Gypsy Girl – Kathryn James

 “The weddings over. 

My beautiful bridesmaid’s dress is soaked in blood. Bright crimson patterning the white. The hem ragged and torn. The tulle skirts missing and the strapless bodice ripped. My tiara is long gone. My hair is stiffening with dried blood, not moose. My legs are crumpled beneath me, unable to move. I’m like a rag doll.”

It started with a fight, but for Sammy-Jo it always starts with a fight. She was a born fighter – the seventh girl to a seventh daughter she was the only one to really get a feel for the fighting gene that runs down through the Smith family tree. This time though she’s hit trouble. The three boys who started on her weren’t exactly just some punk teens on the streets and now she’s involved with local rich boy Gregory she’s got him into trouble too. With the local teen thug following her and local businessman turned bad guy McCloud on her back has she finally gone too far? 

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I love it when books start off with a foreshadowing of whats to come, it really excites me! And that first paragraph, that is one heck of a foreshadowing! If you ever want to draw your reader in thats the way to do it!

I really enjoyed Gypsy Girl because it wasn’t really like anything I’d read before. The author has put a lot of research into the book and you can tell. I loved the insight into the gypsy/travellers culture and I loved the references to MMA because its a sport I kinda follow and I’ve never heard it before in a YA book – or any book for that matter! The story was brilliant too and I really liked that it had that whole ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ feel throughout as you get to know the characters.

I didn’t realise before I started reading Gypsy Girl that I’ve actually heard of this author before as she wrote Mist – a book thats been on my TBR pile for a ridiculous number of years now! Now i’ve read this one its making me want to dig out Mist and read more by the author because I loved the easy-flowing style of the book and how easy it was to get into. It was essentially a crime book with a bit of romance thrown in – which is how I like my books – even though I think the cover, and the blurb, kinda makes it sound like a romance with a bit of other stuff thrown in. The crime aspect is more at the forefront than the romance though, at least it was for me and I enjoyed that a lot!

I honestly don’t want to say too much about this book because I think its best read if you don’t know a lot about it, but I will say that I loved the characters and especially Sammy-Jo and her attitude. Yes she’s not exactly the kinda girl you want hanging around outside your house but she’s got strong morals and she tries to do things for the right reasons. I also loved the sense of family in this book and that that extended beyond blood for Sammy-Jo and the others.

My only downside I think with this was the fact I saw a lot of it coming. I didn’t anticipate the high action fight scenes and the intense way of dealing with things but I did see other things coming a mile off, including some bits that I was hoping wouldn’t happen. I don’t know if this was because it was obvious though or if I just watched too much 24, NCSI and CSI type shows when I was younger! I will also say that I much, much prefer the cover on the proof than I do the cover above, which I believe is the finished cover, especially as I’m not keen on the text they’ve chosen, but thats just my opinion!

Gypsy Girl will be published on May 7th by Walker Children’s Books. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
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