Kick Push (Kick Push #1)
By Jay McLean
Book 1 in the Kick Push series. For fans of Jay McLean, this book follows Josh Warden, a character from her novel Where the Road Takes Me. This book doesn't need to be read before Kick Push, but the characters do cross over.
Josh’s life changes in the blink of an eye. At 17, he suddenly becomes a father and when his girlfriend does a runner he realises that he is now truly on his own. Without the help of his parents, who turn their back on him and with only the support of his best friend Hunter, he knows that he will need to make changes to give his little boy Tommy everything he needs. That means his dreams of becoming a professional skateboarder are out of the window, and to cement that when he is at his lowest he parts with something that was the most important thing to him before the arrival of his beloved son. But when you reach your lowest ebb the only way can be up, and the kindness of strangers can be a blessing. Little does his know that in one moment, a new beginning will give him the chance do things the right way for his son, and maybe eventually himself.
Becca arrives to live with a grandmother she doesn't know, in a town that she has never visited before. Haunted by her past, she struggles to have normal relationships, not helped by the difficulty she has in communicating and the phobia she has of being touched. When she meets her grandmother’s lodger she falls in love with his 3 year old son and they instantly spark up a unique friendship. But it’s Josh that fascinates her. The love he has for his son and the respect he has for her grandmother draws her to him. So when he offers to teach her to skateboard she apprehensively accepts. Suddenly along with his son, Josh brings a light into her life that she thought had long been extinguished. They perfectly “coast” together, but are they both only damping down the problems that lurk under the surface? Or are they vanquishing them for good?
One word… EPIC!
This is one of those books that 5 Crowns doesn't even begin to let you express how good this book is. I have waited to read this book for ages. If I'm being honest I may have been a little scared because of the rumours that surrounded it. Oh, I knew it would be good; so many 5 star ratings is usually a good indicator. No, for me it was that everyone who has read it say it is a gut wrenching, emotional journey, and I have to agree with that. BUT, this book is so much more than a snot fest read; it is a book that is expertly crafted. It’s not all about emotion and making the reader to go through a box of Kleenex, the author gives us enough light relief to balance the book perfectly. The connection between Josh, Becca and Tommy is heartbreakingly beautiful and she has managed to write a book and characters that transcend the pages and hit you in the centre of your heart.
The characters are so well developed. You fall in love with them very quickly and feel the joys and pain they carry. Josh, what can you say about a boy forced to be a man without the guidance of those who should be at his side in his time of need. His issues aren't as apparent as the ones Becca suffers with, however they are there and they are painful. Becca becomes his addiction and in turn he becomes her guiding light. The hope of a life that she never thought possible. Becca is without doubt one of the strongest, yet most complicated characters I have read about. Her devastating history is just plain sad, but it has made her so much stronger than she believes herself to be. Lastly Tommy, he will have you giggling and for want of a better word, he lightens what could be a much heavier book if it wasn't for his cuteness.
This is without doubt one of the best reads of the year for me, and one that will stay with me forever because of the unique storyline and amazing storytelling. It is my first Jay McLean book, but it won’t be my last. This is one talented writer. I now wait with baited breath and with mascara streaking my face for book 2. If you only take one of my recommendations this year, Kick Push must be it. An outstanding MUST READ!
Emma - 5 Crowns
There’s a single defining moment within every skater.
It lasts only a second. Two if you're good.
Three if you’re really good.
It’s the moment you’re in the air, your board somewhere beneath you, and nothing but wind surrounds you.
It’s the feeling of being airborne.
The sixteen-year-old version of me would’ve said it was the greatest feeling in the world.
Then at seventeen, I had my son.
And every single second became a defining moment. Even the ones that consisted of heartbreak when his mother left us.
Seventeen. Single. Dad.
That’s what my life became.
Yet, every day, I managed to find that feeling of being airborne.
Or at least I convinced myself I did.
But I lied—to myself and to everyone around me.
Until she showed up; Tanned skin, raven dark hair, and eyes the color of emeralds.
You know what sucks about being in the air?
Coming down from the high.
Sometimes you land on the board and nail the trick.
Then kick, push, and coast away.
Other times you fall.
You fall hard.
And those are the times when it’s not as easy to get back up, dust off your pads and try again.
Especially when the girl with the emerald eyes becomes your drug...
And you become her poison.