Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Girls Love Travis Walker by Anne Pfeffer. The tour is hosted by Reading Addiction Blog Tours. You can visit all the stops on the tour here. My stop today features and review and excerpt.
irls Love Travis Walker
by Anne Pfeffer
Published March 15, 2013
To nineteen-year-old high school dropout Travis Walker, women are like snowflakes--each one different, but beautiful in her own way.
He can charm any girl he meets, and yet down deep he fears he'll always be a loser like his jailbird father. As the landlady threatens to evict him and his sick mother, Travis takes a job he hates and spends his evenings picking up girls at a nearby night spot.
When he enlists in a teen program at the local fire station, he finds out he’s amazing at it. Then he meets the smoking hot Kat Summers, enlists Kat’s friend Zoey to help him woo her, and falls in love for the first time ever.
But he keeps the details of his life secret. His girl will never love him back if she knows the truth about him….
My Thoughts: When I saw the cover and read the title of this book, I was sold. What I thought was going to be just another lighthearted read was anything but. Yes, Travis Walker is quite the playboy and smoking hot. The girls do love him, they just can't help themselves. Even the high school principal is taken with him. Underneath it all, he is really a great guy, which is revealed as the book progresses and as Travis has to deal with some things no one his age should ever have to face. What starts out as a fun read turns into so much more. Travis' story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Travis' father is in jail, so it's just him and his mom on their own. Things are really tough for Travis and his mom, so tough that Travis has to drop out of school to find a job just so he and his mom won't be evicted from their apartment. When his mom loses her job, becomes ill, and sinks into a deep depression, all the burden falls on Travis' shoulders. He finds a job clearing brush in the morning and the late afternoon. He also helps at a soup kitchen during the middle of the day, something he volunteered for mainly because of a cute girl, and secondly to be able to feed him mom. Travis also find himself participating in The Discovery Program from the Fire Department, a program for teens who are interested in becoming firefighters. Not only does he love it, he is at the top of his class. While working at the soup kitchen, he gets to know Zoey, who runs the project and plans to be a social worker, and for the first time in his life becomes interested in more than just getting into a girls pants. Things get worse financially and his mom's health declines, but Travis doesn't want people feeling sorry for him. Travis is determined not to never be like one of the people that they help in the soup kitchen. His pride prevents him for telling those who could really help him about his situation, which could also wind up costing him everything he's working for..... his family, his job, his home, and even Zoey.
I loved Travis. I enjoyed watching his character mature as the book progressed. He was a total hottie for sure, but he also turned out to be an amazing guy. My heart broke for the things he went through, things I definitely wasn't expecting. The story is told from Travis' point of view, which I really loved. I liked Zoey's character, but did want to pop her a few times for the way she acted. It was eyeopening to see how judgmental people could based on assumptions, without really getting to know the people they were making the assumptions about. People made assumptions about Travis because he was popular and the girls loved him that weren't true. Granted, he made a lot of mistakes, but he also wanted to do things right and desired to be a good and honest person. What he had to go throughout in the latter portion of the story absolutely broke my heart, but Anne Pfeffer ends the story really well and I was very happy with the ending. Overall, what started out as a lighthearted fun read ended up turning into a really great one, one that sheds light on some social issues that anyone could wind up finding themselves in. Girls Love Travis Walker wound up being so much more than I expected and I would definitely recommend it.
Excerpt from Girls Love Travis Walker by Anne Pfeffer
Only fifteen minutes since I’d entered the halls of Perdido High School and already the beady eye of authority was upon me. I hadn’t even done anything wrong.
“Travis!” Ms. Valenzuela called out to me from the door of the guidance office. Although she was getting old, maybe into her early forties, she hadn’t let herself go. She had great legs, which were hidden today by her lime green pants.
“Yo.” I loped over and unleashed a grin that combined sincere remorse for my failings with my irresistible charm.
She pursed her lips. “Don’t start with me, Travis.”
I led the way to her office and took my usual chair while she sat at the desk across from me. “New picture,” I said, nodding to the updated photo of her two daughters. “Kelsi and … Julianne, right?”
She struggled to keep back a smile. “Yes, Travis. Those are their names.”
“Fifth and seventh grade, right?”
“Yes, Travis.” Now she was smiling for sure.
Maybe it was my blue-green eyes, or maybe my granite abs, but I could always get women to smile at me.
Ms. Valenzuela opened my folder. “Six more absences since your last visit to my office. Plus numerous missed homework assignments. You’re this close to suspension.” She held up her thumb and index finger a millimeter apart.
“I have to work, Ms. Val,” I said. “Gotta get ahead, you know.” I had a promising position as a bus boy at Jake’s Burgers.
“How many hours are you working these days?”
“As many as I can get, whenever I can get ‘em.”
“You can’t cut back?” She knew she couldn’t push me that hard. My family’s sudden move to Los Angeles in November of my junior year, coupled with my erratic attendance at Perdido High, had screwed up my graduation credits. With all my former classmates in college, I was starting my senior year, again, at age nineteen.
“I can’t get weekend shifts at Jake’s,” I told Ms.Val.
She didn’t like me working there, but she should just be glad I wasn’t following in the path of my father, who knocked over a convenience mart a year ago and ended up in prison for armed robbery. Mom had gone to visit him, but I refused. He could rot there for all I cared.
“You’ve got one school year left to graduate. I want to see you get that high school diploma, Travis. Or a GED at least.” Between her fingers, she rolled a pen. It was the cheap kind the school district bought that wrote for about five minutes before it crapped out on you.
“Yeah, well, we’re about to get evicted,” I said, “so that’s kind of rearranged my priorities.”
About the Author:
Anne Pfeffer is the author of Any Other Night and The Wedding Cake Girl.
She lives in Los Angeles, CA.