By Ann Pfeffer
Release Date: March 15, 2013
To nineteen-year-old high school dropout Travis Walker, women are like snowflakes--
each one different, but beautiful in her own way.
He can charm any girl he meets, and yet down deep he fears he'll always be a loser like
his jailbird father. As the landlady threatens to evict him and his sick mother, Travis
takes a job he hates and spends his evenings picking up girls at a nearby night spot.
When he enlists in a teen program at the local fire station, he finds out he’s amazing at
it. Then he meets the smoking hot Kat Summers, enlists Kat’s friend Zoey to help him
woo her, and falls in love for the first time ever.
But he keeps the details of his life secret. His girl will never love him back if she knows
the truth about him….
This book was so much more than I thought it would be, and it was pleasantly surprising, an absolute joy to read. This is the second book I've read by this author and I'm not disappointed by her at all. Really enjoyed reading this book and it pulled at my heart strings on many different levels.
We meet Travis as the ever loving player that everyone knows him to be, he will go to Chicks one day and hook up with somebody and just move on to the next one the next day. But no one really knew what was going on with Travis behind the scenes, the one who went home at night to a deep sadness for his mother and a feeling of failure on his own part. No one sees the turmoil with having to drop out of school just so he can support his mom and himself and the struggle he faces daily with trying not to become homeless.
One day he just happens upon an accident, does the right thing by calling 911 and is absolutely fascinated with the firefighters that come and rescue a motorcyclist that fell off a cliff. That one moment changed his life forever, he knew he wanted to become a firefighter, and he knew he would be good at it. It turned out well when he had a chance at trying out and working with firefighters but there were always things holding him back, such as responsibilities, the absolute need to work and support his mother. These were secrets he didn’t tell anyone, even someone he met and finally believed he cared for.
Things had changed for Travis dramatically after this accident he witnessed. Throughout the book your heart goes out to him and all the trouble he goes through, it’s as if he just can’t catch a lucky break at all. If it wasn’t one thing it was another and he was constantly worried that his secrets would be found out. It was a rather endearing story about growing up and realizing that you can be exactly what you want to be and you can definitely be better than you parents were, are or every thought of becoming. Even with his relationship with Zoey growing more each day he still finds it hard to admit the secrets he holds back from her.
This book really goes to show you that if you put the effort in things can happen for you and even if you are down in the dumps, literal or not, there are always people out there who are willing to help. You just have to learn to trust them. I really loved this cover; even though it seems a little cocky you can see a little bit of that lost person in that picture. I will say that the title really doesn’t do this book justice because it’s so much more than him being an attractive guy that girls levitate to, so much more.
Only fifteen minutes since I’d entered the halls of Perdido High School and already the beady eye of authority was upon me. I hadn’t even done anything wrong.
“Travis!” Ms. Valenzuela called out to me from the door of the guidance office. Although she was getting old, maybe into her early forties, she hadn’t let herself go. She had great legs, which were hidden today by her lime green pants.
“Yo.” I loped over and unleashed a grin that combined sincere remorse for my failings with my irresistible charm.
She pursed her lips. “Don’t start with me, Travis.”
I led the way to her office and took my usual chair while she sat at the desk across from me. “New picture,” I said, nodding to the updated photo of her two daughters. “Kelsi and … Julianne, right?”
She struggled to keep back a smile. “Yes, Travis. Those are their names.”
“Fifth and seventh grade, right?”
“Yes, Travis.” Now she was smiling for sure.
Maybe it was my blue-green eyes, or maybe my granite abs, but I could always get women to smile at me.
Ms. Valenzuela opened my folder. “Six more absences since your last visit to my office. Plus numerous missed homework assignments. You’re this close to suspension.” She held up her thumb and index finger a millimeter apart.
“I have to work, Ms. Val,” I said. “Gotta get ahead, you know.” I had a promising position as a bus boy at Jake’s Burgers.
“How many hours are you working these days?”
“As many as I can get, whenever I can get ‘em.”
“You can’t cut back?” She knew she couldn’t push me that hard. My family’s sudden move to Los Angeles in November of my junior year, coupled with my erratic attendance at Perdido High, had screwed up my graduation credits. With all my former classmates in college, I was starting my senior year, again, at age nineteen.
“I can’t get weekend shifts at Jake’s,” I told Ms.Val.
She didn’t like me working there, but she should just be glad I wasn’t following in the path of my father, who knocked over a convenience mart a year ago and ended up in prison for armed robbery. Mom had gone to visit him, but I refused. He could rot there for all I cared.
“You’ve got one school year left to graduate. I want to see you get that high school diploma, Travis. Or a GED at least.” Between her fingers, she rolled a pen. It was the cheap kind the school district bought that wrote for about five minutes before it crapped out on you.
“Yeah, well, we’re about to get evicted,” I said, “so that’s kind of rearranged my priorities.”
About the Author:
Anne Pfeffer is the author of Any Other Night and The Wedding Cake Girl. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.