Review: Thirsty by Mia Hopkins

Reviewed by Sara

Confession time! Sometimes I see book blurbs and think, “that’s going to be awful. I can eviscerate it in a snarky review,” and then I throw my head back and laugh like a deranged Bond-villain.

Such was the case when I read the blurb on Mia Hopkins’ book, Thirsty. I don’t know who wrote the blurb, but to me it read cheesy and then the devil on my shoulder pointed to a single phrase, “hipster gringo.” There, I thought, while stroking my imaginary villain moustache, for that phrase alone, I should read and review this book. Cue Bond-villain laughter.

However, and please don’t tell my husband (I have an image to uphold) I was wrong. I really, really enjoyed Thirsty and could not put it down.

Mia Hopkins does a fantastic job telling the story of Salvador (aka Ghost), a recently paroled, gang member from East L.A., who’s trying desperately to find out who he is and where he belongs. While working two jobs and commuting 2 hours + to work every night, he ends up in a bit of a housing crisis. He’s taken in by a neighbor and her suspicious grand-daughter and single-mom, Vanessa. At the same time he meets brewery owner Allan (the hipster gringo!). Vanessa and Allan both see the potential in Salvador and do their best to show him, that he’s more than the mistakes of his past, even while Salvador’s gang tries to pull him back into a life of violence and crime.

Thirsty is, at its core, Salvador’s redemption story. Salvador has committed crimes in his past and he’s still associated with his gang the Eastside Hollenbeck, but through his relationship with Vanessa and Allan, we come to see that he’s also intelligent, caring and sympathetic to the feelings and well-being of others. It doesn’t take long for Salvador to see his own worth as a lover and friend to Vanessa, and his creative and intellectual worth through his dealings with Allan in the brewery. I can’t tell you whether or not Mia Hopkins got the slang or cultural nuances of gang life in East L.A. right, but she writes Salvador really well and makes his redemption very natural without bashing readers over the head with stereotypes and platitudes. As a reader I wanted to root for Salvador, I felt invested in his story arc and I wanted to see him succeed. That’s good writing.

Thirsty may be a redemption story, but that doesn’t mean it’s holding back on the sexy times. This is a hot read. Salvador and Vanessa are unapologetic about the fact that they’re into each other physically even if they’re not quite sure about their emotional compatibility. These two are quite willing to explore their physical attraction pretty much anytime and anywhere they can. I was particularly happy to see Vanessa, a single mom, written as exploring and enjoying her sexuality without any kind of judgement, moral implications or surprise pregnancy plots.

It’d be pretty easy to judge Thirsty based on its dime a dozen cover and god-awful blurb, something I’m 100% guilty of. Happily, I can say you’d be wrong (like me!) and you’d miss out on a great book with dynamic, sexy characters, a sweet plot and a wonderful happy ending.

Rating: A

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Thirsty
by Mia Hopkins
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Publisher: Loveswept

Comments

  1. Shelly Browne says:

    Really? It was this good?

  2. Thank you for the review and rec. I loved it too! I think all the little details that made this story so rich are what fascinated me. And I thought the descriptions of anxiety were spot on. This book was so much more than I expected

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