I am really excited to be part of this tour!!
Girl Meets Class
by Karin Gillespie
Girl Meets Class
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Setting – Georgia
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (September 8, 2015)
E-Book ASIN: B00ZD1VIXO
The unspooling of Toni Lee Wells’ Tiffany and Wild Turkey lifestyle begins with a trip to the Luckett County Jail drunk tank. An earlier wrist injury sidelined her pro tennis career, and now she’s trading her tennis whites for wild nights roaming the streets of Rose Hill, Georgia.
Her wealthy family finally gets fed up with her shenanigans. They cut off her monthly allowance but also make her a sweetheart deal: Get a job, keep it for a year, and you’ll receive an early inheritance. Act the fool or get fired, and you’ll lose it for good.
Toni Lee signs up for a fast-track Teacher Corps program. She hopes for an easy teaching gig, but what she gets is an assignment to Harriet Hall, a high school that churns out more thugs than scholars.
What’s a spoiled Southern belle to do when confronted with a bunch of street smart students who are determined to make her life as difficult as possible? Luckily, Carl, a handsome colleague, is willing to help her negotiate the rough teaching waters and keep her bed warm at night. But when Toni Lee gets involved with some dark dealings in the school system, she fears she might lose her new beau as well as her inheritance.
This is my first Karen Gillespie read but it sure won’t me my last! If was good to stray from the mystery genre for this fantastic story!
Toni Lee Wells is what I would call an adult spoiled brat at the beginning of this story. Her pro tennis career is over due to an injury and her family is rich so she has no worries. Life is easy and free and fun until she gets arrested one to many times for her father and especially her Aunt Cornelia who controls the purse strings. She cuts Toni Lee off without a cent and gives her an ultimatum – get a job, keep it for a year, follow all my other rules and I will give you 5 million dollars. Fail and you are your own.
Toni Lee does have a college degree but no job experience so she hooks up with a Teacher Corps program. She is excited thinking teaching is such an easy job until she arrives for her first day at a school that is underfunded and full of underprivileged kids. The kids are more street smart than book smart and her first days are not easy. But she meets Carl, a teacher with plenty of experience and pretty easy on the eyes. Her life is not smooth sailing though. Being new Toni Lee finds herself in the middle of some shady dealings at the school and not everyone is thrilled as her relationship with Carl escalates. Then there is Aunt Cornelia’s rules hanging over her head.
I have to say I didn’t really like Toni Lee at the start of the story. She really had no concerns, she could do almost anything and her family would bail her out. She was helping a friend pay some bills but I thought she was pretty self centered. I applauded her aunt cutting off but leaving the 5 million dangling didn’t sit well with me. Then the teacher twist happened and Toni started to evolve and I began to like her and wanted to see her succeed.
The part of the story that really grabbed me though was the school and the corruption. In Wisconsin, right now we have a Governor that is a war with teachers and public education. School budgets are cut to the bone and nationwide there is a shortage of teachers. Wisconsin has taken things beyond the Teacher Corps in the story by deregulating teacher licensing standards. So if you think things that happened in this school are far fetched I can tell you they are not. In fact they are worse.
Gillespie also features an interracial couple in Girl Meets Class. This adds a whole under layer to the story. The words of a few characters made my skin crawl but this is still a hot topic in America which is just infuriating.
This is a very fast read with some heavy themes but Gillespie has a way of writing that keeps the importance of the topics but they have a lighter feel while enlightening the reader. She adds Southern charm and humor in exactly the right amounts and places. I love that most of the characters grown throughout the whole story.
A very smart novel. I highly recommend.
Karin Gillespie is national bestselling author of five novels and a humor columnist for Augusta Magazine. Her nonfiction writing had been in the New York Times, The Writer Magazine and Romantic Times. She maintains a website and blog at Karingillespie.net. Sign up for her newsletter on her website, follow her on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook.
I am giving away 1 e-copy of Girl Meets Class!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.
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Contest Will End September 22, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
Click Here For Entry Form
The tour continues….
September 7 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
September 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Giveaway
September 9 – Musings and Ramblings – Review, Giveaway
September 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight, Giveaway
September 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
September 12- A Chick Who Reads – Review
September 13 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Guest Post, Giveaway
September 14 – View from the Birdhouse – Review, Giveaway
September 15 – Kelly P’s Blog – Spotlight
September 16 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
September 16 – Book Babble – Review
September 17 – Girl with Book Lungs – Review
September 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post
September 19 – Laura’s Interests – Review, Giveaway
September 20 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review, Giveaway
September 21 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Comments on “Review/Giveaway – Girl Meets Class by Karin Gillespie Great Escapes Book Tour”
I’m happy that someone is telling the truth about what teachers have to go through in most places.
This sounds like a really interesting book. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sounds like a good read.
This sounds like it will be a very good book for me. I love the premise of the story. Count me in, please.
I had an extended substitute teacher position way back when.
Anyone who thinks teaching is an easy job has never done it!
Thanks so much for this lovely and thoughtful review.
I always respected teachers how hard most of them work.
I read so many mysteries and thrillers. It would be nice to read something contemporary for a change. This sounds wonderful. I love character driven stories, especially where the character grows, changes through the pages.
I have read and enjoyed all the Bottom Dollar books, can’t wait to read this new one! Thanks for the chance to win!
This sounds like a good book to me. This would be a new author for me.
Thank you for this review … sounds like a good book to me.
This sounds like a very interesting story, different than my usual reads. Thanks for the giveaway.
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR NEW BOOK AND THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
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