One Good Hustle
by: Billie Livingston
Received: From the author
The child of 2 con artists, 16-year-old Sammie Bell always prided herself on knowing the score. But now she finds herself backed into a corner. After a hustle gone dangerously wrong, her mother, Marlene, is sliding into an abyss of alcoholic depression, spending her days fantasizing aloud about death–a goal Sammie is tempted to help her accomplish. Horrified by the appeal of this, Sammie packs a bag and leaves her mother to her own devices.
With her father missing in action, she has nowhere else to go but the home of a friend with 2 parents who seem to actually love their daughter and each other–and who awkwardly try to extend some semblance of family to Sammie. Throughout a long summer of crisis among the normals, Sammie is torn between her longing for the approval of the con-man father she was named for and her desire for the “weird, spearmint-fresh feeling” of life in the straight world. Sammie wants to be normal but fears that where she comes from makes that beyond the realm of possibility.
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This review is relatively short for the sole purpose of not giving away spoilers. If i speak too much, I will. And no one likes a spoiler-y review. That will be all. A supremely HUGE thanks to Billie for giving me the pleasure of reading this novel!
So, as someone who has a huge liking for stories of an underdog, I had to read this. I love stories where the girl/guy has it rough, and has to rise above the BS that surrounds them. This literally, described Sammie’s life to a T.
Sammie is raised by a hustler father and an alcoholic mother. Cool life, right? Uh, no. Poor Sammie just wants nothing more than to leave the shadows of her parents behind, but with a co-dependent mother.. this is way harder than it seems. The life Sammie has been accustomed to, also seems to make her more closed off to real friendships, and even to love. She has never really experienced what LOVE is, even from her parents. This story chronicles her journey to what she hopes to be a normal life, and we get to see everything she encounters along the way.
I loved this. Not because it was sent to me by Billie Livingston herself, not because Billie is WAY awesome, but just BECAUSE. This is a book that I didn’t want to end, because I just wanted to keep following Sammie’s story. I literally would LOVE a story of Sammie later in life, and may have to try my hardest to convince Billie to write that book! [hehe]. But Sammie is just one of those characters. You become attached to her, and feel for her. And even at times want to shake her and be like “girl, snap back to reality!”. But, the story ended where it did and… yeah. I can’t say more because that would be giving things away, and I’m simply not going to do that! This book was a five star read for me. I adored it, and that was mostly because of the writing and the main character. The hustles were pretty freakin’ great too! I loved reading about cons and schemes and everything in that world, it was new to me, and I happen to know that Billie got one of the ideas from a real life NY hustler. [way cool!].
Who Should Read This?:
So, I reccommend this book to anyone who likes to watch someone who had it rough, grow up, and try to make it on their own. And also to anyone who likes to fall in love with the main character. ‘Cause, its an awesome read, and I can’t wait for more by Billie!
If you can get your hands on this, please do. Its one of those that you
won’t regret reading and will be uber happy you did.