Nico Medina’s world is eleven miles away from mine. During the day, it’s a place where doors are open—where homes are lived in, and neighbors love. But when the sun sets, it becomes a place where young boys are afraid, where eyes watch from idling cars that hide in the shadows and wicked smoke flows from pipes.
West End is the kind of place that people survive. It buries them—one at a time, one way or another. And when Nico was a little boy, his mom always told him to run.
I’m Reagan Prescott—coach’s daughter, sister to the prodigal son, daughter in the perfect family.
Life on top.
My world is the ugly one. Private school politics and one of the best high school football programs in the country can break even the toughest souls. Our darkness plays out in whispers and rumors, and money and status trump all. I would know—I’ve watched it kill my family slowly, strangling us for years.
In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.
I hated him before I needed him.
I fell for him fast.
I loved him when it was almost too late.
When two ugly worlds collide, even the strongest fall. But my world…it hasn’t met the boy from West End.
I look over my shoulder when I walk home from school. If the sun is setting, I run.
As a lot of you might know, I am a sucker for YA/NA love stories. A few weeks ago I was searching for some good YA books and so my partner in crime @thebiblioteque recommended me reading The Hard Count by Ginger Scott.
I was really looking forward to a sports romance because I’ve always loved reading (and watching) High School stories and after finishing school I love them even more because they remind me of my school years (even if mine haven’t been THIS exciting at all).
Anyway! The Hard Count isn’t just a sports romance. So if you don’t like those, please don’t put the book away. It’s so much more. It’s about friendship, family, love and diversity.
I loved that the book wasn’t about the main character who has to find herself and wants to start living a better life. It’s about her love for Nico. Even though the book is only written from Reagan’s point of view, Nico’s story comes across perfectly and the reader gets the perfect imagination of his feelings, his thoughts and what an awesome person he is.
Loving you – it makes me feel alive.
He is nice, sweet, smart, mature and just exactly how a perfect book boyfriend has to be. Even though he was successful in football and his character sometimes fulfilled the stereotyped – YA – male character – qualities he was definitely never too much. He did and said the perfect things in the right moments. I loved how he acted with his feelings toward Reagan and how he handled his situation. Nico hasn’t had an easy childhood but he never gave up. And everything is not presented in a cheesy way but in a real way. The story felt real.
I wouldn’t care if you were green. Me liking you…you liking me. That’s kind of our deal, and that’s all that matter, okay?
I immediately realized that Reagan wasn’t like the normal YA female – character. Not only because the story was mostly about Nico but because she was so strong. She was self confident but not too much. She was smart but not the way that it annoys you. She was able to stand up for herself. Reagan just had the perfect balance. That kind of balance that felt real. Not too much from either side. Just right.
Another important point of The Hard Count is the message Ginger Scott wanted to bring across. Nico and Reagan are from different worlds. Reagan always lived a good life with her parents being successful, having a nice home and no visible problems. Nico didn’t have such a life. He grew up in West End. Always afraid.
Nevertheless, Reagan and Nice are the same. They went to the same school, they both had a goal and they both love each other. It doesn’t matter at which place a person grew up, which skin color they have or which language they speak. We’re different and that is good. Because that makes us individuals. That makes us us.
Reagan, your world…Nico’s world…same fuckin’ world. You come from different parts, but who cares? You meet in the middle.
Don’t let someone else dictate how your heart feels about someone.
All in all I would say that The Hard Count is a perfect YA book. And not just a love story. It’s more. It’s like real life and that is exactly what everyone has to read!