Reviewed by Janell
This is a poor-girl-meets-rock-star story, but it didn’t entirely work for me. Cass lives in a trailer park with her mother and her boyfriend who are both drug addicts. Cass works as a waitress at the diner across the street. She makes just enough money to buy beer and tuna fish, and anything extra she hides so that one day she can move out. Her boyfriend, Jax, used to be protective and nice before the drugs changed him and he started beating her up. Her mother used to call her a princess but now she’s passed out all day.
One night, Tucker White waltzes into the diner and calls Cass sweetheart. She’s not into random guys flirting with her, but Tucker comes back again and says nice things to her, making her believe he’s actually a good guy. Tucker is the lead singer in a band that’s on tour and about to hit the big time, but Cass doesn’t know that at first.
Tucker’s motivations weren’t clear to me. I get that he flirts with a pretty waitress, and I get that he sees her bruises and her crappy boyfriend and wants to protect her, but I had a hard time finding any feelings beyond that, beyond his wanting to be the knight on a white horse. He tells Cass a few stories about his childhood so that she’ll relate to him, but then I was confused about whether he wanted to settle down with a woman or be a rock star, because he didn’t seem to say much about his band.
Cass sneaks away from her trailer a few times to see Tucker in concert, and one night he takes her to his hotel and they have unprotected sex. Yeah, both of them were so caught up in the romance that neither one considered protection. They didn’t even say, “oops,” afterwards, it just wasn’t ever mentioned. That bugged me.
I was also bothered by the choices Cass made. The story is told from her first-person point of view, and she goes back and forth between “I deserve this horrible life and I shouldn’t let Tucker get involved with me,” or “I need to escape this horrible life and I deserve the fantasy with Tucker.” She made a few too many stupid, “he’s better off without me” decisions.
The drama at the end was over-the-top, but I could have enjoyed it if it came with more character interaction and relationship building. Instead it almost rushed past, and then they were back together and Cass’s reservations were suddenly gone.
Overall this was too up-and-down for me. I like the concept, and there were some good moments, but Cass’s martyrdom got annoying and Tucker’s loyalty and love seemed to be based on nothing more than Cass’s sad eyes and bruises.
White Trash Beautifulby Teresa MummertOriginal Release Date: September 19, 2012Re-Release Date: July 9, 2013Publisher: Gallery Books