Pepper Jones is ready for an epic cross country season. She wants to qualify for Nationals, and she’s willing to do anything it takes to make it happen. She can handle long miles and hill sprints, but boys? That’s an entirely different challenge.Pepper’s never considered revealing her deeper feelings for her longtime friend, Jace Wilder. After all, he’s got the personal magnetism and good looks to hook just about any girl in town -- and he has. Their friendship stands apart from high school social circles, and they’re both just fine with that (or at least they pretend to be).That is, until running star Ryan Harding moves to town.When it comes to running, Pepper’s goals are clear. But when it comes to Jace and Ryan, it’s nowhere near as simple.
Pepper was a well written character who had a lot of things I look for in YA books. She was smart, focused, determined, goal driven. I loved the character of Ryan as well. He is what I want all my students to be like! Pepper’s grandma is funny too, providing the book with some great funny moments.
For all the wonderful things about Pepper, I am really upset about Jace. He is a drug dealer who openly hurts her emotionally. Pepper is determined to continue to chase after him and change him and I hate when YA books go that route. Do I want to see Jace stop dealing? Of course, I think its a great lesson for a YA book. Do I want him to do it because Pepper gets him to? NO!!!!
Overall, this book is well written and I think a lot of YA readers would enjoy it because they won’t be as annoyed with the things I am as an adult! I think my HS students would like it!
Ali Dean lives in Colorado with her husband and two children. In addition to reading and writing, she loves the outdoors- everything from marathon training and biking to snowboarding and skiing.