Speed of Life – J.M. Kelly

Highly enjoyable read, but the “big twist” wasn’t all that shocking. I think I might have read a spoiler about it here, promptly forgotten about it as I read the book, and recalled it once again once it happened.

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-7-50-26-pmSynopsis

Twins Crystal and Amber have the same goal: to be the first in their family to graduate high school and make something of their lives. When one gets pregnant during their junior year, they promise to raise the baby together. It’s not easy, but between their after-school jobs, they’re scraping by.

Crystal’s grades catch the attention of the new guidance counselor, who tells her about a college that offers a degree in automotive restoration, perfect for the car buff she is. When she secretly applies—and gets in—new opportunities threaten their once-certain plans, and Crystal must make a choice: follow her dreams or stay behind and honor the promise she made to her sister.

Feminist readers in particular will appreciate this strong young woman who doesn’t conform to gender norms.. -Kirkus

Review

Highly enjoyable read, but the “big twist” wasn’t all that shocking. I think I might have read a spoiler about it here, promptly forgotten about it as I read the book, and recalled it once again once it happened.

Crystal’s situation was pretty interesting. I spent a lot of time judging Amber, for sure. This story was a good way to see what it’s like on the other side of the tracks. I’ve never really understood people who dropped out so close to the end of high school. You’re almost there! And… there’s so much more left to do! The struggle between short-term and long-term gain is depicted in such a realistic way here. Yes, people come from humble backgrounds. There’s still pride in that.

I had very little sympathy for Crystal and Amber’s mom and stepdad. Seriously, how did they survive until adulthood? Honestly, good for the twins for making it as far as they did.

Natalie is a bundle of joy. Han, he’s all right. He can stay.

I also warmed up to Stanford boy, but I can totally see why people would resent him. His final scenes were hilarious. I hope he gets a huge dose of reality in university, but considering how his future is mapped out for him, I also doubt it. But that’s okay too. He’s loyal and helpful to a fault, and I’m glad Crystal had him to push her to new heights.

Similarly, that guidance counsellor also created some monumental changes. And she didn’t even remember Crystal! The situation sheds light onto reasons why people don’t end up pursuing their dreams: they don’t have the resources or knowledge, and the system is overextended. But for the lucky few, a little bit of help can make a world of difference. I guess all we can do is do our jobs as best as we can, and help out people whenever possible. You never know when your actions will help someone realize their wildest dreams, and lead them to a better future. I’m excited for Crystal, and hope she has a bright future ahead.

Related Reading

  • How to Love – Katie Cotugno
  • I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson
  • Trouble – Non Pratt
  • Cherry Money Baby – John M. Cusick

Rating: 5/5

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s