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.
I was fortunate to receive an Advanced Reader Copy by author Ginger Scott in exchange for an honest review.
This book is described by author Ginger Scott as a standalone, mature YA book. I’ll just add that it’s an HEA book as well.
I don’t read many books in the YA category anymore, but I absolutely loved this book. If I could pick one word to describe this book, I’d choose the word, “Inspirational”.
Reagan and Nico are both 18 year old seniors at a prestigious private school. The vast majority of the students are from wealthy families. Nico, however, is from the West End. The wrong side of the track, where families struggle to support themselves. He’s a scholarship kid of Mexican descent, attending this private school with the rich kids. Nico works hard to earn his education, earning straight A’s in his classes. Nico really shines whenever he gets to debate a topic in class. Often these debates would be against Reagan, who resents Nico and his ability to seemingly never lose a debate.
Reagan’s focus is on the documentary she’s making about the school’s football team. Football is not just an interest of Reagan’s. It’s her life. Her father is the football coach and her twin brother Noah is the team quarterback. Reagan is trying to capture both the sport and the behind-the-scenes events as it affects her family. After the team lost last year, her father has been under an incredible amount of stress and pressure to have a winning season this year. Reagan sees how fickle the parents are in regards to supporting or attacking her family. She sees the ugly politics that take place at the school with the board members. Her goal is to succeed in creating a unique documentary that will help her get into the college she has always wanted to attend.
Major events happen in the book that shake up Reagan’s family. She sees the lack of unity among her family members and the dysfunctional ways they try to cope. Then one day she sees Nico in a different light. She realizes that her dad needs him on the team, and maybe she needs him too. As Reagan spends more time with Nico, she witnesses the prejudice so many have against the people from his side of town, as well as people with his ethnicity. She watches how Nico handles it. And she is surprised to see that even though his “West End” neighborhood is rife with poverty, they are rich in spirit and community. They take care of each other, have neighborhood get-togethers, and share food and affection for each other.
Not only is this a beautiful love story, this book will leave you feeling inspired and happy. Think of the movies you’ve watched that have been incredibly inspirational. Stand and Deliver? Hoosiers? Rudy? The Blind Side? Chariots of Fire? Field of Dreams? This story captures the same inspiration that those movies gave me. I’m personally not a huge fan of football, but this book held and kept my interest as if I were.
If you’re looking for an uplifting, inspirational story, this is your book. If you’re looking for a sweet and beautiful teen romance, this is your book. If you just want to read a book that’s well written and will leave you with a smile on your face, THIS IS YOUR BOOK. I loved it, and I think you will too.