Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: One Good Hustle by Billie Livingston

Publisher: Random House Canada
Pages: 288
Received: Received from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 24, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

From award-winning writer Billie Livingston, an unsparing novel of loyalty and survival that is fierce, sharp and funny even when it's breaking your heart.

The child of 2 con artists, 16-year-old Sammie Bell always prided herself on knowing the score. But now she finds herself backed into a corner. After a hustle gone dangerously wrong, her mother, Marlene, is sliding into an abyss of alcoholic depression, spending her days fantasizing aloud about death--a goal Sammie is tempted to help her accomplish. Horrified by the appeal of this, Sammie packs a bag and leaves her mother to her own devices.

With her father missing in action, she has nowhere else to go but the home of a friend with 2 parents who seem to actually love their daughter and each other--and who awkwardly try to extend some semblance of family to Sammie. Throughout a long summer of crisis among the normals, Sammie is torn between her longing for the approval of the con-man father she was named for and her desire for the "weird, spearmint-fresh feeling" of life in the straight world. Sammie wants to be normal but fears that where she comes from makes that beyond the realm of possibility.

One Good Hustle chronicles 2 months in Sammie Bell's struggle with her dread that she is somehow doomed genetically to be just another hustler.

My Review:

I have been eagerly expecting this book since I heard about it from Random House, the idea of a child of two con-artists trying to live a normal life was a really interesting and inspiring idea, I had to get my hands on it.

I really loved that everything was from Sammie's point of view, Livingston does a beautiful job showing the issues that Sammie has had to deal with throughout her life. I fell in love with Sammie, watching her struggle through everything and just wanting to be loved by her father, who is never around for her. As a reader you get an amazing view into Sammie's life. I found the way Livingston combines Sammie's past and present throughout the book was really interesting. We slowly learn how Sammie and her family came to the position they are currently in.

The one major thing I was not a big fan of in the book was Jill and her family. I felt that they were a little more self-righteous than needed to be for the story. In Sammie's eyes they are a normal family and that's why she chooses to stay with them in the book. I did enjoy that though it was an awkward situation this is a family that opens their home to Sammie so easily.

The other thing that left me a little disappointed was the ending. There were so many questions left unanswered for me about Sammie and her life with her family and her friends. Despite these questions this was a beautifully written book, that was very heartfelt. You will fall in love with Sammie from the beginning and you will not want this book to end.

1 comment:

  1. I've been looking forward to this one so I'm glad to hear that it delivers! Such an interesting premise Im sure I'll love it



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