Review: Fighting Her by Gillian Jones
When I first learned that my girl Gillian was writing a YA Romance version of her stellar Fighting Weight, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Fighting Weight was the very first book by GJ that I read and started what I like to think, a beautiful infatuation with this gorgeous author. I also knew I had to read it because there are so many incredible young women I want to read this story - who NEED this story.
Story Line: Ali and Slater are the main characters of this rockstar romance. But this story is so much more than about a budding romance or about the life of young rockstars. This is the story of how it IS possible to overcome the demons of your past and still get the happily ever after. You see, the base for this story line comes from Ali - beautifully broken Ali. She is a recovering bulimic. That's right. Recovering. However, the first quarter of the book dives into that road to recovery. A road that I do not know personally, but I do know first hand the struggle to fit in to the mold an overbearing parent wants to squeeze you in. Growing up, I heard the words "if you just lost 10 pounds" almost daily. It killed me. I never went down the road of bulimia, thankfully, but I did teeter on the edge of starving myself. Girls in school would tell me to eat ice for lunch or to fill up on water. Yeah, that was less than stellar advice. But when you're 16 years old and dying to fit in, you'll pretty much do anything. So, where I don't understand on a personal level the addiction behind bulimia, I do sadly understand how she got to that point. And so does Slater.
Fast forward to present times now. He meets Ali through a concert tour they are on together. Slater quickly becomes my favorite person. He's so understanding and sweet with her and never once judges her for her past. Don't misunderstand me here, Ali is stronger than she realizes. And she doesn't necessarily NEED him, but her heart sure as hell wants him around as much as possible. They story and journey to happily every after will always be one of my favorites.
Interaction: Ali is beautifully damaged. She's awkward, skiddish and somehow incredibly brave and controlled. Slater isn't perfect. I wanted to knock some sense into him several times, but at the end of the day, he's absolutely perfect for Ali. He challenges her, keeps her on her toes, and also gives her distance when he knows that's what she needs. Another interaction that I think is so important to this story is the one between Ali and her brother - Lucky. He will always be her strength when she needs it. The relationship between these two siblings was everything I needed. I'm not that close with my own siblings, and after reading how incredible Ali's brother is to her, it made me want to work that much harder to repair the brokenness of my own relationships.
Laundry: Because this is a YA romance, I will not elaborate too much on this area. I will say the laundry has not been completely removed, however it is now more "fade to black" which was beautifully done.
Depth: The reason I want so many young women to read this book is because I want them to fight. I want girls and young ladies to read this story and find the courage to fight. Fight that inner monologue telling you you're not enough. Fight back against that person telling you to lose those last 10 pounds. Because at the end of the day, their words don't matter. YOU MATTER. Do not let anyone take the light from your eyes. And that's exactly how I felt after finishing Fighting Her. I was refreshed and ready to fight my inner demons.
Gillian, this book is the epitome of empowering. I want to shout from the rooftops for everyone to read it. It gives me goosebumps thinking of those who have yet to read this incredible story, because I know once they do, their lives will be changed forever. Your words were perfectly inspiring. This story is everything.