Beautiful, intense, inspirational story
What was the book about?
The story is told in both main characters point of view and is about Katrina Brooks “kat” who is a brilliant and very talented photographer, as well as an outstanding referee in Roller Derby. She has had a difficult life and has been basically on her own since running away from home at a young age. She has big dreams of living on what she has envisioned of her photographic work. She has a bit of a crush on Dorothy Mauser (Dot Mouse), who happens to be the most penalty-heavy skater in Crosscannon Roller Derby. Dot is a junk artist, who has the heart in the right place but a very short temper that always gets her in trouble. She believes Kat is against her and always picking on her in the games.
In an unexpected turn of events they see themselves collaborating to prepare Kat’s work for display at Crosscannon Pridefest. Dot gets to see a very different side of Kat and get to know her better. Her conception changes and a mutual attraction reveals. Will their insecurities and baggage tear them apart? Or their newfound connection will survive?
This is a debut novel and it is a strong start of the author. I liked the depth and writing style. Despite having a heavy plot, I found very fascinating the way the author addressed the sensitive subjects and how she developed the story around it all. We got to know and fall in love with the characters while telling their story. I loved the fact she introduced us the characters first, then let us know them and love them to avoid misconceptions or stigma. This way she made readers aware of these sensitive topics that I am sure are unknown by many of us but not uncommon. I applaud Jacquelyn Heat for this book, the wonderful story and the skill to show us the relevance and importance of these matters. I’m always in the search of knowledge and I am happy I learned a lot while being enthralled by the characters and their journey.
It has a few inconsistencies and typos but don’t affect the rhythm of the book. This probably got corrected in the published version.
The lingo about Crosscannon Roller Derby (CRD) can be very overwhelming, the glossary helps but it’s a lot to learn in a short space of time. My suggestion is not to worry about it, concentrate on their story, their art, the raw emotions and just enjoy the book; because even when the CRD is an important part of the book isn’t a crucial one.
The characters are very endearing, from the moment we met them we warm up to them and as we are learning more about their story we love them until we can only be part of their world, relate to them, wish them the best and keep reading until the end. Both main characters have had a hard life, although in different ways. Kat has been basically alone dealing with her sexuality and “surviving” after running away from her family. I like her very much and how despite her struggles she has become someone respected for her dedication and hard work. Glad she has her very good friend and roommate Lonny to help her walk that hard path in life and afterwards her nephew Eli. Dot is a very complex character, I liked very much as well. Her dad is amazing and very supportive, as we read we all are very thankful she counts on him through her always difficult journey; as well as her good friend Lynn.
It is wonderful and heart-breaking to watch both of their journeys and to witness their character growth. It gets very intense and emotional but at the same time is beautiful and eye-opening. There are several secondary characters but mostly three of them have a stellar place along with the main characters.
This is a very very good and powerful book. One I’d absolutely like to recommend. The only reason I am not giving it 5 stars it is because of those few inconsistencies mostly at the beginning and a few typos along the book. The story and the development though deserve every 5 stars available. I am definitely looking forward to book two of the series.
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