’t really short like a lot of hi-low books are. Each story is about 150 pages minimum. It moved really quick. However, I don’t think the flip book nature really succeeded. I think the story, overall, would have been better as a regular narrative. I decided to read Skylar’s point of view first. She started off as a spoiled brat of a character and one that I was having a hard time even liking. She was mad at her dad for moving her to a new state. She is mad that her dad is going to marry a new woman and now she’s going to have a new stepsister. However, a pivotal point in her story is when her stepsister goes missing and it is discovered that her unstable father possibly kidnapped her. Skylar suddenly realizes how she’s been crap to her new family and grows up a bit. The story of Ford basically focuses on his parents’ divorce and how his dad has moved on and his mom is being embarrassing by getting serious with his football coach. The overall crossing of the plots involves Ford helping Skylar look for her sister and Skylar helping him confront his father. I think the plot failed as a flip book when I began Ford’s point of view. This part just was not written as well as Skylar’s. There were too many occurrences of repeating material (including conversations) and I feel that if anyone started with this side of the story they wouldn’t be pushed to read the second half because it just doesn’t hold the attention of the reader like the first book.

Thanks to the people at Saddleback for the ARC for the YALSA YA Galley Group!

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