Review – Tough Girl by Libby Heily

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00060]Tough Girl is the story of Reggie, a girl who is bullied relentlessly at school and then comes home to a mother with serious mental health issues.  She escapes by creating an alter-ego (TG/Tough Girl).  Reggie writes sci-fi type stories about Tough Girl but TG also ‘visits’ Reggie and talks her through some of her toughest situations.  When Reggie’s mother disappears, the line between her real and imaginary worlds becomes blurred.  Can she save herself before it is too late?

Overall, I appreciated Tough Girl.  It was an original story with a believably flawed MC in Reggie.  The first chapter set the tone and was heart-breaking.  Reggie is bullied again by Tara and then tries, unsuccessfully, to take revenge.  And, when Reggie’s mother disappears, I wished I could crawl into the story to help Reggie – or at least buy her some food.

For me, the best part of the story was the relationship between Reggie and DeShawn (her sort-of boyfriend).  His mother’s reaction to Reggie was pretty spot-on.

I didn’t mind TG and her scenes with Reggie worked well within the story.  However, when we switched to TG’s point of view and were basically reading Reggie’s writing, it didn’t really fit for me.  There were a few spots where I felt that the author had two really great stories to tell (one sad story about bullying and another adventurous sci-fi novel).  Rather than splitting them, they were sort-of forced together into one book.

Also, the story of the upstairs neighbor’s was a little strange (especially one scene early on).  I could see how the author was tying the two worlds (real and imagined) together but it wasn’t the strongest part of the book.

There were a couple of typos / proofreading errors but they didn’t detract from the story.

I would give Tough Girl 3 stars and would read more from this author.

I was given an ARC of Tough Girl by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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