Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Doubly Dark and Gritty Book Reviews: Those Girls and Made in the U.S.A.

Title: Those Girls 
Author: Chevy Stevens
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:

Chevy Stevens is back with her most powerful, emotional thriller yet— a story of survival…and revenge. 

Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father’s fists. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. Events spiral out of control and a chance encounter with the wrong people leaves them in a horrific and desperate situation. They are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives. 

Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened that summer when one of the sisters goes missing and they are pulled back into their past. 

This time there’s nowhere left to run. 

As much of a thriller as it is a deep exploration of the bonds among sisters, THOSE GIRLS is an unforgettable portrait of desperation, loyalty, and evil.

My thoughts:

So the last book I read by Chevy Stevens, That Night, annoyed me. I didn't like it; I thought the main character was a moron. However, this book was Stevens' redemption. It is about three sisters who survive some pretty dark and horrendous stuff - I was horrified, sad, and scared while reading. I couldn't put it down. I have a baby at home, and sleep is currently a valuable commodity to me - but I gave up some of that precious, precious slumber to read this book until the wee hours. I thought this book was well written, riveting, and although the end felt a little hurried, I really really enjoyed it. I was worn out emotionally from reading it! 

Title: Made in the U.S.A.
Author: Billie Letts
Source: my stepmom

Goodreads Summary:

The bestselling author of WHERE THE HEART IS returns with a heartrending tale of two children in search of a place to call home. Lutie McFee's history has taught her to avoid attachments...to people, to places, and to almost everything. With her mother long dead and her father long gone to find his fortune in Las Vegas, 15-year-old Lutie lives in the god-forsaken town of Spearfish, South Dakota with her twelve-year-old brother, Fate, and Floy Satterfield, the 300-pound ex-girlfriend of her father. While Lutie shoplifts for kicks, Fate spends most of his time reading, watching weird TV shows and worrying about global warming and the endangerment of pandas. As if their life is not dismal enough, one day, while shopping in their local Wal-Mart, Floy keels over and the two motherless kids are suddenly faced with the choice of becoming wards of the state or hightailing it out of town in Floy's old Pontiac. Choosing the latter, they head off to Las Vegas in search of a father who has no known address, no phone number and, clearly, no interest in the kids he left behind. 
MADE IN THE U.S.A. is the alternately heartbreaking and life-affirming story of two gutsy children who must discover how cruel, unfair and frightening the world is before they come to a place they can finally call home.

My Thoughts:

Another book that exhausted me just reading it. I loved it; I couldn't put it down. But dang if it wasn't just as sad and heartbreaking as Those Girls, just in a different way. This one got me on another level too - I am an older sister, with a little brother. I felt for poor, broken Lutie. She did what she felt she had to do, to keep them away from foster homes and separation. What she had to do at times is what kills the reader. However, despite being put through the ringer, the end of this book is a good one, making the turmoil worth it. 


  1. Made in the USA sounds so good! The cover appeals to me, and while I don't read a ton of contemporaries (although I've been reading more lately, I guess) this one has me curious. Two young kids heading for Vegas- a lot could go wrong there! I'm wondering how it turns out!

    1. I read it on a whim and was surprised at how much I liked it! It was darker than it might seem on the surface; I wasn't prepared for that. Nonetheless, I did really like it. :)

  2. I've heard of Billie Letts but haven't read her yet.
    Those Girls already on my radar and I'm definitely going to pick it up soon. I just read That Night last month and thought it was pretty good, though I didn't care much for the main characters either. Thanks for a good post.

    1. I have read a few things by Billie Letts and I have liked them all. :)

      That main character in That Night bothered me for one reason only - the fact that she went back to the same town that condemned her before!

  3. I've got Those Girls on my tbr mountain, I loved Still Missing. Not heard of Billie Letts but Made in the USA sounds great but intense and emotional. Might need something light and fun after those two lol

    1. Still Missing was so good!!!! Super crazy and scary, but really good.

      I definitely needed to stay away from anything else intense after these two reads lol!


I love hearing from people, don't be shy! I would love to hear what you think! I always reply back, although it takes me a bit longer these days due to the little guy.