Ripple by Heather Smith Meloche

Ripple by Heather Smith Meloche

Release Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: First to Read
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

With her impossible-to-please grandmother on her back about college and her disapproving step-dad watching her every move, Tessa would do anything to escape the pressure-cooker she calls home. So she finds a shot of much-needed power and confidence by hooking up with boys, even though it means cheating on her boyfriend. But when she's finally caught red-handed, she’ll do anything she can to cover up what she's done.

Jack is a prankster who bucks the system every chance he gets—each transgression getting riskier and riskier. He loves the thrill, and each adventure allows a little release because his smug smile and suave demeanor in the face of authority doesn’t make life at home with his mom any less tough. He tries to take care of her, but the truth is he's powerless in the face of her fragile mental health. So he copes in his own way, by defacing public property and pulling elaborate pranks, though he knows in the end this’ll only screw up his life even more.

As they both try not to let their self-destructive patterns get the best of them, Tessa and Jack gravitate toward one another, discovering the best parts of themselves in the process. An honest portrayal of the urges that drive us and finding the strength to overcome them, Ripple is a stunning debut from a powerful new voice.

Ripple is the first book I got to read from Penguin's First to Read program, and since I'd seen it around the book blogosphere, I decided to give it a try. It took me a while to get into–granted, it was probably because I was heading back to university and things got pretty busy–but after a while, I actually really started to enjoy it. Sure, there were things that I felt could have been slightly better, and the story was kind of slow in general, but all in all I liked this one.

I feel like the characters were really strong in this one. While I didn't agree with everything Tessa and Jack did, I could see why they did it. Except–the whole pranking thing. I mean, it's not been too long since high school, but are boys really that immature? I would honestly think that the pranks that Jack and his friends pull off fit more with middle schoolers or freshmen, but not seniors! Maybe it's just the high school I went to...anyway. I liked the motivations behind their characters. It felt really relatable, even though I have little to no experience with the things they deal with.

I just wish the pacing was a bit better. It felt like the book dragged a little bit at the start, and throughout the book there was this slow pace that held back the story. I mean, yes, there were absolutely fantastic plot elements in this book, but the rhythm threw me off a little. Regardless, I still think that Ripple was worth the read. Raw and real, Heather Smith Meloche's debut is a pretty powerful look at discovering yourself amongst mental illness, and sexual freedom and relationships.

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  1. I could've sworn I signed up for First to Read! bah. Anyway, I had this book on my watch list this week but it sounded a bit of a disappointment. Oh, well.

  2. Congrats on this being your first book from First to Read! That's awesome. I love this book's cover! Unfortunately I don't think this would be a book for me, but it sounds like it might be a winner for many people. Wonderful review, Rabiah! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


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