Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: Single-handed by Veronica Blade

by Veronica Blade

Available as: Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 27 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Crush Publishing
Publication date: April 10, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, romance, short stories

First in the Single Girls series. From Amazon:

Alex single-handedly takes down a bully. A safer school has its perks, but what else did the years of martial arts training get her? Not a prom date, that’s for sure. With only a few weeks left before the big day, can she stop the tough act long enough for the boy of her dreams to see she’s still just a girl?

This is a really quick read, but it's a nice little story with a good message. Alex has set a sort of reputation for herself by standing up for those who are bullied at school. She's put her jujitsu skills into action and stepped in when other kids are being picked on. Guys might be a little intimidated by a smaller girl taking down big brawny bullies, because she hasn't had any guys show an interest in her. But she doesn't want to pretend to be "frail;" she refuses to change who she is or put on an act just so guys will like her. Which is great because Tommy, the cute guy at school, seems to like her just the way she is.

I love Blade's writing style. She writes great dialogue and she gives her characters very realistic voices. Reading Alex's conversations with her two friends Brittany and Laynie, I felt like I was right back in high school, chatting at lunch with my little circle. This is the second work I've read by Veronica Blade (here's my review of From Fame to Shame) and I wouldn't hesitate to read another.

The only thing that's keeping me from giving this a higher rating is that I didn't really understand the confrontation between Alex and Wes, the bully, which is kind of the major event in the story. Alex already beat him once (literally: she had him on the ground with a knee in his back), which is how she got her reputation...but now suddenly a year later, Wes wants to face her again? Tommy tries to talk him out of it by saying he'll be known for getting beat up by a girl...but isn't that exactly what already happened? And when Alex defends herself with a hit to Wes's neck, he jumps back in shock and retreats with his friends. Did he not remember what happened last time? Maybe he needed that first physical hit to jog his memory?

Otherwise, it's a great story. The romance blossoming between Tommy and Alex is sweet and simple, making for a warm and fuzzy read. It's short, but it's the perfect length for a little bedtime reading or to go along with a cup of coffee.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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