Welcome to THE HARD COUNT review tour with Ginger Scott, hosted by Wordsmith Publicity. Be sure to check out all the participating blogs, reviews and enter the tour giveaway!
Shel: Dear Ginger,
Shel: I haven't stopped thinking about this novel since I started reading it chapter by chapter a few months ago. I fell in love with everything about this book from the tension in the class debates to the tension on the football field and everything in between. And all these months later (and a re-read or two thrown in) all I can think about is how Reagan and Nico are doing. Are they okay? How are their families? What's happening with their friends? As I tweeted to you today--these characters are in my heart and in my mind and I would love to see them again and again and again. Court: YES! Long before we get into the sports world that this book (and Ginger) is known for, we see these two smart kids battling it out for the things they believe in in their high school classes. They debate. They prove their points. And Reagan is competitive, y'all - I thought it was a cool way to get to know what our characters think about a few things...and get to know them.
Shel: I loved how within the first few paragraphs of The Hard Count I was completely sunk--I could not stop reading. I had to know how Reagan's father (and brother and mother) and the school would handle Nico on the team. I had to know if Nico could make it and not buckle under the pressure. I had to know if Reagan and Nico could be a thing ( I really wanted them to be a thing). And then the more I read, the more I wanted to know about both of them. I loved the way their friendship developed into the something more I really wanted. I loved the little touches, the shared looks, the way they teased each other. Court: The more we found out, the more we related little by little to every character. Whether it be for being the best and falling, or having someone you love metaphorically stab you with their words when they're hurt by the world, or just coming from a poverty stricken area where people do what they have to do to get by...there is something for everyone here - and we can look through Nico and Reagan's eyes and see the world differently. And when an author can do that with a book, it means something to us. Ginger Scott threw a touchdown with this story and all of the dynamics that give it layers.
Shel: And then. THEN!!! Noah had to be a #douchelord and that had me reading to see if or how he could redeem himself. GAH. And then there was Izzy and Sasha and Nico's family and the other coaches and the assholes and bigots and fair-weather fans and friends..and the ones who weren't--who were true and kind and wonderful--and I kept turning pages because I had to know how this was going to go down. Court: See! <----- Look! Everyone does things that we cheered for, moped a bit, got mad about...we felt so much for The Hard Count and as Ginger can be counted on...she did it on purpose, y'all! She wanted me to love the hard to love, and hold my hand over my eyes as I kept going to see if the twins parents were going to be worth it or not. I was worried. But excited. And I stayed up half the night as usual to read this book.
Shel: You tackled (hahaha football reference. I'm such a goob) issues of class and race with understanding and truth and nuance. You had us look at hierarchy and tradition and what's 'supposed' to be and that sense of entitlement we see on teams, all through Reagan's lens. Court: This is a huge reason why this book is so special. There are some hard themes in the book, but I thought they were well thought out, well researched and no cliches in sight.
Shel: By the end you me swallowing back a huge lump in my throat and on the edge of my seat as I tried to predict what would happen next. My emotions were wild--huge highs and then such frustrated/angry lows..and let us not forget the bad case of the sads I caught in there too. IT.WAS.GREAT. Court: Can I say "what she said?" here? Because y'all...what she said. And if Shel's upset - have mercy. Because I'm the crier in this relationship.
Shel: You invaded my imagination (and I freaking work in a high school so you'd think I'd be cynical about high school stuff but NOPE, you totally sucked me in) and I could see Nico and Reagan at the dance and in the parking lot and on the field and driving around. You captured the essence of what we want high school to be like and what it is like and you sold me on these characters--so much so that I'm sorry not sorry for all the begging I did and will do for more on this cast of characters. Every single one of the main and side characters captured my attention (from the adults to the children) and I can't seem to let them go. Court: Ginger has an uncanny ability to capture the hard stuff of highschool, but also the special moments. She prides herself on slaying first kiss scenes, and this one has one y'all! And I may or may not have felt a lot of nostalgia. Friday Night Lights has nothin' on The Hard Count (and y'all better be excited that she gave me a special version of Dillon right here). This one is special, and I loved it...if you couldn't already tell!
Shel: This is one of my favorite things you've written and I know readers are going to LOVE The Hard Count.
THE HARD COUNT
Mature YA Contemporary Romance-Stand Alone
Release Date: July 15, 2016
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1tuu6yY
Google Play: http://bit.ly/29Bc3j4
Nico Medina’s world is eleven miles away from mine. During the day, it’s a place where doors are open—where homes are lived in, and neighbors love. But when the sun sets, it becomes a place where young boys are afraid, where eyes watch from idling cars that hide in the shadows and wicked smoke flows from pipes.
West End is the kind of place that people survive. It buries them—one at a time, one way or another. And when Nico was a little boy, his mom always told him to run.
I’m Reagan Prescott—coach’s daughter, sister to the prodigal son, daughter in the perfect family.
Life on top.
My world is the ugly one. Private school politics and one of the best high school football programs in the country can break even the toughest souls. Our darkness plays out in whispers and rumors, and money and status trump all. I would know—I’ve watched it kill my family slowly, strangling us for years.
In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.
I hated him before I needed him.
I fell for him fast.
I loved him when it was almost too late.
When two ugly worlds collide, even the strongest fall. But my world…it hasn’t met the boy from West End.
1 signed copy of In Your Dreams, $10 Amazon gift card
About Ginger Scott
Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless and In Your Dreams.
A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she
often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.
When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).
Connect with Ginger