Hi, Leigh! Can you tell us a little bit about your novel, REV GIRL?
Hi, Katie! Thanks so much for having me on your fabulous blog :) REV GIRL is about a young girl striving to become an international dirt bike racing star! It's the first book in The Go Girls Chronicles.
REV GIRL is inspired by your own experiences, but what made you decide to write the story?
I've always loved to write and had started REV GIRL as a short story many years ago, but it was very close to my own story and based mostly on my experiences in high school and around my best group of girlfriends. My Dad was the one who gave me the confidence to start writing a novel - it seemed like such a daunting task! The first draft was too close to my own life and VERY long! It was a lot of work and took a lot of help from great professional editors, but I had a lot of fun fictionalising the story and developing Clover and the other characters, as well as cutting and focusing to make the story as strong as possible.
Did you always know you were going to write the book for Young Adults?
When I started out, I didn't intend for the story to be for any specific age group . . . I was just having fun writing it, and writing a story I would want to read myself. I love YA - my favourite books have to be The Hunger Games Trilogy, Starfish Sisters, Ocean Pearl, Motocross Me, Thrill Seekers, REAP, and all of the Cinderella Series (I haven't read all of these yet, but they are in my to-read pile as I love the concept - girls in sports) just to name a few lol. I especially love connecting with and encouraging young girls to read and have had a huge response to my daily #realliferevgirl features at the REV GIRL Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/revgirlbook - I love doing these! I'm also a huge fan of women's fiction and authors including Nora Roberts, Jilly Cooper and Rachael Treasure, and I like to think my books bring a bit of their style to YA :)
REV GIRL is the first in The Go Girls Chronicles, how is the sequel coming along?
Really well! I'm very excited about my second novel, JUMP GIRL. It's set in the show jumping world and is about a foster girl named Ebony. JUMP GIRL is Cinderella meets Black Beauty meets contemporary romance and I really love it. JUMP GIRL will be ready to publish in early 2015 and I can not wait to release it!
What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
I hope readers are entertained and inspired by REV GIRL. I hope they enjoy the ride and can take some strength and confidence with them from Clover's struggles, as well as feel like they've gained some great new friends :)
Finally, could you give us a random fact about yourself?
Oh, this is hard one, Katie! Well . . . I broke my wrist when my horse stopped out at a fence when I was twelve and I broke my ankle falling off my dirt bike when I was eighteen. Hope those are random enough?!
Big thanks to Leigh for her fabulous interview!
I've been lucky enough to have to the opportunity to read and review REV GIRL. Here are my thoughts!
Pages: 288, Paperback
Publisher: Leigh Hutton Books, distributed by Dennis Jones & Associates
Release Date: May 24th 2014
Source: Provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Buy it From: Amazon
Inspired by a true story
It's hard to be the new girl, but it’s even harder being the new girl who races dirt bikes . . .
Ever since her parents forced her to move from Canada to Silvertown, Colorado, Clover Kassedy hasn’t fit in. So how do you deal when everyone hates you?
Focusing all her energy on racing her motorcycle did it for a while, but now that Clover’s managed to find a bestie and a boyfriend, the pressure on the sixteen-year-old is worse than ever.
She’s determined to get to the World Championships, where she could finally meet her idol – an Australian, the World Champion – and have a shot at becoming a professional dirt bike racer. But with her super- competitive dad, workaholic mother and relentless bullies at races and at high school, Clover is struggling to make her dreams a reality.
Will it be her scheming ex-best-friend who shatters her world? Or will she let her ‘perfect’ boyfriend – the guy who has finally made her feel like she belongs in their school and their town – stop her from becoming an international racing star?
If you’re bored of the same subjects in YA novels and you’re craving something new and refreshing, this is the book you need to pick up next.
I was immediately intrigued by the idea of this story. How many YA novels are out there at the moment about girls who are dirt bike racers? And that’s exactly why I wanted to read it.
The story follows Clover as she fights to become a champion in dirt bike racing. We follow her struggles to get to the top whilst juggling school and a social life alongside her racing.
I really enjoyed Clover’s urge to give her life a makeover at the start of the book. I feel like this is relatable to a lot of young girls. Most of us went through a period in high school when we’ve just thought ‘right, I’m going to dress up and go to a party!’ and it makes her more realistic to the reader.
Clover was an awesome character from start to finish. She had guts and determination throughout, and even when things seemed like they’d never improve, she refused to give up. One of the things I loved most about her was that even when she was faced with the most difficult choices, she never seriously saw giving up her racing dream as an option.
I’m not going to lie, I really disliked Dallas. Throughout the story, he became more and more infuriating! If he’d have been a more open character, and I’d understood his story more, then maybe I’d have sympathized with him a little. But I really didn’t.
The other characters in this story were great. I really liked Kerry, and would have liked to have seen more of her. The two of them felt like a great friendship match, and I enjoyed seeing Clover finally find someone so like herself.
I also felt sympathy for Sera’s situation. Even though she acted bitchy, I could see why she was upset. Again, the relationship between Clover and Sera were a very realistic and relatable part of the story.
I need to talk about how awesome the racing scenes were. Seriously, it’s completely epic. I had never read a book that featured dirt bike racing before, so it was great to read something completely new to me, and it was exciting to get a taste of the sport. I could picture everything so clearly in my mind, and it had a very cinematic feel to it.
So really, this book has a lot of different aspects to appeal to everyone. If you like the dynamics of a high school setting, with wild party scenes and typical teenage fun, they’re all in this book. But if you prefer super-cool action scenes that get your heart racing, you can also find it here. The cover of the book says it all really; two very different worlds mixed together in one story. And it works fabulously.
I'd like to thank Leigh for giving me the opportunity to read and review her wonderful story! Also, make sure you stop by Breezy Reads tomorrow for the final stop on the REV GIRL blog tour!