I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Southern Perfection #1 by Casey Peeler
Published by Smashwords Edition on August 21st 2014
Genres: Young Adult
Life is full of choices, good, bad, and the ones you can’t control. Raegan is perfect in every way, but what happens when life occurs? By day, Raegan is a typical high school student, but at three o’clock, her real work begins.
Varsity cheerleader, honor student, and proud granddaughter of the Lowery Farm, what happens when appearances are not what they seem?
Will Raegan be able to hold on to her life or will she be left with nothing? All of these thoughts change with one night, one song, one story, and one boy.
*I received a copy through Netgalley in exchange for honest review*
Just by looking at the cover, I thought this book was going to be about a Southern Romance. I mean there is a guy and a girl on the cover and the title is Southern Perfection. Boy, was I wrong.
Raegan. This girl has had an extremely hard life. At five years old, she has lost her mother, father and grandmother. The only family she had left in this world is her granddaddy and cousin Cole. Her granddaddy is her entire world, he is her sunshine and she is his sunshine.
I could relate to Raegan in most aspects, my grandpa is my rock. He’s the man that raised me, he’s my dad and I’ve tried really hard to not disappoint him because that would absolutely hurt me to the core. So I understood Raegan’s relationship with her granddaddy because in many aspects it related to my life and I knew this book might just break me.
Raegan remembers her granddaddy telling her she needed to be extra good at the funeral of her parents and grandmother. She remembered being afraid of the men in suits who were at the funeral, and in her young mind she thought if she was extra good they wouldn’t come back. This definitely shaped who she becomes. She is an over-achiever. She’s head cheerleader, she talks to everyone no matter who you are she’ll speak to you, she gets good grades, she also works on her granddaddy’s farm helping him run it. Her goal is to be perfect and make her granddaddy proud so she ignores the boys who fall to their knees begging for a chance because granddaddy comes first. But deep down she’s broken. Her granddaddy is sick and the thought of losing him scares her, it scared me too. She’s afraid that the world as she knows it maybe coming to an end. But she promised her granddaddy she wouldn’t tell anyone he was sick and that secret is eating her up alive and causing her stress. She’s not your average teenager anymore.
Casey Peeler definitely brought back memories of last year. Last year, my grandpa who still thinks he’s 21 even though he’s 78 had a bad accident and we weren’t sure he was going to make it (but he’s stubborn and made it). I remember feeling exactly like Raegan. I knew if I lost my grandpa that my world would end and the thought scared me. So needless to say, I truly connected to Raegan.
Her granddaddy is a big part of the story of course. I loved him so much because he reminded me so much of my grandpa. I swear I felt like Casey must know how my grandpa is. He is very stubborn, doesn’t like others to see him weak and has a whole lot of pride; he was exactly like Raegan’s granddaddy.
Then one day, Emmett Bridges returns to town and Raegan’s world changes. See, guys wanted Raegan but she would always turn them down but when it comes to Emmett she just couldn’t say no. This isn’t a love at first sight kind of story at all and there is no love triangle. This love started a long time ago when they were too young to realize it. Emmett knew that Raegan was broken after losing her family so suddenly and remembered how much she loved their class bunny named Thumper. He showed up with a stuff bunny and Raegan snapped out of her funk, she was alive again as her granddaddy would say.
The unattainable girl finally has a boyfriend and everyone is asking, “What does he have?”
Raegan and Emmett begin a romance that was based off a friendship starting back when they were kids. Something her granddaddy predicted a long time ago, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life is grandpa is always right.
Being around Emmett lets Raegan be herself; she can let her guard down and finally just be herself. Around Emmett she’s not the girl who’s lost her family, she doesn’t have to be perfect she can be herself. I really loved Emmett and Raegan’s relationship. It wasn’t based of pure physical attraction but on trust, loyalty, respect and communication. They had conversations; they did things together and enjoyed each other’s company without sex always being the forefront of their relationship.
The Turning Point
Granddaddy isn’t getting better and he knows it. So he hides it from Raegan as best as he can. He wants to see her live because for so long she’s been helping him; worrying about him etc. she’s never actually enjoyed much. She wouldn’t change it for the world. Emmett and Cole know her granddaddy is a lot sicker then he’s letting Raegan know so they have to make sure she’ll be okay.
At this point in the story, I was crying so much. It was like my deepest fears coming to life all over again. It also brought back some memories of my aunt two years ago. She was really sick and I spent a lot of time with her, I remember wanting to be selfish like Raegan wanted to and telling her she needed to stay here and fight longer. Then I could see how tired she was and I had to tell her it was okay to let go. So towards the end of the story I was crying for Raegan and for myself because this story really hit so close to home.
This story is so well written. Even though it is told from both Emmett and Raegan’s point of you, I felt like I knew her granddaddy so much and I also knew Cole. I felt just as connected to them as I did Emmett and Raegan. I loved that this story wasn’t about romance; it played a small role in the story. It was about what family and friends mean. Family doesn’t have to be blood it can just be the people closes to you. It reminds you to enjoy the simple things in life, laugh a little, hug someone, and cry, because you just never know what could happen.
If you plan on reading this book, you need to have tissues with you because you will cry. Towards, the end of the book I was crying so hard I had to stop reading to gather myself. I rarely cry so when my sister saw me crying she knew this book was good because I was sobbing uncontrollably I couldn’t even tell her what was wrong. So any book that can make a girl like me who hates to cry sob uncontrollably you know it’s amazing because girls like me don’t just cry for nothing. Southern Perfection is a heartwarming, heartbreaking amazing story. You’re missing out if you don’t check it out. And when you do check it out, let me know what you thought about it. Trust me, this one is worth reading.