Genre: YA, Contemporary
Published: May 25th, 2014 by Leigh Hutton Books
Source: I received a free copy from the author to review
A big thanks to the author, Leigh Hutton, for providing REV GIRL for review!
REV GIRL by self-published author, Leigh Hutton, was a very intense, exciting and empowering read. I did have some issues when it came to dialogue and certain events throughout the book were hard to connect with.
REV GIRL follows Clover, a very real, teen girl who loves to dirt bike race, as she sets out to follow her dreams. Let’s start with the fact that I loved Clover! She is a little steam ball of motivation. She’s very emotive and I can relate with a lot of her feelings. Plus, she was empowering. I loved her more and more as she matured from the girl who nearly wanted to give up dirt bikes to dedicating everything she’s got to what she loves. I loved her growth, her attitude, everything.
Sometimes, it felt like REV GIRL was a bit rushed. There is so much packed into this 300 page book, that at times I hardly knew what was going on and it was over before I could make sense of it. It wasn’t a quick read, but “fast paced” can certainly be used to describe REV GIRL.
Even though REV GIRL is inspired by true events, I personally felt like a lot of what happened was unrealistic. This affected how I connected to the story at times. For example: making best friends in 2.5 seconds. As a girl who has serious trouble making friends, I found this annoying. It just doesn’t happen, okay? Not for someone like me, and not for someone like Clover, and not really for anyone. Yeah, you can connect with people quickly, but not like that. Not on that level. It felt way to optimistic and wishful. Like Clover rubbed a lamp, found a genie and wished for a bestie.
I also had some trouble connecting to the story when I was made aware of the differences in geographical location – this can’t be helped, obviously, but I feel as though I have to point it out because it is something that nagged on me whilst reading. These are little things, like wearing high heels to school. I mean, I’ve grown up here, in Aus, where I wear a uniform to school with some seriously strict policies. And when I see things like this I’m immediately shocked at the difference. I kept thinking, “pft, who on earth would do that?”. But what would I know? Maybe American girls DO wear high heels to school, like they do in Mean Girls and Clueless.
In turn with feeling a little unrealistic, the dialogue was a little cheesy at times. Like texts, declarations of love and “boyfriend hunting” just felt weird. Again, this stopped me from connecting to the characters and story.
I’m iffy about the romance. At first, I groaned, because it was most definitely insta-love. But then as the story went on and it was upsy downy for the love struck couple, I began to feel okay about it. Because young, fast, first love is real – it happens. It’s awkward, fun and beautiful, and I feel like the book explored this well.
Even though some of the socializing and dialogue is cheesy and awkward, I was thoroughly impressed with the description of dirk bike racing! For someone who’s never even touched one, I actually felt as if I had after reading one of the racing scenes. I’m a visual and sensual person, so this was brilliance! Every time Clover was on her bike, I felt like I was, too, and the adrenalin would start pumping. No doubt my favourite thing of the entire book!
So, I had some connection problems with the story for various reasons, though a lot of them were personal and won’t apply for everyone. I thought the dialogue was a little on the cheese side, though I had no problems connecting to Clover and really enjoyed watching her grow. This got my heart pumping with the racing and I totally applaud Hutton for making a girl like me who will probably never touch a dirt bike, dirt bike race in my mind. Fast paced, fun, energetic are just some of the ways I would describe REV GIRL. I recommend to anyone who likes a story about first love, growing up and a little action.