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The Tattered Gloves

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Head down.
Don’t look up.
Never make eye contact.

Those were the words I lived by growing up, the words that protected me in an unsafe home. But words are only letters and eventually even they couldn’t keep his hands off me.

Hoping to leave behind the shattered life of my past, I find myself in a boring, small town, with an aunt I’ve never met and at a school I loathe.

But soon I learn, not everything in this world is as black and white as I’ve determined. Sometimes those we are so quick to judge often need a second, third or even fourth time to make a first impression.

And often, there are friendships and even love waiting just around the corner, if we are brave enough to take the first step.

Am I brave?

Or will I hide behind these tattered gloves of mine forever?

First published January 24, 2017

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About the author

J.L. Berg

31 books2,231 followers
J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready series, the Walls duet and the Lost & Found series. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she's not writing, you will find her cuddled up, watching a movie with her family, obsessing over minions or devouring anything chocolate! J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

VIST MY AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE! http://amzn.to/2plf54L

FIND ME ON FACEBOOK! https://www.facebook.com/authorjlberg/



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Displaying 1 - 30 of 168 reviews
Profile Image for Christy.
3,914 reviews33k followers
July 10, 2020
3.5 stars!!

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Once I saw the cover and read the first few lines of the synopsis for The Tattered Gloves, I knew I had to read it. I’m glad I picked it up. It was a beautiful, emotional, heart-breaking, yet heart-warming YA read.
Head down
Don’t look up
Never make eye contact
These were the words I lived by growing up.

Willow Fairchild has not had an easy life. She grew up with a negligent mother and her childhood was not ideal. One night, something traumatic happened to Willow and she moved from the only home she’d known in DC to Sugar Tree Virginia to live with her mother’s twin, Addy. Addy and Willow don’t know each other, and Willow isn’t very open to new people, slowly but surely though, Addy starts to break through.

Willow’s life changes in a big way when she starts a new high school. She makes a friend (Allison), which is great, and gets a job at a local bookstore. A guy from her school works at the bookstore as well. His name is Sam and although their relationship starts out a little rocky, things slowly start to move in the right direction. They become friends. It’s apparent that there is attraction between them, but with Willow’s past, she’s not willing to take a chance on him… but Sam is persistent. He doesn’t push, but he makes it known to Willow that he cares for her and he’s there when she decides she wants him.
“But why? Why me?” His head shook back and forth. “Why not you, Willow?”

What I loved most about this book was the connection I felt to Willow and the secondary characters. Her story felt so real to me. I loved her support system. She went from having no one in her life, to having three people who cared for her, loved her unconditionally and had her back. I also felt the author handled the serious parts of the subject matter and the abuse as delicately as possible. The romance aspect was there, but it wasn’t the focus of the story.

Willow’s story is one of strength, friendship, love, family and perseverance. She’s a character you will root for. I very much enjoyed the story and the way it made me feel. Although I shed a few tears, the end left me with a big smile on my face.

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Profile Image for Syndi.
2,988 reviews688 followers
August 7, 2019
This is a beautiful YA romance novel. Well I guess its more than romance. This is also a story of letting go and giving a life another chance. Also about friendship and love. There is a sensitive subject here. But it is handled very very delicate and PG 13. So I guess its safe (no trigger).

Sam is such a gentlemen for 16 years old. And his name Sam Shepard, its so perfect. He is patient, loyal and have a heart soft as teddy bear. His persistent finally giving Willow a second chance in life. And for Willow she is such a brave 16 years old girl. After what happened to her in her past, she has a fierce courage to heal and finally love again. And lets not forget Addy. She becomes the mother figure that Willow needs.

I feel everything is so wonderful for this book. It is a delightful reading.

4 stars
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,223 reviews8,028 followers
February 7, 2017
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THE TATTERED GLOVES: This is my first read by this author, usually I tend to not read much of the YA genre but something about this book called to me and I’m glad I took the chance on this book.

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This is spoken in sixteen year old Willow Fairchild’s own words, a neglected young teen, a mother with a revolving door of men coming in and out of their apartment all hours of the day and night.

A mantra Willow has had drilled into her head since birth is what sees her through most days

Head down
Don’t look up
Never make eye contact
These were the words I lived by growing up

After a traumatic incident at home we’re introduced to Willow as she’s on a bus heading to ‘Sugar Tree, Virginia, a country town she’d never been to before, to live with her mother’s twin sister Addington, an aunt she’d never known existed. Both thrown together through blood.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I’d grown up in the slums of Washington, DC, and I had the scars to prove it

Willow doesn't trust anyone, through her traumatic experience she endured the only thing that offered her any form of comfort was a pair of knitted gloves, her one saving grace that protected her from the horrors of the world, these never left her hands, the gloves, my armor, keep me at a safe distance from everyone skin on skin, touching another scared her too much.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Cherish your memories, the good, the bad, and everything in between.

She's hoping she can remain invisible in this small town Head down, Don’t look up, Never make eye contact but one thing she didn't count on was her Aunt who had the ability to chip at her walls she'd built up around herself, to two teens Sam and Allison who took her under their wings.

These three became vital to Willow's wellbeing. Slowly she started blossoming, and in the end shredding the one thing that was holding her back 'The tattered gloves' They also became her escape system, because they stopped her for so long of allowing people that cared about her to show her in touch.

I loved these secondary characters, they knew just the right things to say to Willow, when to push with the right questions and when to ease off. Slowly she allowed them to see the real Willow without inhibitions. The author set the pace perfectly in this book, the abuse, the sexual abuse Willow endured was handled sensitively and was just slightly glossed over and not gone into vivid detail. The only thing I felt the book was missing, was life before Sugar Tree, Virginia, I would've loved to have read more in depth of her time endured in the household with her mother.

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Profile Image for Betül.
998 reviews242 followers
February 7, 2017
**ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review**


4.5 stars

I don't read a lot of Young Adult books but the ones I do decide to pick up I end up loving. The Tattered Gloves is one of them. I have read JL Berg's contemporary romance books and really enjoyed them, so when I saw that she was writing a Young Adult novel I knew I had to pick it up. I was hooked from the start and couldn't wait to find out how the story would develop. I absolutely love the cover of this book and it matches the story perfectly.

After an incident Willow is shipped off to her aunt Addy who she didn't know existed, and also doesn't trust. She is in for a culture shock after living in DC her whole life and now arriving at a small town. You can't really blame Willow for not trusting anyone after what she went through. My heart broke for her and I just wanted to give her a big hug and tell her everything would be okay. She wants to fly under the radar and doesn't want to be noticed by anyone, however there are a couple of amazing people who see that she is worthy of love.

Addy was one of my favorite characters in this book. She was amazing and knew exactly what to say and do to make Willow feel safe. Allison, was such a ray of sunshine and wormed her way into Willow's life. She didn't leave her alone until she accepted her friendship. Sam is one of the most popular guys in school and when Willow ends up getting a job at the bookstore he manages, she starts to feel something. At first Willow makes assumptions about him that turn out to be false. He really got under Willow's skin.

I loved each and every character and they all played an important role in this book. Willow's support system was amazing. I highly recommend The Tattered Gloves if you love emotional Young Adult romances. However if you haven't read any YA before, I do hope you'll at least give it a try. Who knows maybe you'll end up loving it. I hope the author will write more YA books because she did a great job with this one. I would also love a sequel to Willow and Sam's story in a New Adult book.
Profile Image for Elle G. Reads.
1,597 reviews774 followers
January 10, 2017
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Romance

This is a beautifully written and inspiring novel! It’s about being brave in the face of hardship. It’s about learning to live again, even when you don’t think it’s possible. And it’s about finding beauty in ordinary things. Honestly, this book touched my heart, and touched it deep. I wanted to go inside of this book and hug Willow, Addy, Sam, and Allison – something I never thought I would actually want to do.- These characters became REAL to me. I connected with them, I cried with them, and I soared with them. All of this was completely unexpected for me, and I am so glad that it gave me these feelings. For those who are looking at this book simply because the cover it eye-catching, I commend you to dive in! Of course this cover is beautiful (it’s one of my favorites of the year so far), but the story is even more beautiful. Not too often do I find a young adult romance that sweeps me off my feet but this one did. But let me tell you, it’s not all flowers and rainbows. There are some serious issues going on in this book, issues that will make you cry out for the characters because you KNOW this happens to people out here in the real world. Perhaps that is what made it all the more real to me… In any event, this is a fantastic novel, one that will easily be devoured in one sitting because it isn’t too long, and one that will certainly open your eyes to real human issues and emotions. Obviously, I highly recommend this novel. It’s a must read!
Profile Image for  Linathebookaddict  .
1,399 reviews380 followers
February 4, 2017
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Title: The Tattered Gloves
Author: J.L.Berg
Category: Romance, YA
Series or Standalone: Standalone
POV: Heroine's POiV
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
HEA: Not telling

I am very picky when it comes to Young Adult books but this book kept my attention till the end!
Willow Fairchild is a sixteen year old teenager who has suffered a lot at the hands of her neglectful mother. Willow is suffering deeply from a traumatic incident that happened in her own home; she was abused.
When her mother sends her off to live with an aunt she has never met, her entire life changes. In Addy, she finds the mother she never had but the wounds are deep and her only protection against her fear and pain is her pair of old gloves. Wearing them as an armor, she keeps everyone at bay. But can she keep Sam Shepherd at bay?
I liked how the book handled the pretty heavy-and delicate-subject of sexual abuse. Instead on focusing on the actual incident, the author used it as a tool to help us see how deeply it can affect the victim.
Willow was a strong heroine despite her young age and even though she was a bit presumptuous and quick to judge at times, I enjoyed being in her head. I didn't fully connect with her but I got her. I loved Sam; he and Addy made the book for me. The book was full of great secondary characters that spoke to my heart!
I would have liked to see more of Willow and her mother in this. Her relationship with her mother was a bit overlooked, in my opinion, and I would have liked to have seen more of her mother in the book; especially towards the end. I think her appearance would have made a greater impact on my reading experience and it would have given me a more powerful closure.
Other than that, this was a different read for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend it.

4 Stars!

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Profile Image for Liis.
584 reviews111 followers
March 19, 2017
While the subject matter and mood of the book is difficult and sad, there is also a lot of hope and innocence about it.

I liked the way the 'move to a new town, to a new school' wasn't turned into the normal bi*ching session in between the teenagers. There were actually more decent teenagers in this story that I've ever come across and I liked it. There're only so many Queen Bs, all clones of each other, that one can read about! One, two tiny glimpses of a potential Queen B in The Tattered Gloves but she was never in the centre of the story and in a way I felt her behavior was succinctly explained as well.

The main character, Willow- you just come to care for her. She's had a crap life but in her new, safe environment she starts to blossom. I liked that she was actually protrayed as an intelligent teenager who saw her faults straight away (for example how she retorted to Sam or Addy in the beginning). I liked that she saw her own mistakes as well and learned from them.

I liked Addy, Allison, Sam and Willow. They 'bounced off' each other nicely. The romance in between the two 16 year olds definitely, with its innocence, managed to bring back some personal memories of exciting puppy love :) Sam came across just way collected and mature for his 16 years of age, but it was not entirely unbelievable and overall- I just enjoyed this little book.

Even though there is the dark subject matter in this book, it does deliver on new beginnings, hope, love and friendship. It's light-hearted and doesn't go into graphic details.
It's about 200 pages of a read, so don't expect to get a detailed report of all the characters with all their deepest emotional feelings- the story feels more like a brief encounter with just enough information rather than a deep probe- and that's just OK, too!
Profile Image for Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•.
2,406 reviews208 followers
February 7, 2017
Willow has not had a story book childhood. She has been raised by her prostitute mother, who never tried to hide her occupation from her daughter. She has seen things no child should ever have to see. She is often hungry and has very little possessions of her own.

As she becomes a teenager she is more aware of being not seen or heard in her home so as not to draw any unwanted attention from her mother’s ‘clients.’ She know she has to follow the rules and obey her mother but one night the hunger pains are relentless and she decides to look for food in the kitchen. This decision changes her life.

Willow is sent to live with her Aunt Addy, a woman she had no knowledge of until now. Likewise, Addy didn’t know that Willow existed and she is determined to give her niece some semblance of a home life, far removed from what she is used to.

It takes some adjustment but Willow begins to enjoy having Addy care for her and love her. She has regular meals, warm clothing and she begins to make friends at school. She is very guarded around most people except for her two friends Allison & Sam.

‘I felt cherished for maybe the first time in my life. I felt like part of a family. I felt loved.’

They say that time heals and to a certain extent this is true. Being able to trust other people is not something Willow has been used to but she is slowly getting there. Until her past comes to her new town completely blind siding her.

The old version of Willow and the new version of Willow are at war with each other as she struggles to deal with all the pain and emotion going through her head. However, there is one person who is helping her see that she is not as weak as she thinks she is. A person that is reminding her how to be brave.

‘And, in that moment, I chose to believe him. I believed in the possibility of love and everything that went with it. Because he’d done the impossible for me. He’d given me hope.’

This was a great heartfelt YA read from this author.
Profile Image for Courtney.
1,621 reviews182 followers
February 6, 2017
4.5 Stars

J.L. Berg I am so excited that you took a chance and wrote in a different genre. And let me tell you, you definitely have a future in YA books. This book is a must read!!!

The Tattered Gloves is another perfect example of why I have such a huge addiction to YA books. The storyline was amazing and the characters are very real and relatable. I can't say enough how "real" characters always plays a huge part in YA books. Alot of times that teenagers are acting older than they should - talking as if they are in college or reacting to things as mature adults. Yes, some teenagers are more mature than most college students, but that's very rare.

Anyway, I digress. Willow's reactions to everything in this book follows her personality perfectly all because of how she was raised by her mother. She is a shadow; she keeps to herself and tries to stay hidden. It's what she knows and how she feels most comfortable in her skin. And then when her world is turned upside down, she stays hidden and keeps her guard up. But slowly learns that not everyone is cruel in this world, especially teenagers. She is strong and brave without realizing it.

Sam is something else. Let me tell you. He's the most sincere, patient, loveable and protective teenager I have ever come across. But he's no pushover. He's got this magnetism that draws anyone and everyone to him. But he himself has gone through some tough times that unfortunately alot of kids these days go through. But he's the one that finally breaks Willow out of her shell. And he does it without ever once making Willow feel scared or being pushed outside of her comfort zone.

I want to say so much more about this book and these characters plus a few others - Addy and Allison. The way J.L. slowly brings these characters into Willow's life is amazing. And it all flows perfectly. Nothing is out of sorts and everyone interacts together so well. They are never out of character or doing something that just doesn't fit their personality.

J.L. wrote a very strong story line. The plot is about a heavy subject but it's not gruesome, which plays into the YA genre. You get the level of intensity that J.L. wants you to have with this book and this genre. She tells a great a story and wrote it very well. And I can't wait for her to write more in this genre.
Profile Image for Romance Readers Retreat.
2,346 reviews216 followers
February 6, 2017
I had high hopes for this book. When a synopsis starts 'Head down.Don’t look up. Never make eye contact.' it kind of grabs my attention, but for me what this book made up for in an incredible story idea was let down by content that just wasn't adult enough for my taste.   I don't mean sex and gratuity , that wasn't important at all, but the event that caused Willow to wind up in Sugar Tree wasn't elaborated on enough.

Willow, a young girl of High School age goes to live with her aunt. From the very beginning we know that something awful has happened to her and she wears a tattered red pair of gloves 24/7 as some kind of coping mechanism. I simply wanted to feel more of her struggle and torment. I just didn't get enough of that to empathise with her. Everything just felt dumbed down.

Sam was a great character. I admit I was annoyed with him at first because in trying to understand Willow and get her to open up, he seemed to be a bit sulky and tried to compare his situation with hers.  His situation was nothing like Willows. Not even in the same league, but he eventually grew on me.

In the end, with so many details left for me to assume, the conclusion seemed a little rushed. It almost felt like the author was trying to protect us as a reader from encountering what Willow went through and that is why I felt this book was much more suitable for a younger reader because I as an adult much, much prefer something with a lot more grit.
Profile Image for Paula  Phillips.
4,949 reviews306 followers
February 7, 2017
I have to start off with saying that I requested this book to read with two things in mind. The first was that I was captivated and intrigued by the cover and the title of the book. The second thing was that I thought it might have been an emotional ugly cry read. I did enjoy this book, but it didn't have the strong emotional ugly cry reaction I had hoped for. This book I would classify as an Edgy YA story and aimed more towards the later teens 16+. It starts off with a young girl named Willow whose mother is a prostitute and Willow is always told to stay out of sight. As she gets older, this is drilled more into her as with this scene sometimes the guys like the younger bodies. We then see Willow being shipped off to live with her Aunt Addy in a small town called Sugar Hill. Willow has never known her mother's side of the family or that they even existed. Willow arrives, and we discover she is wearing a pair of gloves that she never takes off. Right through the book as the reader we speculate why she is wearing them. I have to admit when it was discovered, I felt a little letdown at the reason. The Tattered Gloves is the story of Willow growing and learning to rebuild her life and trust others as now she has people who care about her. The ending we see the final act of her growth, but again, I was a letdown at how quietly the situation in the ending was held as I wanted fireworks, not a sweep under the rug. It was the way that J.L Berg glosses over a lot of the subjects and situations discussed in this book which has made me believe that it would be more suited to those late teens/early adults rather than being placed in the same category as say The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden type story which would be the next level up of The Tattered Gloves. In saying that, though, if you are looking for an Edgy YA story then The Tattered Gloves is the read for you and perfect for those fans of Ellen Hopkins YA Books or The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay.
Profile Image for Bookphenomena (Micky) .
2,495 reviews405 followers
February 5, 2017
JL Berg has truly stretched her writing muscles with this YA. I would say that THE TATTERED GLOVES is the younger end of YA, not quite middle school but only just tipping into the YA genre. Nevertheless, as a woman much older than that age range, I enjoyed this book, it's loveliness, innocence and it's coming of age tale.

Willow is a young woman, injured on the inside. She wears a pair of red gloves and never ever takes them off. Willow was not difficult to empathise with, she held herself so tightly against the world. Willow has come to live with her aunt Addy that she didn't knew existed and she needs to go to a new school.

"Where are you from?"
"What's with the gloves?"
"Are you deformed?"

Reading Willow and Addy existing alongside one another was painful in some ways but I had hope. There were some other key characters, Allison and Sam. Sam, the beautiful boy with the beanie and nicknames was pretty charismatic. Even better, Willow and Sam awkwardly conversed over books in a book shop. The romance was sweet, but the aunt-niece connection really got to me.

"As I watched Addy run around the kitchen, assuring me she didn't need my help, I felt cherished for maybe the first time in my life."

This was a sweet read, slightly rushed to the culmination at the end but enjoyable. I would read more from JL Berg in this category, especially if it moved into a more mature YA narrative.

A copy of this book was provided by the author in return for an honest review.

Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
Profile Image for KristaReadsRomance.
92 reviews21 followers
February 21, 2017
Title: The Tattered Gloves
Author: J.L. Berg
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
My Rating: 5 I want to hug this book Stars!

A poignant tale of abuse, innocence taken and first love.

"But, in our darkest hours, sometimes, even the weak could find the light.
I did, and this... this was my story."

Set in the small, picturesque town of Sugar Tree, Virginia, 16-year-old Willow Fairchild is sent away by her neglectful mother after a horrific tragedy to live with her aunt. A aunt who Willow didn't even know existed. Willow is reeling from the recent attack that left her afraid and seeking a shield to keep the world away. So, Willow puts on her worn, red gloves and is determined to never take them off.

In her new surroundings, Willow is hesitant to make friends at her new high school and form a bond with her aunt, Addy. But soon, classmates chatty Allison & emerald-eyed Sam, break through her walls. They show Willow that she doesn't need to close her heart off to the world. Because despite the bad, ugly things... there's so much good.

Eventually, Willow grows nearer to her aunt & Allison but seems to be in a love/hate relationship with Sam. He makes her feel things she's afraid to let herself feel. And she's determined she's damaged goods. But Sam won't let Willow go that easily.
When he reveals to Willow his true feelings, will she let Sam in? Can Willow see the bravery she already possess or will she give in to the fear & let the man who took her innocence also have everything else?

"Trapped inside these gloves that were supposed to protect me from the horrors of the world."

My Thoughts:
The Tattered Gloves is an exquisite story that I know will stay in my heart for a while. I got lost in Sugar Tree, finding myself longing for that small-town scene. And most importantly, I was immersed in Willow's heartbreak. Learning of what lead Willow to her new home left me wrecked. I felt like I got to really know Willow and I wanted to wrap my arms around her character. I'm glad that Willow had such great friends in Allison & Sam. And I loved how gentle and kindhearted Sam was, nothing like Willow had perceived.

The pacing and character development were on point! And that shocking curveball at the end totally broke me! Didn't see that one coming. I was almost in tears for Willow. But I think the author skillfully wrote a flawless and positive ending!

"And do you see all of me?" I asked with trepidation in my tone.
"I'd like to," he answered, "if you'd let me."

I fell in love with The Tattered Gloves. Loads of heartache, but stunning victory! A very eye-opening story with a beautiful ending. If you want a teen romance that's a tear-jerker, then The Tattered Gloves is most definitely for you! I highly applaud J.L. Berg for this moving, lovely book. It's one I'll without a doubt want to reread.

And can I just say that Sam Shepherd is the model book boyfriend!
He's too freaking dreamy!
"You're impossible," I muttered.
"But lovable? And maybe even a little adorable?"

Yes, Sam Shepherd, you are lovable and a whole lotta adorable!


Profile Image for Rohina .
591 reviews132 followers
February 6, 2017
description Head down
Don’t look up
Never make eye contact
These were the words I lived by growing up.

Before I saw the cover of The Tattered Gloves I had already read the blurb and just by that I was intrigued and my curiosity had been lit. When the cover was revealed, I was antsy to get my hands on the book and just wanted to read about the world that Berg had created.

I knew I would have liked the book because one, it was Young Adult and I'm a HUGE YA junkie and two, it was J.L. Berg. What I wasn't ready for was just how much I would love the book. The Tattered Gloves is an emotionally heartbreaking and heartwarming romance that is beautifully presented to the reader.

Willow Fairchild has never had an easy life. Growing up with a mother who neglected her every single time, Willow never had a childhood worth remembering or ideal in any way. Things had been bad between Willow and her mother until one night, a seemingly innocent night turned into the most traumatic night of Willows life that changed her. Forever.

To escape the trauma, pain, and humiliation, Willows mom rips her away from her home and sends her to live in Sugar Tree, a quaint little town with her mother's twin, Addy, who she never knew about. At the beginning, you can see the push and pull going on between Addy and Willow but you can quickly see that Addy realizes that something happened to her and she needs comfort, a safe house. She needs to have the knowledge that someone out there actually cares for her.

descriptionJust allow yourself the opportunity, Willow. Maybe it will be nothing more than a crush or a world-class friendship. But maybe… just maybe, it will become one of those epic adventures you read about when no one else is looking.”

Willow's life changes drastically. New life, new school, new friends, new job and a guy from school, Sam, who's also the pseudo-boss of the bookstore she works at. Willow's past has made her super cautious of all things and everyone around her which results in her having a hard time opening to the kids her age and a rocky start with Sam.

Willow goes from having ay kind of emotional support and a terrible mother to having three of the most amazing people, who were ready to do anything for her, for her peace of mind. She found a mother in her aunt, an amazing friend she could open up to in Allison and a boy who loved her with everything in Sam. She goes from believing that she didn't deserve anything good in her life to standing up for her life and her dreams.

This isn't just about a girl finding love in a place she never knew existed.
This is the story of a girl who learned the true meaning of family, friendship, and love.
She learned that not everyone will turn to be like her mother or her tormentor.
She learned that she could stand up for herself and fight.
She learned that she could fall down because there was always going to someone there to catch her.
She learned to hope.
She learned to dream.
She learned her worth.

I may not have shed tears, but my heart did feel what Willow was going through and in the end, when I turned the last page of the book, I was happy. I was happy with the way the story ended and was so glad that Willow managed to find her Happy Ever After.

5 Stars!

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*ARC gifted by author in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Jennifer.
2,011 reviews87 followers
February 6, 2017
* A review copy was provided by the author for the Blog Tour *

~ 5 Side By Side Stars ~

FULL REVIEW Now Posted ::
I have always loved when one of my favorite authors tries writing something outside of their comfort zone….and that is exactly what J.L. Berg has done with Tattered Gloves. Let me just say…She knocked this Young Adult novel out of the park. I loved this just as much as her contemporary romance novels.

Sometimes I crave getting away from adult aged stories and all the sex that books have and need a clean young adult novel that brings back my high school days. This book hit the spot perfectly!! I was sucked into this story right from the start.

As with her contemporary romance novels, J.L. Berg gave us an interesting and heartfelt storyline and wonderful and relatable characters. This story does cover a tough subject, but it was written so well that it made this story easier to read. I felt everything her characters did. What I loved the best was that she made feel what Willow was feeling without having to get to descriptive or graphic. I felt her neglect, fear and pain. I just wanted to hug her throughout the whole story. I thought the flow and pace of this story worked well with the storyline.

Tattered Gloves is a standalone Young Adult novel told solely from Willow’s POV. This is a story about learning to love yourself and learning to let go and moving on. Willow is a high school student who has something tragic happen and her mom decides to send her away to her aunt Addy in Virginia. Willow has chose to be hidden and keeping to herself. That is until she meets Sam and Allison. Allison was an amazing friend who wouldn’t let Willow hide herself and Sam was a boy who saw Willow for who she is. Willow and Sam form a slow burning friendship and moves into more, once they realize what they have in common. Will Willow ever find the love she so deserves?? Can Sam and Allison break Willow out of her shell? What happens when Willows past connects with her Present??? Read this wonderful story to get these answers.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is fan of J.L. Berg. You don’t want to miss this piece of her work. Also if you are a fan of Young Adult stories….this is probably one of the best I have read in a long time!!!! Must Read!!! Definitely on for my Best of 2017 List.

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Profile Image for HMS.
1,424 reviews78 followers
February 10, 2017
Sixteen year old Willow Fairchild is on a bus from Washington D.C. to Sugar Tree, Virginia. She was the victim of stolen innocence and has been sent to live with her aunt Addy, far away from her careless and cold mother. Because of her trauma, Willow doesn't like to be touched or to touch and therefore wears gloves all the time. One can guess how that goes over as the new girl at Sugar Tree High School, but Willow is used to being the odd girl, the misfit after all her mother ignored her for 16 years so there must be something wrong with her. Willow slowly realizes that not everyone is cold hearted or nefarious. Her aunt Addy seems to really love her, her new friend Allison pushed her way into a friendship that feels genuine and Sam Shepherd, well, Willow still can't figure him out. This story isn't for everyone, they are sixteen after all and it is very PG, but it has a surprise twist or two and I found it to be enjoyable.

P.S. I did find it thoroughly disgusting that Willow helped her aunt prep meals by cutting vegetables in her disgusting dirty gloves. Just no.
Profile Image for Melyssa Winchester.
Author 27 books238 followers
February 5, 2017

Title: The Tattered Gloves
Author: J.L. Berg
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult, Coming of Age
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Rating: ★★★★★



When all else fails, especially when it comes to reading, I’m a sucker for a good young adult story. The coming of age, navigating their high school and often early college lives, along with the relationships that come along for the ride with all of that, I eat it up.

This story was no exception. In fact, it gave me more than I was expecting heading in.

I’ve read stories by this author before, so I knew there would be issue whatsoever with her writing style, whether it was based on the younger set or not. I wasn’t even worried about having characters with meat on them. Ones that read very real in a world where it’s fictional. I got that, but I also got characters in situations that aren’t talked about enough.

You know they happen, more than they should each and every day, but sadly, fear and stigma and the way people around you will look at you if you do stand up about something traumatic that happened to you, it often times keeps you quiet. It changes you.

And it did that with the lead character of Willow in this story. Along with the comfort that those tattered gloves of hers brought, she also became a shell of the person that thankfully, Sam, Addy and Allison saw in her. She balled herself up tight and it took a lot for her to open up. That’s the beauty of a well put together young adult book. Getting to see that, see what brings the character there but rejoicing along with her as the walls break down and the real girl buried so deep inside herself emerges.

Sure, there was romance here, and it was cute as hell as it unfolded, it really was, but this book was so much more than a romance. It was so much more than a teenage girl navigating her life. This was a girl, a lot like a butterfly, emerging from the darkness of the cocoon they built for themselves and entering the light. Realizing just how brave, how truly strong she was and facing the demons that have haunted her for years’ head on.

It was Willow’s journey as much as it was some of the other characters here and it was a journey that I am so glad that I got to be a part of. I cried with her (even when she couldn’t but the pain was very real), I rejoiced with her in her strongest moments and I feel as though I grew right along with her as well and honestly, this was exactly the kind of book I needed right now.

My thanks to the author and all others involved in letting me read this story before its official release and if you read this review and decide to give the book a try, I hope you find it what I did, or at the very least enjoy it. I know I did and it’s one of those journey’s I’ll carry with me always.
Profile Image for Steph's Romance Book Talk.
2,708 reviews1,286 followers
August 13, 2017
This book started off really slow for me but since I had been dying to read something by J.L. Berg because I met her at Lovely Ladies and Naughty Books Author signing last year in Washington, D.C. I pushed through. In the end I really LOVED this story!!! It was beautifully written in a way that kept me reading even though the story line was very young adult (the main character and voice is in high school). This wasn't just a typical high school romance it was so much more than boy meets girl. Willow's story starts off with you knowing that she has dealt with a trauma that is not completely defined but hinted too, as the reader you are left to speculate exactly why she is doing the things that she is doing. In my opinion, that become the whole point of this book, Willow's journey and growth of self and oh boy by the last 20% I was completely hooked emotionally.

There is a small spoilerish note that I would put out; that if you have a hard time reading about sexual assault or abuse tread lightly. J.L. Berg doesn't get overly descriptive about the topics but know that they may play a part in this story. In my opinion, J.L. Berg does a WONDERFUL job with this story about a very prevalent and sensitive topic. #youarenotalone

Provided as an ARC for a voluntary and honest review.

This video review will be released January 26 after 8 am.

This specific video review: https://youtu.be/XWElQpuogR0

For other video book reviews check out my YouTube Channel Stephanie Uncensored
Profile Image for SELINA.
240 reviews36 followers
September 25, 2020
The Tattered Gloves by J.L. Berg (2020/09/24)
Rating 3/5 Stars
Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own.
TW: Neglect, Rape

This story follows Willow Fairchild who has not had an easy life. She grew up with neglect from her mother and then one night something traumatic happens to her and her mom takes her to live with her aunt Addy. Willow has never met Addy so she is very hesitant to open up to her but after they spend more time together things start to change and Willow starts to trust Addy.

When Willow starts high school, she makes a friend and soon starts to work at a bookstore. She starts to befriend Sam who also works at the bookstore and a romance blossom from there. With Willow's past she must decide if she is able to let Sam in and let go of her past.

I have read and enjoyed a few books from this author and although I didn't enjoy this one as much as the others, I still found it as a quick enjoyable read.

I loved how the relationship progressed and how Sam only wanted the best for willow and how patient he was with her. I really like how in the end Willow was able to start trusting the people she surrounds herself with and let go of her past.
I found the romance to be cute and it didn't take away from the plot of the story. I appreciated the way that the author handled abuse and I loved the support system Willow had.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book and author.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Laura Hampton.
641 reviews35 followers
February 2, 2017
This is a must read! Talk about a book that gives you the feels, that grabs your attention and sucks you in! I have always enjoyed a really good young adult romance and this one delivers on all levels. This is the first book that I have read by J.L. Berg and to say that I am hooked on her writing style is an understatement. The characters are well developed and the storyline is engaging, sweet and romantic. But it doesn't come with out its hardships as well. I felt like I was right there with Willow. Her struggles are like those that real people deal with daily.

Berg writes about Willow Fairchild, a young woman who is used to being ignores, picked on and made to feel not so good about herself. Her mother treats her as if she is a hardship and really pays little to no attention to her. What makes matters worse it the fact that Willow's mother literally brings her work home with her, something that no child should have to see or be a part of. Everything changes one night when Willow decides to leave the confines of her room. Now Willow is just a shell of her former self. Battered, beaten down and even more broken than before, she finds herself on a bus headed to live with an Aunt that she hardly knows. Will she be able to finally let someone in and take care of her the way she have been? Will a new school, friends and a job bring her out of the deep, dark, black hole that she has spent so long living in? Will she finally be able to experience the life that she so desperately deserves or will it all continue to come crashing down around her?

Go and one click this book now! Even if you are not one to read Young Adult romance, this is a must read. Thought provoking, heartbreaking, invigorating, sweet and romantic. I loved the characters and the writing style. I felt a connection to Willow as well as the secondary characters, Addy, Sam and Allison. This book gave me the feels. There were moments where my heart just broke for Willow and other times that I was filled with anger and wanted to take care of her problems for her. Such an awesome, awesome, quick read.

5 Learning to Live Stars
Profile Image for Flavs is Mrs David Gandy♥~♥’.
3,019 reviews2 followers
February 1, 2017
ARC received in exchange for an honest review

Holy Freaking Smoke. This was just

Head down
Don’t look up
Never make eye contact
These were the words I lived by growing up

After a traumatic incident at home we are introduced to Willow as she on her way to 'Sugar Tree, Virginia' a country town she'd never been to before, to live with her mother's twin sister Addington. An Aunt she didn't even know she had.
Willow didn't trust anyone, (after what she went through, who could blame her) so all she wanted to do was be invisible and just go on with life. But she had an aunt and two people who took her under their wing and didn't give up on her. They knew what to say to bring her out of her own world she's been living in and to make her feel again and to live in the real world

I didn't want to say to much in this review, as I think everyone should read this story. It's filled with terrible things happening, about building friendships about finding hope and facing your demons and about learning to trust when you didn't have that before.

If you have never read a J.L Berg book I advise you to read this one. It will have you hooked to this author who will make you cry your eyes out.

Awesome and Inspiring story

Reviewed on behalf of

Profile Image for Brianna at Renee Entress's Blog.
3,740 reviews116 followers
February 6, 2017
4 Stars!

J.L. Berg is a master with her words whether it be hot romance or all the sweet feels. So when she introduced her new young adult romance into the world, I knew I had to take a chance on it and step out of my comfort box.... plus have you seen that gorgeous cover?!

The Tattered Gloves was an emotionally charged story that was beautifully penned, effectively pulling on my heartstrings and fiddling with my emotions. This book took me on a journey that left feeling loss at the end, as these characters wedged themselves deep into my heart and didn't want to let go.

This book... the story... the journey... everything about it was amazing. The characters... the connections.... the chemistry.... all of it just called to me in the best ways. I am so so glad I took a chance on this story and this genre once again.

I definitely recommend book.

Review Post >> http://reneeentress.blogspot.com/2017...
Profile Image for Jenny.
287 reviews3 followers
February 7, 2017
I don't really read many YA books these days, but the majority of the ones I have read I've really enjoyed and this was no different, it was well written with a interesting storyline, I finished this book with a smile on my face and a warm heart.
I hope the author is planning books for Addy and Allison because I'd love to read them too :-)
Profile Image for |Stephanie|.
1,037 reviews33 followers
April 9, 2017
I've enjoyed this authors books in the past and was excited to see her try YA for the first time. While I liked this book I didn't love it like I hoped. It had great potential but didn't delve into the story enough. It was hard to feel a connection to these characters when you don't get to see much of what shaped them. Overall it was a sweet love story with likable characters 3 Stars!
Profile Image for Cocktails and Books.
4,093 reviews321 followers
January 30, 2017
This review was originally posted on Cocktails and Books

We meet Willow as she moves to live with an aunt she didn't know she had. Immediately you can tell this young woman has lived through something horrible, but you can also sense her strength. Beneath her fear and broken faith is a Willow who wants to survive. She wants to belong and feel wanted. What Willow wants, but doesn't voice, is what she finds with her Aunt Addy. Despite looking exactly like her mother, she couldn't be more opposite and exactly what Willow needs. It's with Addy that Willow learns to trust and understand a mother's love doesn't necessarily come from the woman who gave birth to you.

But it's not only Addy that helps Willow. It's overly friendly Allison, who doesn't let Willow's gruff responses and standoffish behavior push her away. Somehow, Allison knows exactly what questions to ask to gauge Willow's reaction to certain scenarios and acts as a buffer to help her deal. She teaches Willow how to lean on someone and know they'll stand by her.

And then there's Sam. He sees Willow. Not the broken girl she feels like, but the person that's lurking beneath her pain. Their relationship started off rocky, but that was a bit of teenage normalcy that Willow needed. They fought, they didn't speak to each other, they found a way to be friends and they grew to more. And it was Sam who knew exactly what to say to Willow to make her realize she was so much more than what happened to her and that people have her back.

The topic of this book could be a trigger for some, but JL Berg handled this topic beautifully. Willow may have started off broken, but she discovered the true meaning of family and exactly how brave she is.
2,019 reviews24 followers
March 18, 2018
I said 2018 would be the year I read books outside my comfort zone. YA is outside this and I would normally avoid a YA book like the plague...........but this story was gripping, different and I wanted to get to the end this time without it being the normal DNF.

JL Berg is a writer I go to when I want a different kind of read. I know with her I will get a well written rounded story.

The Tattered Gloves provided that. There is no sex in this story. It is not that kind of book.

When you read an opening like:

Head down
Don't look up
Never make eye contact

That is an invite, an invite to find out why? What is the significance of those words?

I found out towards the end of the book.

So 5 solid stars from me for the writing alone.

A great story and a recommended read.
Profile Image for kim.
533 reviews41 followers
November 15, 2021
3.5 ⭐️ rounded

What is my TBR if not a good chunk of books that attack my life persevering?

I loved the writing style of the book, especially when it came to Willow’s trauma and when a panic/anxiety attack will hit. The small town felt so cozy. I wouldn’t mind living there. I also liked the fast pacing of the book, especially that the book started with Willow arriving at the small town and then we progressively found out how and why she’s there.

The side characters were some of the best I’ve read in short novels. Addie and Allison deserve the world. I hated Sam at first (in the sense that he bothered but he was still a good character) but then he grew on me was was described as looking like Captain America and ended up being an all-around nice guy.
Profile Image for KathyB .
1,483 reviews47 followers
April 12, 2019
This was a pretty good YA novel with very serious content. The heroine (Willow) has had a very difficult life with her prostitute mother. Her situation is heartbreaking, you can't help but root for her. The story starts with her making a move to a new town.

I don't read a lot of YA novels, but thought I'd give this one a chance. I enjoyed it, but didn't love it.

3.5 Stars

Triggers -
Profile Image for Kate.
332 reviews60 followers
April 10, 2017
Sweet YA read that I won from a Goodreads giveaway. Only 3 stars from me because it didn't really stand out from any other books out there dealing with similar topics. I felt like the author could have written more as it was a rather quick read. The author also did a fair bit of telling what happened rather than writing those scenes out for us to experience.
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