Kurt Holland wants the best for his younger brother, which is why he moves Sam to Bridgeport, Ohio. It's a bigger town with a well-known high school. Just the place to give his little brother more opportunities-maybe even a scholarship to college. Kurt hopes his gamble pays off, since Sam's future isn't the only thing riding on it. Kurt's put most of his savings into a new landscaping business there, too. But when Sam gets in trouble for fighting at school, Kurt isn't so sure it was the right decision ... until he meets Sam's English teacher.
Emily Springer is passionate about helping all of her students succeed, but there's something about Sam Holland that makes her want to go the extra mile. When he's caught in a fight at school, she goes to bat in his defense, and during a conference with the principal she meets Sam's rugged older brother-and guardian. Emily has a strict no-dating policy when it comes to her students' parents, but Kurt isn't technically Sam's parent. It's OK to bend the rules a little bit, right?
In an effort to make some friends and find a place in the Bridgeport community, Kurt starts up a weekly poker game in his garage. It's not long before everyone wants in, and they all soon discover that these Friday night poker gatherings are about more than just the game.
Shelley Shepard Gray's new Bridgeport Social Club series is about men who need a place to call home, a community in need of hope, and a group of women who are special enough to help both things happen. This first installment is genuine and heartfelt. It's filled with hope, warmth, and the belief that love and acceptance can overcome any tough situation.
About the Author
Shelley Shepard Gray is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous romantic fiction series and mystery novels, including the Seasons of Sugarcreek series, the Sisters of the Heart series, the Families of Honor series, and others. She is a recipient of RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award.
Tavia Gilbert is an acclaimed narrator of more than four hundred full-cast and multivoice audiobooks for virtually every publisher in the industry. Named the 2018 Voice of Choice by Booklist magazine, she is also an Audie Award nominee and the recipient of numerous Earphones Awards, a Voice Arts Award, and a Listen-Up Award. With frequent inclusion on best of year and annual top ten lists, she is a trusted and increasingly sought-after actress for work across every genre, from children's and YA, to literary fiction, nonfiction, and genre fiction. Audible has named her a Genre-Defining Narrator: Master of Memoir, and Library Journal said of her, "as close as you can get to a full-cast narration with a solo voice." She is a producer, singer, photographer, and a writer, as well as the cofounder of a feminist publishing company, Animal Mineral, with fiction and nonfiction focusing on relationships, love, and identity.
Read an Excerpt
FROM LES LARKE'S TIPS FOR BEGINNING POKER PLAYERS:
Avoid becoming too emotional. Bad bets will happen. Losing sessions will happen. Annoying opponents will happen. Live with it.
Kurt Holland walked into Bridgeport High feeling a bit like he'd just entered a prison. Honestly, who would've ever guessed that visitors would need to have their pictures taken in order to enter a public high school? It was almost as disconcerting as getting a call that his brother — who he was now guardian of — had gotten into a fight and was in the principal's office.
When the call had come, he'd been knee-deep in a drainage ditch at the convention center. That meant that while he had on a fresh white T-shirt and washed his face and hands, he probably still looked and smelled like he'd just crawled out of the mud.
It was not the way he'd hoped to make his first impression, but what could he do? It wasn't like Sam getting in a fight was any better.
"May I help you?" the matronly receptionist asked, making him realize that he'd been standing there for a good twenty seconds, lost in thought.
"Yeah. I'm Kurt Holland. I'm here to speak with Mr. Hendrix about my brother, Sam."
"Oh. Yes. We've been waiting for you."
Kurt caught the vague note of disapproval in her tone, but he shook it off. He wasn't going to apologize for his brother, his appearance, or the fact that it took him an hour to get over here. Instead he signed his name where she directed. "Where do I go now?"
"Go to the first door to the right. And clip this on your ... ah, T-shirt."
Looking at the plastic name badge that proclaimed he was a visitor loud and proud, Kurt wondered if there had ever been a more fitting item to symbolize how he felt. Though they'd been in Bridgeport for almost two months, he and Sam weren't any closer to feeling like they were a welcome addition to the sleepy town than the first day they'd driven up in his truck.
Clipping the badge to the collar of his shirt, he nodded his thanks and walked to the door she'd indicated.
He noticed his seventeen-year-old brother right away when he entered the cool, carpeted office. Sam was sitting on one of the brown-and-orange plastic chairs that lined one of the walls. Both of his elbows were resting on his knees and one of his hands was holding an ice pack on his eye.
When Sam spied him, he sat up abruptly. The ice pack fell away, revealing a good-sized knot on his cheek and the beginnings of a black eye. His expression flitted from disdain to relief to apprehension in seconds.
He scrambled to his feet. "Sorry you had to take off work." His West Virginia accent was out in full force. The kid was nervous.
This was why Kurt had decided to pull Sam out of Spartan. The kid needed a future. He also needed something more than what he'd been getting at home lately, which was a front-row view of their father's descent into grief and bitterness.
Sam was a good kid. Better than he'd ever been. Actually, Sam was everything that Kurt had never been. Friendly, clean-cut. Smart. Really smart. But more than any of that, he'd had their mother's goodness. It shined through his heart and always had.
Kurt shrugged off Sam's apology. "You all right?" he asked. Seeing the kid's face bruised did not make him happy. An old, familiar tension rose in his chest as he wondered what had happened and who he was going to have to talk to in order to make sure Sam was taken care of.
Sam shrugged. Staring at a spot right behind him, he mumbled, "I don't know."
Kurt was just about to ask what that meant when another door opened. In walked a woman about five years younger than his own thirty-one years. She was wearing a black slim skirt, three-inch black heels, and a pink sweater. As his gaze traveled upward, he noticed that she had pearls in her ears, her dark brown hair was confined to a ponytail, and she had dark brown, kind-looking eyes.
And a pair of perfectly formed lips that curved upward slightly when they turned to him. "Mr. Holland? I'm Emily Springer. Sam's English teacher." Glancing toward Sam, her voice warmed. "And his advisor."
"Hi. I'm Kurt." When he heard Sam cough, he tried again. "I mean, it's nice to meet you, Miss Springer. Call me Kurt."
"And I'm Emily."
He held out his hand to shake hers, realized that he hadn't gotten all the dirt out of his nails, and considered pulling it back. Instead, he clasped her hand gently, not wanting to inadvertently hurt her. "Sorry about my hands. I, uh, well, I've been working in the mud all day."
"Nothing to apologize for," she replied as a door he hadn't noticed in the back of the room opened and a slim man in a polo, khakis, and shiny loafers stepped out. A couple with a boy about Sam's age stepped out of the office behind him. The couple looked at Sam then him warily. The boy's face was flushed. He was also sporting a good-sized bruise on his face and his nose looked swollen, like it had been bleeding recently.
To Kurt's surprise, the kid stopped in front of Sam. "Sorry about earlier."
"Yeah," Sam mumbled as the other kid's parents shuffled him out.
When the door closed again, the principal strode forward. "Hi. I'm Terry Hendrix. I'm the principal of Bridgeport High."
"Kurt Holland, Sam's brother."
"I believe you're his guardian as well?"
"Yeah. Our father is back in West Virginia. I'm legally in charge of Sam."
"Good to know. Let's go talk in the conference room, shall we?"
Kurt raised an eyebrow in Sam's direction as they followed the principal and Emily, the pretty teacher who shouldn't have such good legs.
After asking them all to take a seat, Mr. Hendrix folded his hands on the top of the conference table. "So. We had a fight today. I don't know what Sam has told you so far?"
"He hasn't told me anything. I just got here."
"Ah. Well, then, Emily, will you please fill Sam's brother in?"
Kurt didn't care for that. Sam was too old to be forced to sit and listen to some teacher's play-byplay when he could speak for himself. Kurt considered mentioning that but decided it probably wouldn't help Sam's predicament. Therefore, he held his tongue, but he didn't attempt to hide his irritation.
Obviously sensing his mood, Emily cleared her throat. "Sam, I'm going to let you share your thoughts too. But from what I understand, there was an issue in the hall by the lockers. Garrett freely admitted that he threw the first punch. Sam threw the second, then the girl they were fighting about stepped into the fray and managed to calm things down."
Of all the situations that could have brought on this fight, it hadn't occurred to Kurt that a female would have been the reason. "You fought over a girl, Sam? Don't you think you have a bit much at stake to be getting all hot and bothered?"
Heat flew up Sam's face. "It wasn't like that."
"What was it like, then?"
Sam glanced around the table. Stared at the principal, at his teacher, at him. Then finally spoke. "Garrett Condon was talking trash about Kayla." After that statement, he pressed his lips together like that was the end of the story.
It wasn't. Not by a long shot. "You better start talking, Sam. Maybe even tell me who this Kayla is."
"She's Kayla Everett. She's a cheerleader."
"Uh huh?" He didn't even try to hide the sarcasm in his voice. He might be over thirty now but he still remembered crushing on a certain high school cheerleader back in Spartan. But even though he remembered what a crush like that feels like, it didn't excuse his brother fighting over her.
Sam scowled. "She's a nice girl, Kurt. A good girl."
"And someone took a picture in the locker room of her in her bra. Somehow Garrett got it on his phone and he forwarded it to everyone else. Now everyone's seen it. She's been really upset."
Kurt felt bad for the girl. He really did. But even he knew kids were sharing far worse things than that. Why was Sam acting like the girl's defender? "I don't understand how Kayla's bra pics got you and Garrett so spun up."
When Sam's expression turned mutinous, Emily spoke. "Maybe I should step in here. From what I have understood, Sam and Kayla have been talking quite a bit. And seeing each other some, too. When Sam heard Garrett talking about her with other boys, he um, let Garrett know he wasn't happy about that. Garrett didn't take kindly to being told what to do. This discussion escalated, and Garrett hit Sam."
Sam folded his arms over his chest. "Yeah, he hit me. And I wasn't just gonna sit there and take it, so I hit him back." Before anyone else at the table could comment, he rushed on. "And Kurt, don't start telling me that you wouldn't have done the same thing. Because you would have."
Heck, yeah, he would have hit Garrett back. Their father didn't raise his boys to stand still and get beat on by idiots. If he wasn't so stunned about the reason for the fight and the girl, Kurt knew he would have expressed himself a whole lot better.
Now, all he wanted to do was get Sam out of there. He turned to the principal. "Is Sam in trouble or not?"
"While I don't exactly disagree with Sam's viewpoint, we have zero tolerance for violence in the school. Because of that, he is going to be suspended for one day."
Suspended for a day. Because of a skirmish in the hall over a girl. Glancing at his brother, Kurt realized that Sam had shut down. He didn't expect Kurt to fight for him. All he was doing was waiting to get out of there. Though Kurt knew that was all Sam had known from their father, it still hurt. Dad had been distant on his best days, uninterested on most.
Which was one of the reasons he was sitting in this room with Sam instead of their dad.
Leaning forward in his chair, Kurt said, "This punishment seems a bit much, don't you think? Nobody was seriously hurt or anything. And what about whoever took the photos in the first place? I'm guessing it was some creepy girl in the locker room. Have y'all discovered who that was?"
The principal folded his hands together on the table. "We're still sorting that out."
"I hope you finish sorting it real soon, seeing as she's taking secret photos and all."
"Kurt, stop," Sam hissed under his breath.
Thinking about his brother, the new kid in school, getting hit while standing up for a girl, then getting suspended for it, made him fume. So he talked right on through. Looking directly at Mr. Hendrix, he said, "At his old school, what just happened wouldn't have drawn much more than a day's worth of gossip."
The principal pursed his lips. "I don't know what things were like back in West Virginia, but we handle things differently here. It's for everyone's safety."
"Is it? 'Cause right now it seems like the only people who are getting hurt are the ones who are trying to do the right thing."
Miss Springer turned to face him more directly. "Kurt, you see, if we let this go, it could set a bad precedent. We can't let that happen."
Set a bad precedent. Educational talk for they weren't going to budge. Kurt was just about to sign whatever he had to, take Sam, and get them out of the school. A day's suspension wasn't the end of the world. He'd get the whole story on Kayla when they didn't have an audience.
Plus, Sam looked like he was about to start edging toward the door with or without him. He should put the kid out of his misery.
But then he remembered his dream for the kid. College.
A college education could practically guarantee that Sam would never see the inside of a coal mine. Or do half the things Kurt had had to do to get his landscaping business off the ground. Those things meant he was going to have to swallow his pride and do whatever he had to do to ensure his brother's future. He had to.
"Sam is real smart," he blurted.
Sam squirmed. "Jeez, Kurt ..."
Emily smiled at Sam. "Yes, he is. His test scores were impressive. So far, he's been doing very well in my class, too. He's in my honors class. Other teachers have shared just as good reports about him."
Though he wasn't Sam's father, he felt a burst of paternal pride swell inside him. "So, he's college bound."
"Of course he is." Emily lifted a hand like she was about to squeeze Sam's arm or pat him on the back or something. Then, as if she realized what she'd been about to do, she clasped her hands back together.
Her actions were real sweet. Caring. When was the last time that boy had been on the receiving end of a woman's comforting touch?
Far too long.
He turned back to Mr. Hendrix. "I'm not real sure how all this works. Is this suspension going to present a problem with college applications?"
The principal looked taken aback. "That would be up to the admissions offices ..."
"Come on, you have to know. I mean, Sam can't be the first kid who let his temper get the best of him."
"Kurt, stop," Sam moaned.
"The suspension shouldn't come into play for all of them," Emily interjected.
Though Sam was sending him death glares, Kurt asked, "What does that mean?"
Emily looked uncomfortable. "Well, um, Sam will receive automatic zeros for any assignments he misses during his suspension. And some universities do ask if applicants have ever been suspended. But there's also places for the applicant to explain." After a pause, she continued. "And then, well, there are scholarship applications. Some of those might be affected."
Kurt couldn't imagine his brother writing paragraphs about how he'd been attempting to protect Kayla's honor. "So, what you're sayin' is that being suspended could cause Sam some harm. It could interfere with getting into college, or even paying for it."
"Technically?" Emily's doe eyes filled with remorse. "Yes, I'm afraid it could."
Kurt looked around the table. "That's gonna be a problem, then."
Principal Hendrix stiffened.
"It's okay, Kurt," Sam said quickly.
"No, I don't think it is." Feeling for the first time in his life like he was on the right side, he added a new thread of determination in his voice. "After all, I wouldn't be doing a very good job as a guardian if I didn't point out that nothing can interfere with Sam getting into college."
Mr. Hendrix frowned. "I can see that you are concerned. However, Garrett received the same punishment. I can't very well give one boy one punishment while Sam gets a different consequence."
Finally, Kurt felt like he was on even ground. He might not know much about college and scholarship applications, but he knew plenty about fighting and how life was hardly ever fair.
"Sure you can," he said easily. "Garrett threw the first punch. That matters, I know it does. Plus, he was the one sharing pictures and talking trash about Kayla, correct? That seems a lot more worrisome to me. Don't you think so?"
Miss Springer bit her lip like she was trying to stop herself from chiming in.
Feeling encouraged, Kurt continued. "I don't know how you treat women here at Bridgeport High, but back in West Virginia, we are taught to treat women with respect. You might not agree with the way Sam handled things, but he didn't take the picture, he didn't share it, and he was obviously trying to stop it, too. Which, frankly, someone on staff should've done in the first place."
For the first time since Kurt arrived, Sam's expression turned hopeful.
His teacher looked even more uneasy. "Your points are valid, Kurt. However —"
"However, we moved here so Sam could get a better education. I know he's going to get that in Bridgeport. Now, I know he wants to do well here. He's gonna work hard and be respectful of the staff. But my little brother here is more than just a smart kid. He's a good man. If you think I'm going to let him start throwing everything out that our parents instilled in him, you've got another thing coming."
"Of course we don't want him to ignore the values he was taught," the principal said in a rush.
"I'm real glad to hear you say that. Because I really don't want to have to explain to my father about how you're wanting him to throw out his morals just to fit in around here. Our father would be real disappointed if he found out that Sam walked away when other boys were mistreating his girl."
"Of course he would," Emily said.
Sam kind of choked. "She ain't my girl, Kurt."
That "ain't" chewed on his last nerve. "You talk like you're supposed to, kid."
Abruptly, Sam jumped to his feet. He stood up straight and tall. Proud. Looking directly at the principal, he said, "The one-day suspension is fine, sir. When do I start?"
The principal shuffled some papers. "It could be effective tomorrow."
Excerpted from "Take A Chance"
Copyright © 2018 Shelley Shepard Gray.
Excerpted by permission of Blackstone Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Have you ever took a chance? Well, if yes, you'll definitely understand the characters in New York Times Bestselling Author, Shelley Shepard Gray's Take a Chance, the first book in the Bridgeport Social Club series. Unlike her Amish or historical fiction I'm familiar with, this will be my first contemporary romance from the author. So, you can say I took a chance there too. I'm glad I did. Take a Chance is about life and the unexpected, and how the characters journey through. A story that asks readers to dig deeper and think about what they would do if they were put in the same situation. Though not inspirational or categorize as Christian Fiction, the author did not deviate from putting a purpose and theme in Take a Chance. From relationships between family to community and aspects of bullying, this is one story that takes a chance, and I think you should too. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
I feel a little bad for the reviews this book is getting. A lot of the negative comments are based on what the readers expected from the book, which is for it to be like the author's previous religious love stories. They are understandably a bit upset that instead they got a "clean" contemporary romance that included cursing and more amorous moments than her previous books. I'm there with them that when a book is not what you thought it would be, it will usually lower the enjoyment of it. And I can even see why they would expect a certain thing if that is what the author always delivered before. (Who doesn't get a little thrown when a favorite author changes things up significantly?) Fortunately for me, I didn't come in with any expectations and I really enjoyed it. Gray's writing is very smooth, which made for an easy read, and I found myself engrossed in the characters and everyone's lives. There are actually 4 POVs for this story - Kurt, Emily, Sam, and his classmate Kay. They all come across as super realistic and have to deal with some pretty difficult situations. Take a Chance is as much about the Holland boys as it is a love story between Kurt and Emily ... and is all the better for it. I found myself rooting so much for those two as they try to get their footing in a new situation & a new town, finding love and friendship as well as the hope for something better. Things aren't easy for them but they deal the best they can, giving readers a wonderfully heartwarming tale. I'm really looking forward to what Gray has in store for us next. **Review given honestly and freely after receipt of a reader copy. This opinion is completely my own and was not influenced in any way.**
I was excited to see that Shelley Shepard Gray had begun writing contemporary romance books. A longtime fan of hers I was even more excited to receive an advance copy of the book. I mean, who really wants to wait on a book from one of their favorite authors? Anyhow, as soon as I began reading this book I knew I was going to enjoy it. Shelley Shepard Gray was meant to write in this genre. I'm happy that SSG decided to break into the genre with a story about two brothers trying to start new lives in a new state. The story, about ordinary people just living their lives, was so easy to relate to and easy to read. I liked the supporting cast of characters (for the most part) and can't wait to see what happens in their lives. One of my favorite parts of the story was the quotes and book excerpts that began each chapter. Although these weren't critical to the story I found them entertaining and a bit of a clue as to what was going to happen in the chapter. I hope this is something that is included in the other books in the series. This book is a great beginning to a series from one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend it to fans of contemporary fiction/romance. It is a fast, easy read and one I can see myself reading again. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.
I have read all of Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish books and all of her western series which are in the Christian category. When I saw Take a Chance the first book in the Bridgeport Social Club series on Netgalley I knew I wanted to read it because of the author. It was not listed in the Christian category and the reason was the book had quite a bit of profanity in it by the main male hero in the story. The heroine did not curse any. Normally I would give this book a four star rating but because of the profanity I will have to ding it and give the rating a 3 star. I was at least happy that the hero did not take God's name in vain or use the F word. This story involved two love stories. There is recently moved to town landscaper Kurt Holland and school teacher Emily Springer. Also there is the story of Kurt's teen brother Sam and his girlfriend Kayla. I really like Sam and Kayla's story. I love how he stood up for her and protected her when some bullies tooks some pictures of her in the locker room and spread them all over the school. I loved how she was able to cry on his shoulder. I really enjoyed this story but would have enjoyed it better had it not been for the cussing that was not necessary in this story. Thanks to Netgalley and Blackstone Publishers for allowing me to read the digital copy of this book. The opinions are my own and I was not compensated at all. This book will be released September 18, 2018.
This is my first time reading a book written by Shelley Shepard Gray so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was an excellent story about characters who felt real and seemed to have real problems and real emotions. The characters and setting are absolutely charming and I especially enjoyed Sam and Kayla's connection. The poker tips were also a nice touch. I will definitely be checking out the next book in the Bridgeport Social Club.. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.
This the the first in a new series by Gray and is also from a new publisher. I have read many of her previous books which all focus on the Amish. With this book, Gray has switched to contemporary romance. I enjoyed the storyline in this book which focuses on Kurt Holland and his younger brother, Sam, as well as Sam's high school English teacher and senior advisor, Emily Springer. Kurt has moved his brother from West Virginia to Ohio with him and has become his guardian. Sam is very intelligent and Kurt feels he will received better schooling in Ohio which will increase his chances of getting into a good college and receiving a good scholarship. But Sam makes some wrong choices for the right reasons, and Kurt has to deal with parenting issues he has no idea how to solve. I did appreciate that Gray dealt with a topic that is invading lots of our high schools and that is inappropriate pictures of young women being sent around the internet. But my problem with this book was that Gray obviously has switched from clean fiction to very secular. The book included foul language, a lot of beer drinking, and a lot of intimate kissing between Kurt and Emily. Sorry to see that Gray has headed in a different direction with her writing. I will not be reading any more books from this series. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blackstone Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions are mine
This was a very different venue for Shelley Shepard Gray, and I admire her for pulling it off well! Good story with strong characters and a modern, fresh appeal. What I liked about it was the theme of doing more than is expected of you because you are capable of it...you have a right to live up to your own potential without letting others tell you that you can't do it. I was given a digital copy of the book without expectation of a review, but I give the review gladly and it is my own opinion.
Take a Chance ( Bridgeport Social Club #1 ) By: Shelley Shepard Gray Take a Chance is book one in Bridgeport Social Club new series. The author is very talented and I have read some of her other books and loved them. I like to call the main character a hero. He is the guardian to his brother. The heroine was a school teacher and loves what she does. I would have to say it does have some curse words in it that I didn’t like and was surprised by them. This book is filled with love , warmth, and belief. I would say that I would read book two in this new series. I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher, but was not told that I had to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.
TAKE A CHANCE by Shelley Gray. Sept. 18. Black Stone Pub Kurt now guardian of his brother.Sam, 17, a good kid, friendly, smart, clean cut, and now holding ice pack to his face. Bigger town, better high school, he wanted for Sam so they moved. Fight was over Kayla, the other kid had taken a photo of heron a bra, and passing it around. 1day suspension would it be on his record, and against a scholorship for college, he asks.?? Emily , Sam teacher, and advisor, was impressed by Kurt in looks and what he said. For Sam he is telling his brother to back off supervising him, and go have some fun,. Like he did before they moved, fishing, bike riding.. Life and changes , on some things you can’t stay in the middle, other’s you know are right and get punishment from. A friend now feeling embarrassed, doesn’t want anything to do with you, .A good plot of choices, and standing up for what is right. Readers will enjoy, and how the author handled the different issues.Given ARC by Net Galley and Blackstone Publishers for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
This was a beautiful heartwarming story that flowed so nicely. It was a fun and easy read and I really enjoyed it. The characters were so great and likable.
I really enjoyed this story. It's written from four different POVs but I never found myself confused. The story had a nice easy flow to it and I really liked these characters. Kurt and Sam Holland are brothers that are just looking for a better life. What they find is friends, love, and the opportunity to go after all the good life has to offer. This is a wonderful heartwarming story that I highly recommend.
This was a sweet, touching story about family , relationships and life. Kurt Holland has left the home he’s known all his life, so his younger brother, Sam, can get a chance at a better school and hopefully, a scholarship to get into college. Kurt wants Sam to have all the opportunities he didn’t . When he is called to the principal’s office of Sam’s school, Kurt meets his English teacher Emily. Throughout the story we get a chance to see how these characters deal with relationships, obstacles and life in general. As the author tells the reader, “life is a lot like playing poker” . It’s about taking chances because not taking them might hinder us from achiever greatness. It would have been a 5 star if it had not ended so abruptly. I went back a few pages to see if I had missed something. A lot of unanswered questions were left up in the air. An epilogue would that tied up all the lose ends should have been written. I was entrusted this copy by Netgalley . The opinions expressed are solely my own.
I could see the title of this book resonating with so many of the characters presented, and it sure applied. The author shows us that there are so many ways that you have to take a chance, and it isn’t always the right decision. While I may not agree with all choices that are made we are shown a lot of different characters, both likeable and unfortunately bullies. I did like the manners that these southern boys showed. This is a story that made me think that part could have come from the local headlines, especially with the coal mines. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Blackstone, and was not required to give a positive review