The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Right Side of Reckless

Author: Whitney D. Grandison

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3.5/5

Diversity: Black MC and Mexican American MC

Recommended For…: contemporary, young adult readers

Publication Date: July 13, 2021

Genre: YA Contemporary

Recommended Age: 15+ (sexual content, romance, slight violence, crime mentioned, misogyny, some language)

Explanation of CWs: The main male character (Guillermo) is on probation for some crimes he committed. He has anger issues and there is some violence mentioned in according to him. Regan (main female character) has a boyfriend who is misogynistic and pressures her for sex.

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Pages: 416

Synopsis: They were supposed to ignore each other and respect that fine line between them…

Guillermo Lozano is getting a fresh start. New town, new school, and no more reckless behavior. He’s done his time, and now he needs to right his wrongs. But when his work at the local community center throws him into the path of the one girl who is off-limits, friendship sparks…and maybe more.

Regan London needs a fresh perspective. The pressure to stay in her “perfect” relationship and be the good girl all the time has worn her down. But when the walls start to cave in and she finds unexpected understanding from the boy her parents warned about, she can’t ignore her feelings anymore.

The disapproval is instant. Being together might just get Guillermo sent away. But when it comes to the heart, sometimes you have to break the rules and be a little bit reckless…

Review: For the most part I really liked this book. It was intriguing to me and immediately drew me into the story. The world building was well done and the writing was well done as well.

However, this book kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I didn’t like the inconsistencies with how the author talked about the juvie kids and with what I’ve seen in real life. The book fell into the good girl/bad boy/good girl fixes bad boy trope and that just doesn’t vibe with me as many kids are in the juvenile system because of trauma and other outside influences. Rarely did I see a kid in the program who was there because they liked to commit crime, at least 90% of the time it was because of home issues, relationship issues, or some other extreme issues that were outside of the kids hands. I also thought that the characters weren’t well developed and the side characters weren’t easily distinguishable from others. The book also dragged pacing wise and the book doesn’t have a good ratio of cute moments to angst/will they won’t they. Finally, I didn’t like the romance in this book and I thought it was weird. Regan is in a committed relationship with someone else until about 80% of the book through and then after she finds out her boyfriend cheated on her she kisses Guillermo. That doesn’t send the right message to kids and it makes the main love interest feel more like a rebound than anything else.

Verdict: It’s ok, could be wrote a bit better.