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Twin River High #1

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Star football player Jace Rovers has a secret. And not just any secret—a shocking secret… He writes romance. The kind with swords. And dresses. And kissing.

Nobody knows. Not the other kids at Twin River High. Not his overbearing parents. And certainly not the millions of fans who’ve read his book on the writing platform Scribbles. And that’s the way he plans to keep it.

Except suddenly one of the other football players grabs his notebook in jest and starts reading a kissing scene out loud…and Jace knows he’s busted.

But then McKenna Storm, resident goth girl who avoids the spotlight like a virus, snatches up the notebook and tells everyone she's the author. And lucky for Jace, she later agrees to continue the ruse...for a price.

Heck, he'd give her anything not to reveal his secret. But when they start to fall for each other, he knows he'll have to keep the biggest secret of all—his darkest character is based on her…

294 pages, ebook

Published May 10, 2021

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About the author

Lynn Rush

34 books915 followers
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author, Lynn Rush, is a full-time writer, wife, and trail runner living in the Sonoran Desert, despite her fear of rattlesnakes. Known as #TheRunningWriter, Lynn can’t resist snapping epic sunrise pictures while running in the desert with her trail sisters, even if she has to occasionally hop a scorpion.

When she’s not running or writing, she’s watching movies that fuel her everlasting love of superheroes, vampires, and all things Supernatural. The books she reads usually carry the same theme, but this former college athlete loves reading sweet sports romances as well.

She’s madly in love with her Ironman husband of 20+ years who is the inspiration for what true love is. You can find her on social media as @LynnRushWrites and her website is: www.lynnrush.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 136 reviews
Profile Image for Sofie |.
243 reviews152 followers
May 22, 2021


It’s a romance fantasy story? Holy shit, Jocktastic Jace Rovers writes books with make-out scenes?

Thank you NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the eARC for review!

When McKenna and Jace collide in the hallway and accidentally swap notebooks, McKenna discovers his biggest secret: He’s the author of Kingdom of Swords, one of the most popular fantasy romance stories on Scribble, a self-publishing platform. Fine. McKenna can keep a secret. Only when they go to switch their notebooks back and Jace’s jackass jock friends swipe his notebook out of his hands, she steps in and says it’s hers. And now everyone and their mother thinks SHE’S the Author. Now the two must work together to keep up the ruse or risk Jace being outed as the real author. And the more time they spend together, the closer they become. But Jace has one more secret: he based his book’s Big Bad on McKenna.

This is quite the original plot! When I read the blurb for Gutter Girl, I instantly knew I had to get my hands on it. And it’s exactly what it promises to be: cheesy, adorable, fluffy, and quick. We get some great examples of consent, both within the romance AND the friendships (everyone seems very aware of McKenna’s bubble and never crosses it without asking, which is lovely).

Still, despite the obviously more adult content - swearing, references to sex, mental illness, etc - I found the writing style a bit young. Like, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, young. All very surface level. Even the moments when our characters were dealing with deeper themes, like McKenna’s mother’s illness and Jace’s school issues, didn’t feel like they had much introspection. It was all tell, no show. I wish we could have delved a little deeper into the very prevalent and emotional issues that both characters were dealing with, but it just never got there.

Look, not every relationship is going to start rocky. But the “Damn, [they’re] hot” count is off the charts. Before these two even really know each other, that’s all they say in their inner dialogue. Seriously, more than once a chapter, readers are reminded of just hot attractive these characters are. Which is fine, but it once again lends itself to be incredibly straightforward. Nothing is implied. And honestly, things did feel a bit too easy. I would have loved to see some reluctant tension in their “friendship”, since the two are basically forced together because of their ruse. Even McKenna’s initial distrust of Jace felt flimsy, because every second sentence she’s remarking to herself how hot he is, how she used to have a crush on him in the third grade, how he makes her insides flutter. I feel the entire story could have been stronger with a deeper arc for them as a couple.

Even the stakes didn’t hit that deep. Jace keeps talking about his father’s disapproval of football, of his writing, but we never actually see that. The only times we see his dad are the two(?) times he asks Jace about his college applications. And, yes, we see his peers at school be assholes to McKenna - though most love her when they think she is the author of Kingdom of Swords - and obviously Jace is insecure about being a teen boy who write fantasy romance, but we’re never really shown these stakes; again, they are told to us, and never feel that serious.

And did we need the Anna Todd shout out? Absolutely not. We really don’t need to pretend that After was any good, even if we are comparing Scribbles to Wattpad and Jace to Todd’s breakout success.

But let’s not forget the good. We have a strong female character who doesn’t give a rat's ass what people think about her, who steps up for a classmate in trouble even though they haven’t spoken in years (even if it is because of her 3rd grade crush). We have characters with clear boundaries and everyone always respects consent. We have a great brother/sister relationship with one of the cutest little sister characters. We have teenagers who know how to apologize when they are in the wrong (with the exception of a few asshole jocks).

In any case, this was still an enjoyable read! I always appreciate a dual POV book. I’m sure we’ll see a McKenna/Jace cameo in book 2!
Profile Image for Kasia (kasikowykurz).
1,280 reviews31 followers
December 3, 2022
Czy ja zaczęłam tą serię od środka? Absolutnie, ale w niczym mi to nie przeszkadzało, bo każda z tych historii dzieje się w tym samym liceum, ale są ze sobą bardzo luźno powiązane. Bawiłam się wyśmienicie! Podobała mi się każda sekunda tej książki, wywołała mnóstwo uśmiechów i nawet wzruszyła. Jest słodka, urocza, napisana prostym językiem, a duet lektorów to czyste złoto. W tym wszystkim porusza ważne tematy, jak choroba psychiczna w rodzinie, czy walka o własne ja, ale nie przytłacza i nie zasmuca.

Totalny comfort read <3
Profile Image for Rashi Malik .
198 reviews101 followers
December 31, 2021
I've lowered the rating BC i don't remember this book
This is a book I had absolutely no expectations from. I saw it and since I didn't have any other book at hand I decided to read it. I'm glad I read it, this is a gem that deserves more attention. It isn't perfect but it's not bad either.

I struggled with the writing for 2-3 pages but then I got used to it and started enjoying it.

With a little more attention to character development this could have been one of the best books ever.

Full rtc
Profile Image for Jessica Reads It.
547 reviews30 followers
May 5, 2021
Invisible girl, a supportive best guy friend, and a secret crush on a popular hot footballer who happens to write fantasy romance in his spare time- hello recipe for absolute messy perfection! I am here for the high school smackdown teen drama and I don’t care who knows it!

Gutter girl covers very relevant themes such as stereotyping, stigmatisms related to mental illness, bullying, controlling parents, and an underlying theme of female empowerment.

Mckenna is forced to grow up at a young age and assume the parental role of responsibility as she is abandoned by her dad and left to deal with her bipolar mother. She is juggling school, workload, managing a home and hasn't had time to truly be a teen. I admired her inner strength and commitment to her mother but more so her ability to persevere despite the odds against her.

I am playing bias and naming Jace as my favorite character because of his emotional intelligence. There is a vulnerability in admitting to yourself that you are weak for succumbing to society's expectations, in admitting your feelings, and letting your guard down. The juxtaposition of McKenna's messy loaner life and Jace's picture-perfect on the outside but crumbling on the inside life was raw and riveting.

I applaud the authors for writing a highly entertaining and compelling coming of age story that highlights real-life issues, where the guy can be vulnerable, and where The Jock and the Goth Girl can find happiness.

I liked the reversal of roles within this novel, a hot guy writing fantasy romance and the world-weary girl toughened by her "hard-knock" life experiences, an unlikely but complementary pair who are willing to buck conventions and embrace their feelings. I relished the idea that a heroine can save both the prince and the day.

Gutter Girl calls on us all to disregard the labels we grew up with, to break the glass ceilings on stereotypes, and to search deeper the next time you see someone and are quick to judge based on appearances. I applaud the authors for organically incorporating the old "don't judge a book by its cover" saying in such a socially relevant way. It also focuses on the very real effects bullying can have on their perception and behavior, “It’s not people I hate, it’s what they say and do.”

The romance is so awkwardly sweet and pure with a subtle undertone of heat that I couldn't help but reminisce on my first crush many moons ago. Very often authors pen tween novels with inappropriate or nonconsensual sexual scenes and I was thrilled at both the pace of the romance within the book and the delicacy with which it was handled.

Also, if my review hasn't convinced you, here's another bonus tidbit, "it's a book about a book," I mean, how much better can you get????

Gutter Girl is the perfect fun, feel-good contemporary romance summer read about overcoming societal expectations and staying true to who you are. It perfectly borders the sweet and wholesome YA line with a little bit of naughty thrown in thanks to the superior writing and phenomenal characters.

Huge thank you to the authors, Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an arc.

Trigger warning includes bipolar disorder, panic/anxiety manic episodes, and some consensual sexual content.

This review will be published on my blog and bookstagram on pub date,
Profile Image for ally.
649 reviews56 followers
May 1, 2021
I would like to thank Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an E-Arc of Gutter girl in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own :)


I really wasn't expecting to enjoy this that much.
Upon reading the description of this book, I felt that I would not enjoy it so much because of the fact that Jace felt he needed to hide his secret just since he was a "jock". I felt a bit annoyed because your gender DOESN'T MATTER. ANYBODY can write romance novels. BUT I didn't know everything he was going through and so it didn't affect my enjoyment of the novel.

I thought that this book was really cool and McKenna... <3 I LOVED her so much.

It was also sad :(((

The characters and their development and history and backgrounds. It was just sooo good. The relationships between all the characters.


But I loved the characters, plot, and everything so much!!

I highly recommend this, it was so good, and I will definitely keep an eye out for the coming Twin River High series books.

(THG readathon D8)
Profile Image for Serena Loves Books.
1,301 reviews72 followers
June 18, 2021
'Había algo en ella que me hacía querer dar un paso al frente y cuidarla. No podía sacarla de mi mente ni de mis sueños'.

•Mi opinión puede contener Spoilers

•Esta destinada a ser un descargo personal no para que alguien más lea pero si lo haces y te ofende, me disculpo porque sé lo que es que te guste un libro y otros lo critiquen

Gutter Girl de Lynn Rush, Kelly Anne Blount Serie Twin River High libro 1


El jugador de fútbol estrella Jace Rovers tiene un secreto. Y no cualquier secreto, un secreto impactante ... Escribe romance. De los que tienen espadas. Y vestidos. Y besos.

Nadie lo sabe. No los otros niños de Twin River High. No sus padres autoritarios. Y ciertamente no los millones de fanáticos que han leído su libro en la plataforma de escritura Scribbles. Y esa es la forma en que planea quedárselo.

Excepto que de repente uno de los otros jugadores de fútbol agarra su cuaderno en broma y comienza a leer una escena de besos en voz alta ... y Jace sabe que está atrapado.

Pero luego McKenna Storm, una chica gótica residente que evita ser el centro de atención como un virus, agarra el cuaderno y les dice a todos que ella es la autora. Y por suerte para Jace, más tarde acepta continuar con la artimaña ... por un precio.

Diablos, le daría cualquier cosa para no revelar su secreto. Pero cuando comienzan a enamorarse el uno del otro, él sabe que tendrá que guardar el mayor secreto de todos: su personaje más oscuro se basa en ella...

Mí humilde opinión:

No me encantó el libro pero me gustó. Era un YA ligero con una dulce historia de amor, había partes divertidas y otras con algo de drama. Me sorprendió el jugador de fútbol popular que escribía un romance de fantasía épica (eso fue tan genial) y la chica gótica con cabello rosa que lo ayuda en el camino.

Jace y MacKenna son dos personajes bien escritos y si bien hay suficiente profundidad que me ayudó a que los conociera y entendiera mejor sus interacciones y pensamientos. Sentí que había más de Jace y su miedo a decir a sus amigos y su padre que él era escritor que sobre la vida de MacKenna. Hubiera querido ver cómo la cambió a ella dejar que la gente se acercara a su burbuja y dejar de ir bajo perfil, más de mamá que era bipolar y ella lo pasaba difícil que está pero este tema se toca por arriba, más sobre su sueño de actuar.

También me pareció que se enfocó de más las peleas como pareja, la primera justificada, Jace no la defendió cuando debería (pero Trinity lo hace genial y tuve que aplaudirla por eso!) pero en la última pelea tuve que poner los ojos en blanco. MacKenna tuvo una idea original para pedir disculpas al final pero... me faltó algo más para sentir que estaban conectados, la falta de confianza no ayudó. Era como decir meto la pata pero luego tenemos una charla linda y todo arreglado. No hablan seriamente y me pareció que tomaban el problema a la ligera.

Disfruté el libros en partes, hay cosas divertidas, únicas y también temas serios como el acoso escolar, una enfermedad mental, la lucha social que afrontan Jace y MacKenna para estar juntos, la presión de los padres en cuanto al futuro luego de graduarse... y un romance tan cursi como dulce pero que me dejó sonriendo a veces.
Profile Image for Lisa Mandina.
1,866 reviews417 followers
May 12, 2021
So I’ve read one other book by these authors, In the Penalty Box, and I really enjoyed it! So I was worried I wouldn’t have time to fit this one in when the blog tour was announced. Fortunately I was able to and so let me tell you how much I liked this one.

I liked the idea about how the popular football player was writing a romance story. But it was more than just a romance. It also was a fantasy, with swords and all the interesting storylines that can go with that. Scribbles was basically a site like Wattpad, and I loved how all the students were reading Jace’s story, and didn’t know it was him. I liked that it was more than just him being worried about how kids at school would treat him if they knew. That he had a father he was unsure how he would react.

McKenna had a home life that was really stressful for her, and it totally made sense how she had changed and withdrawn into herself. And it was easy to see why she also wanted to keep to herself and not let the people at school know what she dealt with at home. Especially when it was so obvious how easily they would tease other kids for just little things.

I really did enjoy the book and the story and all that went along with it. I loved Jace’s little sister, she was adorable! I wish that maybe we’d gotten a bit more with how his dad reacted to him with his writing, as well as maybe some more with McKenna’s mom. And some of the romantic, lovey-dovey, or even just the scenes where it showed their attraction to each other were a little awkward in a way for me. But maybe that’s just how it is for teenagers. But those bits made me put it at 4.5 stars as my blog rating.

However, I liked the tidbits and details we got for at least one of the characters in the next book, and I look forward to hopefully reading that too!

Review first appeared on Lisa Loves Literature.
May 10, 2021
I found Gutter Girl to be the perfect mix of humor, angst and sweet moments that have me hooked to YA!

Jace and McKenna come from two totally different worlds but a chance encounter leads them on the biggest discovery! As they start to spend more time together they learn that there is more to other! Navigating high school is never easy add in secrecy and it becomes harder! But these two will do what it takes to see their dreams come true!

I loved McKenna’s fighting spirit! She was strong willed and did what needed to be done! Jace was the same in that regard and I think that’s what made their connection so strong! They understood one another!

A very beautiful YA romance with a surprising plot!
Profile Image for Jen .
2,547 reviews27 followers
July 31, 2021

Ok, there is also bad language and some very heavy topics, parental abandonment, parent with mental health issues, bullying, etc. so this might be trigger-y or inappropriate for below YA readers. No more than kissing, though they are written as if they were experienced by hormonal teenagers and sex is discussed, as well as testing afterwards, so solid YA.

Ok, warnings out of the way, let me get into this book and why I enjoyed it so much and will recommend it to most YA readers.

It's contemporary, no magic, no magical realism, just realistic in that it takes place in this world. The characters all have real problems, granted some more serious than others, but it's realistic.

The stretch is the MC H being a super popular online writer and what comes from that, but I'm sure it happens to some teens who are good writers and put their work out there, so not out of the realm of possibility.

The love story wasn't even the stretch, as the MC h had trust issues and she dis-trusted the MC H one too many times and SHE HAD TO BE THE ONE TO DO THE GRAND SCENE for forgiveness and NOT him! I loved that the roles were reversed from the usual.

I admit, I loved this one so much, I rushed out to buy the second book and I'm reading it right now. That one also has cursing and underage drinking in it, as well as more parental abandonment, so these books are not all sunshine and roses, but they are realistic with a HUGE thread of hope running through them.

I think that's why I like them so much. Considering the age of the characters, when bad things happen at that age, it can see like life is hopeless, but the characters come to find out that they CAN achieve their dreams and thrive, they find hope. Their problems don't magically go away, but they are able to find ways to deal with them.

5, I honestly wasn't expecting to love this as much as I did, stars.

My thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC/Entangled: Crush for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ruthie.
360 reviews77 followers
May 10, 2021
This was SUPER cute and fun to read. The characters and their personalities/struggles were three-dimensional, the dialogue both internal and external was hilarious, quick-witted, and kept me reading. I did not want to stop reading and finished most of it in one day! The setup of a football player who also writes fantasy stories secretly and the high school's "goth girl" (social anxiety rep) who covers for him when someone reads part of his stories out loud intrigued me right away when reading the book blurb and deciding to request the ARC. This creative idea did not disappoint! The plot took turns I did not expect and thoroughly enjoyed.

If I haven't convinced you yet, check my Instagram later today 5/10 (@ram_reads) to see a short video aesthetic and see if that convinces you!

Disclaimer: I received this ARC ebook free of charge from NetGalley and Entangled publishing. It was my choice to read and review.

Content warning from the beginning of the book: "This book depicts elements of bipolar disorder, panic/anxiety, manic episodes, and some consensual sexual content. It's our hope that these elements have been handled sensitively, but if these issues could be considered triggering for you, please take note."
Profile Image for Lora.
340 reviews
April 25, 2021
I really enjoyed this story line!! And I'd really like the read the fantasy novel Jace is writing! Sign up me up for an ARC of its release please!

I loved reading about McKenna's journey as she makes her way through high school. She is dealing with so much. Between work, school and her mom's mental health (TW), she even still takes on the stress of helping Jace to hide his secret. Their slow building desire for one another left me remembering my own high school days.

Check this out. It is a cute YA romance, dealing with regular everyday stresses and issues that you can relate to as a reader!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Kelly Anne Blount & Lynn Rush and Entangled Publishing for the eARC and the opportunity to provide this honest review.
Profile Image for ashmita.
154 reviews5 followers
May 10, 2021
I am not going to lie by saying that this book was super unpredictable and kept me on the edge, because the end is pretty predictable, because it's a high school romance book, so we all know the ending. (duh) But what's unique about this book, is how it tackles new characters, and breaks all sorts of stereotypes! This book cannot really be sorted into a trope like "bad girl and nerdy girl", or even "footballer and introverted shy girl." The characters are what caught my heart!
The authors have done a wonderful job of establishing a connection between the characters and the readers, within the first few chapters. And I was absolutely rooting for them by the end!
This book is written in dual pov, and we all LOVE that. We follow McKenna Storm, resident goth girl who avoids the spotlight like a virus. But interestingly she is not introverted, or nerdy, or shy. She just is! She has bright pink hair and multiple piercings! You see how they broke the stereotype right there? And of course the charming Jace Rovers, who is a footballer, yes. But he is not a jerk or a "bad boy." In fact, I had say that he is an incredibly relatable character for me! Fighting to live his dream, struggling to meet his father's expectations, and just sorting out love and trying to get it all together, so he can brave "society."
Written in really easy-flowing language, I breezed through it in a day. If you are looking for a light read, with a little bit of romance, and lots of reference to pop culture, sarcastic characters, and really savage comebacks, and of course cutesy "special" names, go for it! I for one, am definitely looking forward to reading the next book.
*Thank you to the publisher, the authors and NetGalley for providing me with an e-arc of the book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
And happy publication day!✨
Profile Image for Kevina.
78 reviews30 followers
July 5, 2021
Gutter Girl Review

I received an arc of the novel Gutter Girl.

Five Stars!

Happy release day to Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount!

Book one of the Twin River High series. A story about a popular football jock named Jace that has a secret popular writer life online. A schoolmate naemd McKenna, bumps into him, accidentally grabbing his plot journal of his popular novel Kingdom of Swords. To deny scrutiny from his peers and friends, she pretends to be the author of his novel. While plotting and planning their next move, McKenna and Jace have this huge wave of affection for each other. Maybe something more.

If you love witty banter, secret hideouts, badass characters and sweet older brothers, this is the book for you!

McKenna and Jace are polar opposites. She barely has time for anything while balancing school, work, and taking care of her mother. He's a popular jock that makes up bedtime stories for his little sister, balancing his secret writing life, and keeping his Image in check. One of my favorite scenes is when McKenna gets a chance to read his novel on Scribbles and he helps cut her grass. Jace is such a sweetheart and determined, McKenna is blunt and caring. She keeps her bubble however it penetrates when she opens up. Jace finally gets to share his secret writing life with someone that won't judge him just because he plays football.

Each chapter was a page turner, I loved it so much! I want more and I can't wait for the next book for other characters!

Profile Image for Katie Prouty.
422 reviews112 followers
May 2, 2021
““You’re really a romantic, aren’t you, Jace Rovers?” “Eh, maybe a little bit.””

Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount are the queen’s of witty banter and kissing scenes! What I enjoy about their books is that you get hooked on page four! Yup, they’re amazing at alluring readers! And, son of a sword, Gutter Girl will leave you with a one-hundred-watt-smile plastered on your face. Readers are going to crush hard on 🥰 Jace Rovers! I’m talking about the warm and fuzzies. Charming everyone’s pants off. Cinnamon roll right here! Young Adult readers are going to fall in love, a thousand times over, with Gutter Girls’ OTP! I adored every page of this book! 10/10 recommend if you just like to smile (because smiling is your favorite). I need more of Twin River High like I need air! Ps. How can we get our hands on Jace’s fantasy romance novel? I want to read Kingdom of Swords! 😂👏🏼

-swooning out loud over the sweetest grand gesture.
-90s grunge (think nirvana come as you are)
-space buns
-holding hands via pinky finger and forefinger
-laughing & smiling. They got jokes.
-sweet valley high x small town 90210
-mystic falls vibes (minus the paranormal) with all the town events (founders day ball)
-#IsThisAKissingBook: Son of a sword, yes! MS plus JR.

“I want to be your guy. For real. In front of everyone. To stand up for you. To be there for you, all of the time, not just in secret.”

🎶Song: Good by Better Than Ezra 🎶
Profile Image for Sowmya (bookishelflife).
376 reviews36 followers
May 14, 2021
Thanks to the authors for my ebook! I had no idea I would enjoy this book as much as I did, Maybe I am showing my age but I honestly no longer lean towards high school romance BUT boy! I was pleasantly surprised. It’s such a feel good storyline and will definitely make you fall for the MC’s Jace and Kenna!

Jace the football star of Twin River High and Mckenna the outcast, who would think two polar opposites would fit perfectly with each other like puzzle pieces ?Jace and McKenna characters are laid out quite maturely, they each have their own burdens to carry especially McKenna. The trauma of her past and her situations forcing herself to be an adult for her family makes her closed off and build pretty high walls or rather bubble around herself for safety, I loved how the cinnamon roll of the cinnamon rolls Jace crumbles the wall little by little

The book gave me the Mean Girls feel, which my stupid heart loves so much- If Janis from the movie ever had a storyline this would be it.Just like Janis, Kenna is adorable, blunt and brutally honest,I really enjoyed her character arc. The ending felt a little rushed and I would have loved to see more interaction between her mom and Kenna but overall it’s an enjoyable read and am excited to read the next books in the series!!
Profile Image for Brinley.
1,016 reviews68 followers
August 10, 2021
I really wasted to love this one, but it didn't end up happening. I think the main reason for this was because of the utter stereotypes. I knew they'd be there based off the synopsis, and even though this flipped them, I didn't enjoy it.

I also hated how young the writing felt. Our characters were supposed to be mature teens who had struggled. Instead, they read like 7th graders. Especially when you look at the relationship between Jace and McKenna. They broke up so many times in this, and instead of ever discussing it, they just got right back together. There were no stakes, and because of this, no tension.

I did like Jace and his fantasy book, but that was about it. Otherwise, this was just a mediocre book that had several aspects that irritated me.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review !
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,158 reviews458 followers
May 11, 2021
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance
*Rating* 3.5


Gutter Girl, by co-authors Lynn Rush, and Kelly Anne Blount, is the first installment in what's being called the Twin River High series. But don't get fooled. Each these books have a beginning, a middle, and a standalone ending. This first story focuses on two 17-year-old Seniors at Twin River High School. McKenna Storm had her world flipped on its head after her father ran away from Kenna and her mother who is dealing with major health issues. McKenna is known as the goth girl in school because she dresses all in black, and wears different hair coloring like pink.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*

Profile Image for I'm All Booked Up  YA.
272 reviews103 followers
July 26, 2021
McKenna Storm and Jace Rovers couldn’t be more different. In fact, despite knowing each other since Kindergarten, the two haven’t spoken in years. One bump in the hallway changed their whole trajectory, leading to McKenna covering for Jace. Jace writes a fantasy romance book online and is terrified of anyone finding out.

McKenna has never heard of this series, but as soon as she covers for Jace, everyone at school wants to be her friend. This seriously messes with her since McKenna’s goal is to stay invisible. In fact, she even dresses in all black.

Jace needs McKenna to continue pretending and begs her to read the book so she can talk with his fans. As soon as they start spending more time together, they see they’re not so different. And maybe, it doesn’t matter if Goth Girl and Resident Jock are seen in public together.

The premise of a guy who secretly is a super popular writer excited us from the beginning. The characters stood out right away. We appreciated how Rush and Blount tackled McKenna’s tough family situation. She dealt with a bipolar mother who refused to stay on her meds, working a job to help support the family and getting made fun of in school for dressing differently.

Jace is a total sweetheart. He won us over with how he treated both his little sister and McKenna. He felt a lot of pressure living up to everyone else’s expectations, so we appreciated that he learned to leave his comfort zone.

One problem we had was that the minimal conflicts were wrapped up almost instantly. Gutter Girl lacked tension and people pretty much forgave each other right away.

Despite that, we found the story sweet and the characters likable. The writing plot point and learning about Jace’s process left us excited to hear more about his story. It’s pretty cool to get millions of views, especially since the website was based off Wattpad.

If you’re looking for a YA romance with unique characters, check this one out. It’s a quick read and the writing is engaging.

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Profile Image for Jen Zingaro.
992 reviews158 followers
May 15, 2021
What a refreshing spin on YA romance.
These characters are so well done. And I love how the authors portray them in a reverse stereotype than you would expect from them. This story deals with some tough issues but totally appropriate for teens (and adults.) And the girl power angle is what made my heart full. McKenna doesn't need a knight in shining armor to save her. She is strong and resilient and a good role model for other girls to read about. Jace is not your typical jock. He has non traditional aspirations and shows some self doubt about what way his future is going to look. And together, they were the perfect compliment.
Profile Image for Olivia.
3,044 reviews69 followers
April 22, 2021
GUTTER GIRL is a unique YA contemporary romance that follows two main characters, Jace and McKenna. McKenna is an outcast by choice. After her father abandoned her, leaving McKenna to hold her mother and life together, McKenna put up walls in the form of her bubble that she won't let anyone but her BFF Ernie through. When she accidentally collides with Jace, her childhood crush and jock, their books get mixed up and swapped.

Finding she has Jace's notebook becomes even more shocking when she realizes what is inside. Jace is a super-famous online writer on Scribbles (like Wattpad), where he writes fantasy romance. When things don't go as planned with the notebook return, McKenna covers for him and claims that she is the writer. As things spiral out of control, Jace and McKenna must meet to figure out how to keep their secret, a task made harder by their mutual attraction. But can a jock and an outcast ever be in a real relationship?

What I loved: There are a lot of really fun elements to the story, particularly surrounding the secret fantasy romance Jace writes. I really enjoyed hearing about his famous novel that he is in the process of writing and releasing. There are also some important themes in the book around bullying, mental illness and related stigma, and parental/societal pressures and expectations. McKenna is bullied in school for the way that she dresses, with other students calling her "Goth Girl," but it escalates as more people know who she is, with a particularly rough conversation. The book provides a good example of standing up for others as a bystander, as another classmate does.

Mental illness is also a big theme, as McKenna is trying to manage her mother's illness and the stigma around it with classmates and even her father who left, as well as her own internalized shame. This theme is not fully explored on the page, but it would be helpful to discuss with readers in the context of resources and appropriate treatments. Both characters are dealing with social pressures and expectations, and Jace is also dealing with an unsupportive parent. These are scenarios that will resonate with YA readers.

What left me wanting more: The book builds slowly for the most part, and the beginning feels repetitive as we get a lot of the same information from both characters. The attraction does take a while to really feel less surface level. Once it gets going, the pace does speed up, and at the end, there are some scenarios that did not feel fully resolved. Jace and McKenna are dealing with trust issues that seem to need some deeper conversations and realizations. The book mostly includes simple apologies and one grand gesture, but I would have appreciated more depth to their relationship and resolutions.

I also would have liked more depth to the characters, as they sometimes seemed like caricatures in a way that just leaned into goth and jock. There were also some plot threads that didn't feel like they had fully played out by the end of the book, and I wanted a bit more of those to fully immerse into the story.

Final verdict: GUTTER GIRL is an overall cute YA contemporary romance about a secret author, high school, and opposite attraction.

Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Ariel • The Book View.
404 reviews73 followers
May 11, 2021
I liked this one but wasn't in love with it. It had some sweet romance and lovely stereotype flipping, but there were also many other parts I wasn't a fan of.

Starting on a positive note, as I mentioned, I love how this book flipped a few gender stereotypes on their heads. The big one was saying how it's totally okay (great, actually) for guys to write fantasy romance novels. One of our main characters, Jace, writes "kissing books" and is terrified for anyone to find out. I love how the authors don't just throw his concerns out the window once his love interest says it's okay for him to write these types of books. They really address his fears and concerns and the stereotype in general. I was so happy about this.

They also vaguely discuss the stereotype behind those who suffer from bipolar disorder. They don't focus on this one as much as guys writing romance novels, but it's mentioned.

I also liked that our characters had some depth to them. It wasn't just popular jock meets uncool, outcast. There was more to them and more to the story and I'm glad we were able to explore that. I think the family dynamics these two face help a lot with their character depth and growth in the book.

Now, down to the nitty-gritty. I was really enjoying the first half of this book and then it went downhill the second half. One big reason for me was the whole make up-break up thing Jace and McKenna had going on. They would break up on a whim and then get back together after a few flowery words. This issue was briefly discussed among the characters, but it didn't smooth over my annoyance.

As well, I would have liked to have seen a little more development in the book with the characters, specifically McKenna. We see some change in Jace, but I would have liked to see how this whole experience changed McKenna a little more. We see it a little, but I think her character was really shorted the development she deserved.

Overall, it's 3.5 out of 5 stars for me. I think I'm interested enough to read the forthcoming books in the series, but I also won't be making them my top priority.

Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Profile Image for Gmr.
1,193 reviews
May 16, 2021
McKenna and Jace…so not a combination you ever saw coming...but sometimes the best ones are.

I adored how McKenna was so KICK BUTT. She shied away from the spotlight, and stuck to her circle of one friend, all thanks to unfortunate situations in her home life, and yes, I know that doesn’t sound kick butt worthy, but hang on. When she saw someone in trouble, someone in her direct path who wasn’t ever anything but nice to her, she stuck her neck out. She may not have saved them bodily, but she saved them from high school you-know-what because let’s face it, teens can be horrible to one another...okay, well HUMANS can be horrible to one another...and if you hit the bottom rung in the high school hierarchy, you better be prepared to duck your head or transfer schools. At least, it feels that way...so if someone reaches out a helping hand, or puts out a what’s-it-to-you attitude to fend that off for you, yeah...it changes the light you see them in.

Jace is a great kid too. Grant it, he has some pretty thick headed friends, and yes, we can be judged by the company we keep, but that's something McKenna finds out along their journey. Things aren't always as they seem, nor people as perceived. I loved the fact that he was the mind behind the pen..and why not? Why can't a guy pen stories like KOS? Why can't their be both action scenes and action scenes? They can be equally perceptive if the talent is there, so I say why not? There's no rule that says you have to act one way or another, so YOU BE YOU and I'LL BE ME.

To put a point on it...I LIKED THIS STORY. The false impersonation was warranted, the get to know you phase believable, the way things all came tumbling down definitely realistic, and while the masses seemed quick to turn, I think it was the surrounding drama and the dramatic Say Anything moment that did them in. I mean how can you say no to a gesture THAT big? All in all, a great read for Young Adult fans with reminders that not everything is as it seems, try not to place labels on others, and always be true to your self.

**ebook received for review; opinions are my own
Profile Image for Marisol Barrera.
207 reviews31 followers
May 5, 2021
“This is why people act so ridiculous in the movies when they’re getting swept off their feet by their crush. He kissed the English language right out of my brain, yet again.”

Oh I adored this book!!! It made my heart happy !! It was a cute, fun and easy read. It totally took me back to my high school years!
What is it with guys and their crazy dimples and soap & pine scents? 🥰

McKena likes to be invisible and lives inside her own personal bubble where no one can get too close to her, except for her sweet best friend E!
Jace, or Swords as we like to call him, is the star running back for his school football team and hangs with the popular crowd.

Jace and McKena bump into each other, literally, and accidentally switch notebooks. Thinking it’s hers she opens it and discovers Jace’s big secret😱 He writes Fantasy romance novels. He is damn good at it too, but no one can know, I mean a Jock writing romance novels ??
When things don’t go as planned with the notebook exchange Mckena covers for him and takes credit for it, saying she is the author, throwing her anonymity out the window. After spending a little time together trying to keep their secret they discover that there is more to one another than what meets the eye.

💫 Read if you like
•Alternating povs
•Famous Jock meets outcast girl
•Blue eyes & heat-triggering dimples 🤤
•Sarcastic, witty banter
•Best friend/ body guard
•Pine and soap scents

Thankyou Kelly Anne Blount for the ARC !!! Can we please get Kingdom of Swords ???
Profile Image for Amanda.
1,934 reviews53 followers
May 8, 2021
[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Gutter Girl
is a YA contemporary between a popular jock and the outcast. Football player Jace secretly writes a romantic fantasy popular online and its very popular but the last thing he wants is to for people to find out about him being the writer. Outcast goth girl McKenna tries to stay out of the limelight at school but when she decides to help Jace keep his secret by claiming the story for her own it changes her life in a huge way.

I loved the idea of this book. The passionate romance writer jock and the moody goth girl being thrown together. Individually I really enjoyed the characters. Jace was charming and precious with his little sister. Yet I hated his friends with a passion and couldn't stand how he never stood up to them. I loved McKenna's sarcasm and straight forwardness, but didn't like how she kind of wilted when it came to holding her ground with Jace.

My biggest problem and why it's getting a 3 star and not a 4 star is the fight and apology/groveling scenes. Just thinking of them makes me angry. The first one because it had no groveling and the second because the wrong person ended up doing the groveling. Those two situations really ruined the book for me. I can see how the authors were trying to swap the typical romance norms but it didn't work for me.

Overall, Gutter Girl was a decent start to a new YA series and I will most likely be reading the series.
Profile Image for Talie.
555 reviews10 followers
May 12, 2021
Thank you to Entangled Publishing for an arc copy of this title. All opinions are my own.

One sentence review: I highly recommend this fun YA romance for its: a novel storyline, great characters, and tackling of substantive issues like bullying and mental illness in the home.

Okay I really couldn't do this book justice in one sentence. When I read the synopsis that this was about a high school football player, Jace Rovers, who secretly writes fantasy romance - well I was sold. Add in that the social outcast "goth girl", McKenna Storm steps in to protect his identity when he is nearly discovered and I just knew this was a book I had to read.

My thoughts:

- The characters in this story are just the best.
- Having Jace be a fantasy romance writer was a stroke of genius. It was so fun. And the backstory with regards to how he started writing made my heart melt.
- McKenna and her underdog story had me cheering for her from the sidelines
- The authors do a really nice job of illustrating the difficulties on teens when they have a parent who struggles with mental illness.
- I just really thought the overall storyline was a lot of fun while also dealing with some heavy topics.

So in summary, if you are a fan of YA romance I highly recommend this one!

Profile Image for Cynthia Ann.
Author 12 books8 followers
May 6, 2021
This first in a series is a winner for me! Blount and Rush make an amazing writing team, and they have created a little universe in Twin Rivers that has me excited for more. Jace and McKenna are on the absolute opposite ends of the high school spectrum. A little clumsy interaction where Jace’s secret notebook ends up in McKenna’s hands sparks a path neither of them thought they’d ever be on. Following as their relationship developed was a perfect mixture of swoon and heartache. Both have to face fears and conquer mountains blocking their path to be together. Trusting each other will be harder than they thought.

Now that I’ve been introduced to a few other characters along the way, I am excited to move on to the next Twin Rivers story! This story is a strong recommendation for anyone who loves a good swoon and lots of tender moments. I received an advanced copy for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Cash.
386 reviews9 followers
May 13, 2021
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me this Arc in exchange for a honest review...

I love love loved this! I honestly found this very relatable and on topic of current readers.

It made me happy that instead of a soppy hopeless romantic teenage girl writing fantasy books where there is sex, passion and fluff, that it's a teenage boy who has a passion for writing it. I think it was important for the writer in the story to be a male because it shows people how writing love and fluff isn't just limited to women.

Mckenna covering and supporting Jace throughout this book was amazing, she knew that he had a lot to lose and that it was important to him, just like her acting and her mothers health was to her. Jace and Mckenna were really cute together and Jace is extremely precious. I loved how their relationship progressed throughout and how in the end they were both able to stand up for themselves and step out of the shadows and show people who they really were.
Profile Image for Renee.
948 reviews15 followers
May 2, 2021
"I'm so freaked out that I can't even freak out right!" - from Gutter Girl

3 stars.

This is a cute high school story with an original plot line. The two main characters were decently hashed out and unique. The writing is a bit juvenile, but I'm sure that it would appeal to a number of younger readers. I really appreciated reading a YA story where the male best friend actually just stayed best friends with the female lead. There was no unrequited love, he had his own crush and small side story. There were a few positive mentions of consent as well that I think is important for the genre. The conflict was all really easily resolved, and sometimes cheesy, but it all together a fun fast read with a positive message.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and author for a free temporary e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,159 reviews437 followers
May 15, 2021
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.

McKenna Storm wants to avoid the attention and spotlight more than anything, and at Twin River High, she manages to do that - mostly - though she is known as the resident goth. But when she and star footballer Jace Rovers run into each other in the hall, and his notebook containing his hit fantasy romance is picked up by his fellow team mates, she takes the fall and now it's not just her classmates who want to know about her, but also the many thousands of fans of the book on Scribbles. Now Jace is desperate for her to pretend she is the author, at least a little while longer, and they need to spend time together in order to get their story straight. But, the crush McKenna had on Jace is coming back, and it seems as if he might be falling for her too.

Now I had no idea what this book would be like, going in, but I quite enjoyed Into the Penalty Box by these authors, and thought this would be a nice read. And it was. Both Jace and McKenna were extremely interesting characters, with well fleshed out back stories, and I was really invested in their romance. Yeah okay, it was a bit unbelievable at times, and the angsty moments were a little extreme, but all in all, I felt like this was an enjoyable contemporary read. I'm hoping that we see more of Jace and McKenna in the other books.
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