The hilarious Karin Gillespie returns with her "flair for timing and a cheeky Southern turn of phrase." (Booklist)
"Funny, empathetic, and wise. Gillespie shines a light into dark corners we need to examine, but somehow manages to entertain us at the same time. A fantastic read." – Susan M. Boyer, USA Today Bestselling Author of Lowcountry Boil
The unspooling of Toni Lee Wells' Tiffany and Wild Turkey lifestyle begins with a trip to the Luckett County Jail drunk tank. An earlier wrist injury sidelined her pro tennis career, and now she's trading her tennis whites for wild nights roaming the streets of Rose Hill, Georgia.
Her wealthy family finally gets fed up with her shenanigans. They cut off her monthly allowance but also make her a sweetheart deal: Get a job, keep it for a year, and you'll receive an early inheritance. Act the fool or get fired, and you'll lose it for good.
Toni Lee signs up for a fast-track Teacher Corps program. She hopes for an easy teaching gig, but what she gets is an assignment to Harriet Hall, a high school that churns out more thugs than scholars.
What's a spoiled Southern belle to do when confronted with a bunch of street smart students who are determined to make her life as difficult as possible? Luckily, Carl, a handsome colleague, is willing to help her negotiate the rough teaching waters and keep her bed warm at night. But when Toni Lee gets involved with some dark dealings in the school system, she fears she might lose her new beau as well as her inheritance.
Related subjects include: chick lit, women's fiction, humor, humorous fiction, Southern humor, Southern living, friendship.
Books by Karin Gillespie:
• BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR (#1)
• A DOLLAR SHORT (#2)
• DOLLAR DAZE (#3)
• GIRL MEETS CLASS, A Novel
Part of the Henery Press Chick Lit Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all...
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About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I didn't completely enjoy this book. I purchased it because the description stated this story was clean, which (sadly) it does have sex in it. I feel the author doesn't have confidence in their writing ability and uses sex to help sell their book. Such a shame! She really should try writing a clean story, because I think it would be much better than this book. If you can over look the sex, the story isn't bad and the ending is very good. esk 11/2016
If you are looking for a Southern Chick Lit / Women's Fiction story that has a mixture of sass and poignancy, then look no further, Girl Meets Class is the book for you. Toni Lee Wells is a twenty-one year old Georgia peach from a well-to-do family. Toni Lee was an aspiring tennis professional, whose career was prematurely cut short when she suffered a permanent injury to her wrist. Tennis was her passion and the loss of her career sent her life spiraling out of control with outrageous spending sprees, heavy drinking, and numerous run-ins with the law for public intoxication. After six months of her endless aimlessness and being out of control, Toni Lee's father and Aunt Cornelia have had enough and decide it is time to implement harsh measures, and teach Toni Lee a life lesson from the school of hard knocks. They take away her very generous monthly allowance, her rent free luxurious condo, and credit cards. Aunt Cornelia gives Toni an ultimatum: get a respectable job, keep the job for one year, stay out of trouble, and she will receive an early inheritance in the amount of five million dollars. With a tennis career gone and a college degree in general studies, Toni Lee attends a career fair and applies for The Teaching Corps, an accelerated teacher training program with a goal to secure a teaching job in the local school system while completing the program. She accepts a special education teaching position at Harriet Hall High School, an inner city high school. So what's a spoiled Southern belle to do when she suddenly finds herself on an unexpected adventure with a difficult challenge that could make or break the lifestyle as she has known it? Author Karin Gillespie weaves a wonderful lighthearted tale set in Rose Hill, Georgia that follows Toni Lee Wells' journey of self-discovery. Told in the first person narrative by Toni Lee, the reader follows the sassy young lady's adventure into a side of life that she wasn't born and raised in, it's a journey that will open her eyes to what is really important, and teach her a lesson that will ultimately change her life. I really enjoyed the intertwining of humor and poignancy in the storyline, you can't help but get caught up in Toni Lee's journey as this spoiled young lady learns about the world outside the privileged community that she has grown up in. I really was not a fan of Toni Lee in the beginning of the story, but I did grow to like her as she made a transformation when she encountered the challenges and issues at the inner-city school. I really enjoyed how the author utilized her previous experience as a high school special education teacher to weave a story that is realistic and touches upon the challenges of the inner-city school system and social issues, yet also shows how passionate special education teachers really are. Girl Meets Class is an entertaining feel-good story that will leave a smile on your face. Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Dollycas’s Thoughts This is my first Karen Gillespie read but it sure won’t me my last! If was good to stray from the mystery genre for this fantastic story! Toni Lee Wells is what I would call an adult spoiled brat at the beginning of this story. Her pro tennis career is over due to an injury and her family is rich so she has no worries. Life is easy and free and fun until she gets arrested one to many times for her father and especially her Aunt Cornelia who controls the purse strings. She cuts Toni Lee off without a cent and gives her an ultimatum – get a job, keep it for a year, follow all my other rules and I will give you 5 million dollars. Fail and you are your own. Toni Lee does have a college degree but no job experience so she hooks up with a Teacher Corps program. She is excited thinking teaching is such an easy job until she arrives for her first day at a school that is underfunded and full of underprivileged kids. The kids are more street smart than book smart and her first days are not easy. But she meets Carl, a teacher with plenty of experience and pretty easy on the eyes. Her life is not smooth sailing though. Being new Toni Lee finds herself in the middle of some shady dealings at the school and not everyone is thrilled as her relationship with Carl escalates. Then there is Aunt Cornelia’s rules hanging over her head. I have to say I didn’t really like Toni Lee at the start of the story. She really had no concerns, she could do almost anything and her family would bail her out. She was helping a friend pay some bills but I thought she was pretty self centered. I applauded her aunt cutting off but leaving the 5 million dangling didn’t sit well with me. Then the teacher twist happened and Toni started to evolve and I began to like her and wanted to see her succeed. The part of the story that really grabbed me though was the school and the corruption. In Wisconsin, right now we have a Governor that is a war with teachers and public education. School budgets are cut to the bone and nationwide there is a shortage of teachers. Wisconsin has taken things beyond the Teacher Corps in the story by deregulating teacher licensing standards. So if you think things that happened in this school are far fetched I can tell you they are not. In fact they are worse. Gillespie also features an interracial couple in Girl Meets Class. This adds a whole under layer to the story. The words of a few characters made my skin crawl but this is still a hot topic in America which is just infuriating. This is a very fast read with some heavy themes but Gillespie has a way of writing that keeps the importance of the topics but they have a lighter feel while enlightening the reader. She adds Southern charm and humor in exactly the right amounts and places. I love that most of the characters grown throughout the whole story. A very smart novel. I highly recommend.
I have become quite a fan of Henery Press, having discovered some really awesome authors through them. So when I got the chance to try another author, I didn't even think twice, but signed right up. I really should have taken a minute to have read the fine print. I was looking forward to another fantastic cozy mystery, and what I got was Southern Chick Lit. Not that there's anything wrong with that mind, it just took a bit for me to figure out that no dead body was going to show up anytime soon. (Yeah, I am apparently slow like that. *facepalm*) Now, I am going to be very blunt and tell you that in the beginning, I didn't like Toni Lee. As a matter of fact, there came a point in the book where I put it down and stepped away from it; it just wasn't doing it for me... (Yes, that was also shortly after I realized that at about halfway through, no one was going to end up dead and that this was not the genre I had been anticipating.) However... See, I thought about it, and decided to go back in and give the book a little bit longer, without my brain being stuck in "cozy" mode. And the next thing I knew, I was hooked into the story. It started to pull at me and I became committed to finding out just what was going on at the school... Just like Toni Lee herself finally did. I can't say that I ended up bonding with her character. After all, she was a real piece of work there for awhile. But I can say that by the end, I feel she was both redeemable and redeemed. I could concede that there were some valid reasons to how she ended up the way she did. Here was a character who had true growth during the course of the story and I could be happy for her happy ending. Needless to say, I was torn about a rating until I realized that the author took a character that I actively didn't like and turned her into someone I was cheering for at the end. For me, that is the mark of a great author and a good read. I would read this author again. I gave this 3 'I Liked It' stars. I Thanks to Great Escapes, Netgalley and Henery Press for the opportunity to read and review the book.
I enjoyed this Southern Romance. The characters are very likable and the couple is worth rooting for. There are some scenes that are laugh out loud funny. On the other hand some of the scenes are rather unlikely. Read this for a quick enjoyable lighthearted Romance.
4.5 stars! I loved the beginning of this book! "Where's that traveling violin man when you need him?" HA! Then, it started getting into the bulk of the story and started getting onto a more serious note which was still very good for me. The writing was good, the characters were well developed, sex was implied, and violence was hinted at or basically described. I would love the opportunity to inherit $5 million dollars if I could hold down a job for a year, but I would not want to teach in an inner city school. Anyways, this is a lighthearted take on that proposal. It does touch on some of the issues that an inner city school would have but it's only basic and handled in a pc manner. Thanks Henery Press and Net Galley for allowing me to read and review this delightfully entertaining and enjoyable e-galley. I highly recommend it!