Righteous - Kim Lehman

This had the makings of the type of book I would really enjoy and even the fabulous book jacket held it all together. Righteous, via Ria lives with mother and prefers not to have friends as she feels they complicate life.   It’s her senior year in high school and hopefully, in the end she will graduate leaving these years behind her. Her mother’s casual boyfriends, whom she brings home after work from her shift at the bar, take precedents over Ria. Ria finds herself sleeping in restrooms, hiding out at a nursing home and even breaking into her own high school to crash for the night just to stay away from the drama occurring at home. Ria’s built a wall around herself, allowing a small slice of breathing room for others and that is how she exists. Colt has just recently moved into the area and it’s rumored that his past includes criminal activity. Their peers are split on how they accept him but for Ria, this is one person she has mixed feeling about. Cecile, her constant hammering at Ria for the past few years is finally getting Ria’s attention. Ria’s listening and she’s finally seeing Cecile and liking the girl that’s in front of her.

I really liked some of the relationship included in this novel, as they were complex, emotional, and sincere. The two complex relationships were with her mother and Magda. Ria really needed both relationships and while this is not an emotional book, I was hoping she would get emotional with these two characters as she was adjusting and facing some difficult situations and it had to be emotional. The relationships that she had with Colt and Cecile, I think this is where I lost my interest in this book. The beginning relationship with Colt was amazing and I really enjoyed that part of the book but soon we were jumping through time and things started to get jumbled. She started to act more like a middle school girl and not a high school senior. Her relationship with Cecile, I found that to just like Colt’s. The beginning was great and then all of a sudden, it was suddenly different in a blink of an eye. Flashing back using journal entries she wrote at the beginning of her high school experience we see how her high school year deteriorated, how she feels about her life and we, as readers, understand her feelings. It really had the makings of an excellent novel but for me, it just didn’t work out.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Lucky Stars Publishing in exchange for an honest review.