Author: Kim Lehman
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Published: June 1st, 2013
This ebook was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Synopsis: A story about friendships, love, and self-discovery.
Quick witted, sharp-tongued Righteous Andrews is troubled by a broken past, fed up with her present circumstances, and resolved to a hopeless future.
On the first day of her senior year of high school she gets in trouble, landing in the principal’s office . . . again. There she meets Colt Jackson, the new kid with a troubled past of his own. Despite her attempts to avoid him, Colt seems to show up everywhere she doesn’t want him to be, and soon they strike up an unexpected friendship. Righteous is wary. Friendships aren’t her thing. But something about Colt is different; something about him makes her curious, makes her wonder . . .
Is Colt Jackson really different from everyone else? Does happiness and love truly exist? Or will every relationship in her life always end in lies and heartache?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
"You can't define yourself based on who you think you are. You need to define yourself based on who you want to be."
Righteous has had a pretty disappointing life. She was born in a gas station bathroom to a mother with a knack for getting into bad relationships. The two of them live in a trailer park, and Righteous has accepted that she will never amount to anything more than a blue-collared worker in the little town of Landon. Righteous tells the story of Righteous's senior year of high school, and the choices she makes about her friends, family, and future.
I liked this book quite a lot. I loved how all the characters were flawed. I loved reading about the grisly reality that was Righteous's home life. I loved how we got to learn about Righteous little by little as the story progressed. There were of course things I wasn't very fond of, but let me go a bit more in depth first. I'm going to rate this book through it's characters.
Righteous's relationship with her mom is, to say the least, flawed. Her mother has brought home a string of absolutely terrible boyfriends, spreading from lazy to flat-out abusive. Righteous's home life was my favorite aspect of the book. A lot of the time I get mad at weak characters, but I couldn't be mad at Righteous's mom, because I got backstory. Let me rephrase actually; There were times when I was mad at Righteous's mom, because Righteous's mom does stuff that is worthy of getting mad at, but I understood why she did it. I understood why she couldn't tear herself away from these abusive relationships. Righteous's father left her mother a few months before Righteous was born, which was why Righteous's mom was so desperate to find real love in all these men who obviously didn't love her back. That was why she pushed Righteous away in order to try and fix her broken relationships. I hated Righteous's mom, but at the same time I loved her because she was developed, and having her be developed further developed out main character, Righteous.
Now, Righteous's best friend is this old lady at the senior center who's family doesn't visit her month. The old lady, named Magda, has dementia, so she thinks Righteous is some girl from her youth named Alice. I liked Magda. She had that both the grandmother and best friend traits, and somehow, even though everything she spoke was total nonsense, it made complete sense. She stopped Righteous from being a complete idiot a few times, and gave awesome advice. Thumbs up on Magda. Although (highlight for spoiler) Her death came out of NOWHERE. I guess it got Colt and Righteous together, but I wish I could see Righteous be a bit more affected by that, instead of cry to Colt for half a page. Also, I did't want Magda to die. I should of seen it coming honestly. I just really didn't want Magda to die. Magda could of been the link between Righteous and Colt! They could of ran into each other while visiting her, and then Magda wouldn't have to die! TAH-DAH!
Righteous has two other people who were her friends; Felicity and Cecile. Cecile is a really nice girl who is the only person who honestly tries to befriend her other than Colt, who we will get to later. Cecile was nice. Nice backstory. The only word I have for her is nice. I didn't really have a strong opinion on her. Now, Felicity was the TOTAL opposite. Felicity, point-blank, was a bitch. She also got a strong backstory (honestly this book did great on the backstories), which reaffirmed the fact she was, indeed, a bitch. I loved hating her. I just wanted to go in and slap her every single time she was brought up in the book, and I loved that. Both of them only really had one character trait (nice and a bitch), but I liked Felicity better than Cecile, because I felt strongly about Felicity.
Colt Jackson was the love interest of the book. He was a little interesting. I was never really sure if I like him. The first sentence of this book was literally Righteous asking Colt what he was looking at, and I was just like, "Yep, there's the love interest. No question. She's going to start out by not liking him, then she'll like him, then she won't, then she will." I knew this from the FIRST PAGE. And, strangely enough, my liking for Colt followed the same pattern I predicted Righteous's would go. I hated him at first. He was the mysterious new boy, and rumors are spreading that he murdered someone. I did not like him. Then, as he started to have a relationship with Righteous, I started to like him. Then, at the end, I was not sure at all! He did some really creepy and stupid things, like stalking Righteous that one time, like getting a tattoo of her name when they're not even dating, like acting like he didn't like Righteous in order to seem popular, liking dating Felicity, and a bunch of other things. But at the same time I ship Righteous and Colt, and they are adorable every second they are together. UH. I just don't even know. Do I like him? I still don't know!
And Dustin. I did not like Dustin. Remember how I told you that people think Colt killed someone? Apparently he moved from his old town because he's been accused of murder. Dustin is the brother of the person who everyone thinks Colt murdered. (highlight for spoiler) BUT THAT PLOT GOES NOWHERE. I thought it would play a huge role in the plot, that it would be MOST of the plot, but it didn't and maybe that would of been okay, if Dustin wasn't a stalker who follows Colt around telling people he's a cold-blooded killer. And then it was like, "Oh, sorry Colt! Turns out you're not a murderer! I'll just leave now. I played no importance to the plot at all! I was just kind of here, wasting everyone's time!" Why was he even in the book at all? Why was his subplot even in the book at all? Why was his plot only a subplot? Honestly? Why wasn't this guy a bigger deal? Dustin was the reason this book was not five stars. I'm sorry, but he just made me mad.
But I liked the book. I would recommend it. Maybe not for everyone to go out and buy right this second, but definitely, if you see it in the library and it seems like your thing, pick it up. I loved Righteous and everything about her character. I loved her insecurities and her backstory. She was an amazing character, and the driving force of a lovely novel. I'm really quite surprised that this book never got more hype. It seems like the kind of thing the online book community would totally jump on.
Some other reviews for "Righteous" (may contain spoilers):
I had trouble finding book blogs who reviewed this, so here are the top 3 reviews on goodreads for this book!