I received this book for free from ARC in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert
White Trash Beautiful
by Teresa Mummert
Series: White Trash Trilogy #1
Published by Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster
on July 9th, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 240
Goodreads

 

“I’m not naive. I know I don’t get the happily ever after. My knight in shining armor took the highway detour around this god forsaken shit hole. I’ve made peace with that. That doesn’t mean I’m going to lay down like a doormat and let every cocky prick in the trailer park have his way with me.”

Cass lives a depressing life in a small trailer park in Eddington, Georgia, with her mother and abusive boyfriend Jackson. She works hard to barely make ends meet. But everything changes when Tucker White, the lead singer in the band Damaged, walks into her diner. He tries to show her that there is more to life than the hand she has been dealt, but Cass soon learns that being with Tucker will come at a high price.


 

*NOTE: this review is not for the easily disturbed.*
reading after dark

I know for a fact that most people who read this story will walk away with tears in their eyes and hope in their hearts. Sadly I’m not one of them.

Whats wrong with me

 

Domestic abuse, drug abuse, poverty, co-dependency and abandonment are just a few of the very real and heavy topics contained within White Trash Beautiful. A book filled with so much angst and wrong should have been an easy tear-jerker and should have had me screaming at the topic of my lungs for that happy ending the underdog deserves. White Trash Beautiful had the potential to be the kind of book that steps completely away from the crowd and opens the eyes of readers everywhere, it had the potential to put me in the fetal position while I silently endured a book hangover.  But it didn’t. And no matter how hard I wanted to love this book, cry for this book, shout at every injustice. I just couldn’t.

Let me be upfront with you. I am completely and irrevocably desensitized. Violence (excluding anything to do with kids), drugs, prostitution, guns, random acts of evil, none of it bothers me in the way a normal human-being should be bothered by it, and for that reason alone, I’m going to say something I’ve never said about a book that I’ve rated poorly.

I STILL RECOMMEND THIS BOOK

Before you break out the “what the hell?” let me explain.

The main focus of White Trash Beautiful is the horrible domestic abuse Cass is subjected to from her heroine addicted boyfriend (Jax), and the responsibility of taking care of her mother. Who is also a heroine addict, thanks to prince flipping charming. This is the kind of topic that will make many of you reach for the Puff’s and ice cream. It’ll break many of your hearts, and it’ll spark sympathy in every single one of you. But I’ve seen this story. I’ve stepped over the needles on my way to school. I’ve watched kids run down the street in a blizzard in search of a phone, because “he hit mommy again”. I’ve witnessed the power company come out and shut electricity off to a house that’s occupied with small children. So these aspects, these trials and tribulations just didn’t rub me raw. They didn’t show me something new. And they didn’t spark that sympathy that Cass didn’t need but definitely deserved.

“So why did you request it you heartless bitch?”

I requested it because I had hope that a different light would be shined on a story I’ve seen. I thought that maybe, an author would be able to capture the true angst involved with living under those circumstances and strip me bare with its intensity. I guess, on some very fucked up level, I wanted to see if anyone else got it. And White Trash Beautiful had the right elements. It had the good writing. It even had decent characters. But the overall delivery was just a bit too hollow for me. I never really felt the desperation that Cass felt in her situation. I never felt her helplessness when it came to getting Jax to change his ways, or determination to just leave it all behind. And when Mummert threw in Tucker as Cass’s knight in shining armor I knew right then this wouldn’t be the story I was hoping for. I know it’s teaching a sense of hope, and I’m so happy that Cass was able to experience that hope, but it just didn’t fit to me. Hope should have come in the money she saved up to leave that hell hole. Hope should have come in her mom attempting to get clean. But instead hope came from a budding rock star that loved her at first sight? I know I’m being selfish here. I do! But let’s be honest! It doesn’t fit! We went from a plausible storyline with real issues to your run of the mill, novel. And that broke my heart.

I do my best not to leak spoilers, and this review is no different. But please understand that there was so much potential for this to be a true “realistic fiction” novel. It was so close! I loved Tucker, I really did. But what I was yearning for and what I got were polar opposites, and that’s the only reason I’ve rated it 1.5 stars. Like I said above, I STILL RECOMMEND IT. You will probably enjoy this book. You will cry. You will mourn. You will get frustrated, and then you will remind yourself that Cass is as much of an addict as Jax and her mom. Then you will see that hope, and your mood will start to lift. You’ll start the happy what if scenarios. You may even squeeze in a aww or two.

And why wouldn’t you?! The characters are strong and realistic (to a point). The plot is original (at least for the 1st half). The writing is great. The pace is perfect. You may very well like it. And I’m utterly jealous of you because of that.

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13 thoughts on “White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert”

  1. That’s so disappointing. It sounds like this book had some big potential for realistic hope and instead turned it into a fairy tale ending. I don’t quite get why the author would put so many horrific (and while i’m desensitized to such things as well, we both realize they’re still awful, I know) scenarios in one life into a book only to whisk them magically away with insta-love.

    I hope anyone else that picks the book up enjoys it, but I know I wouldn’t with the abrupt gear change. So I won’t be adding it to my TBR.
    Leanne @ Literary Excursion recently posted…Reading Retrospection: The Honey Connoisseur {DNF}My Profile

  2. Kudos for having a rare type of honesty in your review. I admire the way you stated your feelings about the book (and yeah, the fairy-tale bit is a little cheesy), but at the same time acknowledged that a lot of people enjoy that kind of story. I think I found your blog through a link or one of the book challenges on Faith, Hope and Cherry Tea.
    LuAnn Braley recently posted…Baby Maters!My Profile

  3. Thank You! I really wanted to stress, that for once, I’m just one reviewer of many. Not everyone likes the same thing and I know thats especially true when it comes to this book. 🙂

  4. This review totally confirms my respect for you as a blogger. I appreciate that you look past your personal preferences and personal experiences to see where many other readers will be coming from.

    However, I kind of wish that Cass could bring herself out of this situation, rather than having some guy show up to do it. I haven’t read it and maybe that’s not what happens, but judging from your review, I kind of feel like it is. Does that even make sense? I think I might just be being feminist-y.
    Megan recently posted…Review: The Halfling’s GemMy Profile

  5. Wow. Thank you so flipping much! And you make perfect sense and you’re right. She had the potential to save herself and at times she did, but for the bigger picture it seems the real saving grace is “some guy”. I enjoyed when she did work for her own freedom but in the scheme of things it wasn’t enough for me.

  6. Ah. This book. Part of me wants to read it, but at the same time I’m just not sure it’s for me. I’ve seen firsthand what heroine does to a person and I’m not sure I want to read about it. I try to avoid issue books because I read to escape not relive my childhood. I’m just so curious about a book that you disliked but would still recommend.
    Angie recently posted…Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve TucholkeMy Profile

  7. I’d say library copy. You’ll probably feel the same way I did, having personal connections with the subject matter, but I think you’ll see why some people will love it.

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