About the Book:
Author: Lorie Ann Grover
Publisher: Blink, a division of HarperCollins
Source: Publisher Provided ARC
Publication Date: 2014
Find the Review elsewhere:
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Find the Book Elsewhere:
Amazon ▪ Barnes & Noble ▪ Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Review: Being unfamiliar with this author’s works left me at a disadvantage. I didn’t know what her work would hold or if it’d be the kind of story worth reading, though the one thing I did know was that the Hit blub intrigued me more than any novel of its peer group has in a long while. It promised to be both “dangerous” yet not without poignancy that eludes said peers. It tells the story of promising 17-year-old Sarah McCormick whose life is ahead of her. She has a scholarship to the prestigious Mills College and is nearing completion of her high school academics. All that is about to be stripped from her, and it begins when she meets grad student, Jake Haddings. Four years older than Sarah, she becomes infatuated with the visiting poetry teacher, who inspires more than just her romantic fantasies. Then one rainy morning, Haddings hits Sarah leaving her damaged more than just emotionally.
Reviewing and ranking this novel is daunting. I’m not sure where to begin because there is a kind of beautiful delicacy in the storytelling that is to be admired. The book tackles a subject (even if it’s primarily “off-screen”) that isn’t without merit and sadly, splashes across one too many of our headlines nowadays. However, much as I wanted it to, if you’re looking for a solid “sucker punch” kind of read (meaning emotionally), I found Hit lacking. To begin, I didn’t realize until I was paging through my copy this was inspired by a true story. The main pivot of the novel happens almost immediately giving the reader little to no sense of who the characters are. This makes it hard to understand them or to get behind their motivations also, because of the “main crux” story I found this to be as much if not more Haddings story than Sarah’s. As time passes, there is more of her point-of-view, but certainly the beginning organically feels more attune to Haddings reactions or how he sees those around him as he sits in anonymity, more than anyone else. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing it’s just not what I was expecting.
While all of the above thoughts might suggest this novel could have benefitted from a longer length, the (ARC) 250 page text worked well for me as did the sometimes one-paragraph chapters. The book “read” very easily because of this, even if shorter chapters are more mind game than anything else, I was still pleased to be able to breeze through a book for once. For me, this book wasn’t an emotional payout as its setup suggested. Because of the unique plot (more on the end of the aftereffect rather than what leads to it, which is flirting with danger) – and it is written nicely, I’m not sure where to go beyond here. I liked it and respected aspects inside, yet between the things I’ve already mentioned and the confining timeframe (it all happens in a mere three days) I don’t count this among favorites. Am I glad to have read it? Absolutely. Hit is definitely fascinating, it just didn’t manage to strike any real emotional chords in me and that is something I regret.
Synopsis: After receiving a full-ride scholarship to Mills College for Girls, it appears Sarah’s future is all laid out before her that is until she walks into a poetry class led by Mr. Haddings, a student teacher from the nearby University of Washington. Suddenly, life on the UW campus seems very appealing, and Sarah finds herself using her poetry journal to subtly declare her feelings for Haddings. Convinced Mr. Haddings is flirting back, she sets off for school in the rain with a poem in her back pocket one that will declare her feelings once and for all.
Mr. Haddings has noticed Sarah’s attention; the fallout from any perceived relationship with a student is too great a risk, and he has decided to end all speculation that morning.
But everything changes when Mr. Haddings feels a thud on his front bumper when he glances away from the road, and finds Sarah in the street with blood pooling beneath her. – Goodreads
Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary ARC copy of this book for reviewing purposes.