Done Dirt Cheap // A Lyrical Book That Was Missing A Spark

13 March 2017

Done Dirt Cheap – Sarah Nicole Lemon
Published: 7th March 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating:
Tourmaline 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 got a copy of this on Netgalley and I’d been wanting to read it for a while. I mean, I knew nothing of the author and simply knew what the summary was. I went into this book blind and I think that was both a blessing and a curse. It was great as I had no preconceptions and nothing to influence my opinion. It was a curse, though, because it meant I developed my own expectations going in based on little information and I was way off base about certain elements. I didn’t get the book I expected and that left me slightly disappointed. At the same time, though, I’m glad it was different to what I thought because otherwise I’d be comparing it to Katie McGarry’s Thunder Road series and this is a very different book to that series.

This book went right in one very clear way. It was written beautifully. The writing had that magical lyrical quality some authors can perfect which just sucked me into the story. It wasn’t that it was trying too hard to create this stunning imagery, it was just written in such a way that it came across as very lyrical and just beautiful really. It did get a bit confusing at times. I mean, I’d find myself rereading a paragraph as something was mentioned as if it had already been stated earlier and it hadn’t, that got confusing, but once I got into the author’s writing style that didn’t happen anymore.

The reason I was a bit uncertain about the book, though, is the fact that I was uncertain about the characters. I was expecting this amazing friendship to develop between Tourmaline and Virginia and it did but not in the way I expected. It was slower and it definitely felt like it happened out of nowhere, the was nuance to the relationship developing and that did bother me a bit. It felt like all the relationships in this book were sudden. Once they happened they were solid and I liked it but I would have liked to see it develop a bit more.

I also felt quite distant to the characters, and this may have been because all the development in the character relationships are so sudden and so were the events of the characters lives. The story would be going quite slow when suddenly something happened to rush the story along once more and I didn’t like that. It meant I wasn’t getting attached to the characters I was suddenly caught up in a new story development. It meant I never felt like I was rooting for the characters because I was too busy figuring out what was going on.

I will say it was a wonderfully written book which had me thinking on it often and the story and friendship of Virginia and Tourmaline was a good one. I did enjoy the story once I got into it and I really enjoyed the writing. I just didn’t feel invested and I don’t know why. It was partially the strange pacing of the story and partly the sudden developments which happened and partially something else that meant there was no spark for me. I’m glad I read it, though, and I will look out for more from Sarah Nicole Lemon, so there’s that.

Have you read anything where the spark was lacking and you struggle to pinpoint what went wrong for you? And have you read this, what were your thoughts?
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