Thursday, February 28, 2013

{Review} Tough Girl by Libby Heily

Title: Tough Girl
Author: Libby Heily
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Libby Heily
Release date: January 14, 2013
Date Read: February 4, 2013 - February 6, 2013
Rating: ✭✭✭
Danger lurks everywhere in eleven year old Reggie's world—from the bully next door to the unwanted attentions of a creep at school. Raised by her mentally ill mother, Reggie is left to fend for herself. She escapes in daydreams, battling aliens with her alter ego, Tough Girl.

When Reggie's mother disappears, her fantasy life spirals out of control and starts to invade reality. She is hunted by a creature of her own design, and even Tough Girl is not strong enough to stop him.

Will Reggie survive long enough for her mother to return, or will her dream world take over?

Free copy supplied by the author Libby Heily in exchange for an honest review. 

I've been avoiding writing this review for weeks, because I knew it was going to be hard to write. But I HAD TO GET IT OFF MY SHOULDERS eventually you need to get over it.

TOUGH GIRL was kind of a surreal book. It was... strange. Not bad, but definitely different.

It's about a young girl named Reggie, a troubled and misunderstood eleven-year old and her alter ego, Tough Girl. Reggie's unstable mother disappears and during this time, Reggie's alternate life begins to creep into her real life. Soon she can't tell what's real and what's not as she's hunted down by someone she created.

It all sounds very simple and original, and it is. I mean, it's original. Is it simple?


I was completely, utterly, and totally lost when I didn't want to be.

I mean, I literally had to go back and read chapters again because it was such a whirlwind, and sometimes I still didn't get it, which as readers know, is one of the most infuriating feelings in the world. There was a lot of info-dumping through conversations, so when someone was talking for a long time, I sort of just skimmed over it.

Except when the conversation is filled with all the information you need to know so you're not lost in Wonderland, YOU CANNOT PULL THAT SHIT.

I got the feeling that the author knew exactly what was going on (well, obviously), but the reader basically got this:


It's all so confusing, but it becomes intolerable around half-way through the novel. Politics, death, corruption, blackmail, planets, creatures, creatures changing gender and lying about it (??? I think I'm going to have to re-read that part), galaxies...?

I don't even know, you guys.

The writing fit perfectly for the story: dark, intense, and powerful. It's probably not competing against Laini Taylor's writing anytime soon, but it was very good for a self-published novel and I didn't really have a problem with that part.

I didn't feel any real connection to Reggie whatsoever. I admired her - brave, determined, and badass - but I didn't like her. She was weird as hell. She was supposed to be weird, and the scene was supposed to show that Reggie would give anything to have food a comfortable life, but c'mon now.

Sneaking into an apartment to touch a six-hundred pound woman's fat rolls.


In fact, I didn't like any of the characters in TOUGH GIRL. I remained icily unattached from them and respected them from the sidelines. I didn't hate them at all - they just didn't interest me and I wasn't emotionally invested in them. They were all extremely well-developed, however, with interesting back stories and different personalities.

Reggie lived basically on her own in a very dangerous environment, which required her to mature very quickly and learn to take care of herself, but I still think that asking an eleven-year old if she's still a virgin is seriously wrong.

I mean, has the girl even gotten her period yet?

Just because you've learned to fend for yourself and grew up pretty quickly doesn't make you sexually mature. I would know.

The ending was very disappointing and quite dull. A better ending could have greatly improved TOUGH GIRL, but all in all, it was an absorbing, dark, and intense read.

Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.


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