29 March 2016

Today's Read: Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser

Review: Sweetgirl by Travis MulhauserWhat would do if you found a neglected baby in the home of dangerous man? You'd probably do just what Percy James did: try to sneak the baby out of the house and protect her. Although she did the right thing, Percy could not have predicted the full range of events she triggered when she headed out into the snowstorm with that child in her arms.

Nine days after Mama disappeared I heard she was throwing down with Shelton Potter. Gentry said she was off on a bad one and wandering around the farmhouse like a goddamn ghost.

Mama bought her booze at Night Moves, where Gentry worked the counter, and he stopped by to tell me he saw her at Shelton's while he was out there delivering a keg.
Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser (Ecco, 2016, p. 1)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: northern Michigan, modern times
  • Circumstances: Just as a winter storm starts to build up steam, Percy James heads off to rescue her mother from her latest drug and drink bender. When she gets to the local dealer's house in the woods, she finds him and his girlfriend passed out and a baby girl half frozen in her crib. Percy, unable to drive home, takes the baby cross-country to a family friend's cabin, setting off a deadly game of survival. Battling the elements and bad, bad people, Percy is forced to use all her resources to get the baby to safety.
  • Characters: Percy James, a teenager with a good head on her shoulders; Jenna, the baby; Carletta, Percy's strung-out mother; Portis, a family friend who offers help; Shelton, a drug dealer and all-round nasty person; Kayla, the baby's druggie mother; various other people, good and bad
  • Themes: survival, family, doing the right thing
  • Genre: literary fiction, adventure, thriller 
  • Thoughts: I'm not sure what I expected when I started this book, but once I picked it it up, I read it all in one go. The characters were easy to envision—to root for or hate—and the pace of the action keep my attention. Although the story is dark, there is a patina of hope, and I even found moments of humor.
  • Recommendations: For anyone looking for an action-packed story with believable characters. You'll feel the cold and the fear. You'll hope the good guys succeed and the bad guys get what they deserve. But you'll not be convinced there could ever be a Hollywood ending.


rhapsodyinbooks 3/29/16, 6:28 AM  

I have this sitting on my couch. I hate drug stuff and dark stuff, but your review makes me think I should pick it up!

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 3/29/16, 7:52 AM  

I sampled this awhile back and couldn't get into a rhythm with the writing style, so ended up not buying the e-book. But, I've seen other excellent reviews of it!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 3/29/16, 8:05 AM  

I don't think I could read this one. Innocent kids and creeps are hard for me to read.

sjhigbee 3/29/16, 8:52 AM  

I'm afraid I feel the same as Diane, though it sounds a powerful story - no wonder you read it in one go!

Kay 3/29/16, 9:01 AM  

I'd have to think about this one. And certainly read it in the summer - hate reading cold books at other times.

bermudaonion 3/29/16, 9:25 AM  

My book club chose books for the rest of the year last week and this is one of the books we picked. It sounds like it'll be a great read!

Kathy Martin 3/29/16, 9:33 AM  

This sounds really intense. The teaser on my adult blog comes from I Dream of Dragons by Ashlyn Chase. Happy reading!

Claire Rees 3/29/16, 10:28 AM  

This is not my kind of story. But I hope you enjoy it
Here is my review

Katherine P 3/29/16, 10:31 AM  

I've been on the fence about this one. It sounds amazing but babies in survival stories makes me nervous but I love the teaser. Do you see my dilemma!? I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of it though. That may be the deciding factor.

Laurel-Rain Snow 3/29/16, 11:15 AM  

Wow, this one caught my attention immediately. Who wouldn't want to know what happens to these characters? Thanks for sharing and for piquing my interest. Here's mine: “MOST WANTED”

Cleo Bannister 3/29/16, 1:12 PM  

Yes this sounds like a definite winner to me, even more so when I read that you could easily imagine all the characters, good and bad. Thank you so much for bringing this one to my attention.

Emma Littlefield 3/29/16, 1:40 PM  

I like the sound of this...the pace and the idea behind.

Alice Audrey 3/29/16, 1:58 PM  

She has my sympathy, but isn't that called kidnapping?

Tribute Books Mama 3/29/16, 2:52 PM  

I don't think this one 's for me.

Kailana 3/29/16, 5:53 PM  

Sounds worth checking out!

Margot 3/29/16, 6:13 PM  

At first I thought no because of the child, but I do love the whole survival thing. I'd like to read a chapter or two and then decide.

grammajudyb 3/29/16, 7:20 PM  

I'd probably want to read a bit more before deciding. But then, as is my usual reaction, I'd finish it because I'd have to know what happens next!

Nise' 3/29/16, 9:34 PM  

Definitely going on my TBR list.

Tea Norman 3/30/16, 9:44 AM  

I like this one. I see she drinks a lot of whiskey. I'm surprised the tone doesn't seem serious. The tone seems very light to me. I would love to read it.

Daryl 3/30/16, 10:13 AM  

sounds interesting ... adding it to the list ...thanks ...

Charlie Anderson 4/2/16, 2:44 PM  

I would definitely continue reading! This sounds like such an adventure, albeit scary and dangerous. I'll be participating next week!

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