Strong Girls, Even Stronger Friendship: Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon and Summer Skin by Kristen Eagar

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

33797102Tourmaline Harris’s life hit pause at fifteen, when her mom went to prison because of Tourmaline’s unintentionally damning testimony. But at eighteen, her home life is stable, and she has a strong relationship with her father, the president of a local biker club known as the Wardens. Virginia Campbell’s life hit fast-forward at fifteen, when her mom “sold” her into the services of Hazard, a powerful attorney: a man for whom the law is merely a suggestion. When Hazard sets his sights on dismantling the Wardens, he sends in Virginia, who has every intention of selling out the club—and Tourmaline. But the two girls are stronger than the circumstances that brought them together, and their resilience defines the friendship at the heart of this powerful debut novel.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for honest review

I really enjoyed reading this book! Tourmaline and Virginia might seem like they have nothing in common: Tourmaline is the Wardens’ president’s daughter, and Virginia is known as pageant girl. But underneath, both are trying to find their place in their own world, and on the verge of womanhood. I love their strong friendship, how they compliment and support each other, never let anyone bring them down. As individual or together, Tourmaline and Virginia is a badass. Their relationship had a rocky start, used and betrayals. But they keep gravitating towards each other because they know how it feels being in a world dominated by men and trying to change their world.

This book also have a dark and gritty tone. When a book is about motorcycle club and drug dealing, you know this one is coming. But the writing really fits well with the tone, and it never once cross the line.

The reason why I don’t give this a 5 star is because of my personal issues. So in this book, Tourmaline and Virginia constantly flirt and “throw themselves” (not exactly that word, but I don’t know what’s the other word) at their respective love interests. I am raised in a pretty conservative family and I live in a very conservative country. Having strong roots and values of “girls waiting for men”, it’s really uncomfortable to read the way Tourmaline and Virginia try to get the attention of their love interest. It’s not that I’m slut shaming, I am fine with that. In fact, I love them for doing that, for taking control and getting after what they want, but at the same time, it’s uncomfortable and awkward to read.

((Not really related, but for some reason this book reminds me of Guys My Age by Hey Violet))

Summer Skin by Kristy Eagar

26211610Jess Gordon is out for revenge. Last year the jocks from Knights College tried to shame her best friend. This year she and a hand-picked college girl gang are going to get even.

The lesson: don’t mess with Unity girls.

The target: Blondie, a typical Knights stud, arrogant, cold . . . and smart enough to keep up with Jess.

A neo-riot grrl with a penchant for fanning the flames meets a rugby-playing sexist pig – sworn enemies or two people who happen to find each other when they’re at their most vulnerable?

It’s all Girl meets Boy, Girl steals from Boy, seduces Boy, ties Boy to a chair and burns Boy’s stuff. Just your typical love story.

A searingly honest and achingly funny story about love and sex amid the hotbed of university colleges by the award-winning author of Raw Blue.

While this book is not “the next big feminist manifesto”, this book has its fair share of feminism. It’s very sex positive, I love how it openly talks and discuss about sex, and showing how we, women, can enjoy them too without having to be exclusive or labelled “slut”. Other than that, this book has a really solid female relationship. I love the friendship between Jess, Lannie, Allie, and Farren, how they are always there for each other and not judging each other. Other than the positive friendship, I love how positive the relationship between Jess and Slyvie too. They might not be friendly when they first met, but their situation never escalated in hostility.

I’m still not sold about Mitch though. Sure, he has issues. But it doesn’t justified the way he treated Jess and other girls. Or just people in general. On the other hand, I truly love Adrian. I hope we got more time with him.

I’m also not very fond of the writing style, it felt choppy, and there are some words that I feel lost in language difference, like the slangs used. It’s hard to get into at first, and hard to understand few things afterwards.

I really wish we got more girl power moment with Jess and her friends, because it’s the main premise of the book, and it’s just more fun to read. I also expected a great tragic twist about the sweep, but it didn’t. Still, I wish it was mentioned more. Another complaint is I think this book fall into the category where the girl changes for the boy. Jess doesn’t change that much, but I still feel like she’s lowering her standards for Mitch. While the romance is not bad, I really wish it doesn’t go down that way.


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