“Cry Baby is brilliantly written. It’s hauntingly beautiful and heartbreaking and will leave you thinking about it for days afterward. Bravo, Ms. Scott. This boy-man stole my heart and I don’t want it back.”
– L.J. Shen, Bestselling Author
Tristan Lopez is loyal to his brothers. He doesn’t really have a choice, born into a gang that has a chokehold on every kid that roams its streets. He gave his life to them willingly, knowing if he did then one day this kingdom, led by boys drunk with power and ruled by fear, would all be his.
He was loyal through it all. Loyal when prison took his dad away. Loyal when his face was touched by the cold metal of the rival gang’s gun. Loyal even though his mom begged him to run the moment she returned home from rehab.
He thought about becoming someone else. It was hard not to crave the life of a regular 17-year-old. It’s the only reason he stayed in school—to pretend. But he always fell back in line.
Riley Rojas didn’t belong in Tristan’s real world. She should have only been part of the fantasy, one of the many faces he got to pretend with amidst rows of metal chairs and desks and whiteboards with assignments. But there she was, moving boxes from the back of an old pick-up into a house Tristan had shot up on a dare with his friends only a few months before.
Tall enough to look him in the eyes and strong enough to fill his shadow, Riley took up space on his streets, her loud mouth fearless in the face of the gang leaders who terrified everyone else. She pushed Tristan around on the hard court, and she balled better than his friends—better than him
sometimes. She challenged him. She needed him. He liked it. And when her pale blue eyes stared into his, he quit wanting to pretend.
He couldn’t ask her to leave because she’d only dig her heels in deeper. He couldn’t ask because he didn’t want her to go. She was blurring his lines. She was testing his loyalty.
He was falling in love.
And it was going to tear him apart.
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2t69Wxt
I’m hanging my head in shame right now because Cry Baby is my first Ginger Scott read! BUT, it’s not that I don’t have a plethora of Scott’s books on my Kindle, because I do, it’s just about finding the time to read all of the words of so many amazing authors.
I do have to admit, though, that it did take me a bit to get into Tristan and Riley’s story, partly because I needed some time to get used to Scott’s storytelling and the way she sets up the exposition of her text, and partly because I don’t read too many YA, even Mature YA, reads, so putting myself in the right frame of mind took awhile. BUT, I was beyond enthralled by Cry Baby the deeper I got into the plot line and the more Scott developed both Tristan and Riley’s characters, and by the time I read the last page of the story, I knew I had another author whose words and characters appealed to me in a multitude of ways.
It’s clear that Tristan needed someone to tell him he had a choice when it came to the path he led, and while he was always adamant that he didn’t have a say…that his life was already dictated for him at the age of 10 and even more so when Dub branded his mark on Tristan’s skin, Tristan, albeit subconsciously, did crave a way out – one that didn’t result in his demise, and what was also clear is that it couldn’t be someone who was already a part of his life because their voices and their thoughts had already been swirling around in Tristan’s conscience, but it never took hold the way it did when Riley entered his life and refused to be quieted.
‘If you don’t want to try to make a change this way, Tristan, then I’m going to find another way. For as long as I have access to you, I’m not going to stop. This road you’re on, it’s got you so twisted, and I…God, Tristan, I see it. I can smell it in the air when we talk, and I can taste it. It’s so sour and bitter, and I know it’s making you sick. It’s making me sick for you, Tristan. And yeah, I know I have no idea how bad it actually is, but I know more than you give me credit for. I see your map, and I’m begging you to just look at this alternate route I’m showing you. You don’t have to go this way, Tristan. You can turn.’
These aren’t Riley’s words, but due to Riley’s presence, this speech and its ideas took hold of Tristan and forced him to ‘make a change,’ not only for himself but for a girl who has come to mean so much to him in a short amount of time, and while the resolution of the albatross he wears when it comes to the Fifty-Seven gang doesn’t have an easy fix, he still needs to attempt to carve a new path because it’s the only way he’ll truly be able to be his own man and make his own decisions.
Nothing is guaranteed in life and Tristan and Riley learned that lesson at an early age, and while Tristan has never seen a different path as more than a fantasy, the girl who’s heard his hard truths and didn’t run and keeps showing up proves that regardless of how difficult it is to no longer be nicknamed ‘Cry Baby’ and no longer be under the thumb of a deviant and dangerous man, there’s a way out…there’s a different way to go and it’s a way that makes everything he’s ever wanted a reality.
Ginger Scott is a fantastic storyteller, and the lessons that she teaches throughout the course of her stories are worthwhile for readers of any age. Tristan and Riley’s journey is extremely difficult but it’s also incredibly transformative for both of them, and through their harrowing battles…through their challenging decisions, they supersede their environment and the circumstances that surround them, resetting the course of their lives, both individually and together.
4.5 Poison Apples
About the Author
Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.
A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.
When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).
Social Media Links
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