"It's always trouble with you." While grieving the death of his mom, sixteen-year-old Will Sullivan drinks, drives, and lands his butt in the hospital, lucky to be alive. Enter his dad’s buddies from the Hides of Hell Motorcycle Club with big ideas about biker therapy, as in get ready to ride. Unfortunately, Will is teamed up with the prez’s daughter, the troublesome Miki, and playing passenger on her bike is gearing up to be the ultimate nightmare.
"Hop on!" Miki Holtz isn’t some bubblegum chewing high schooler who only cares about her blue hair and the chips in her nails. She wants to be a mechanic and to make a love connection with her soul crush, Will Sullivan. Yeah, her speed is fast, and his is slow. She’s a mover and a shaker while he’s oddly attached to his floral couch. Will had better get ready for change, because if he’s riding on the back of her bike, he’ll need to hang on tight. Hell, yeah!
"I don't like the way you like me." The easy ride takes a turn when a bad decision is made, and their rivals, the Pulver Skulls MC, take notice from the shadows.
Riding with the Hides of Hell is an adventure story set in the Pacific Northwest where a strong girl and a moody boy discover love while trying to survive on a road trip from hell.
**Young Adult FINALIST in the 2016 PNWA Literary Contest**
Plot: There are a lot of moving parts to this love story between Will and Miki, each of which has the potential to be fascinating. But perhaps because there are so many moving parts, none of them are explored in much depth, which will disappoint readers.
Prose: The descriptions are on point and beautiful at times. Also, the author has found some effective voices for her characters. However, there is some clunky dialogue, and the perspective shifts between Will and Miki at times work to pull readers out of the story.
Originality: At its essence, this book tells a familiar story: two kids finding their places in the world and falling in love. However, Leigh mixes that straightforward YA structure with motorcycle gangs and a fair amount of gender role reversal with the protagonists. And this works to create a book that is anything but standard fare.
Character Development: Will and Miki both have strong voices and clear motivations for their actions. As with all good YA protagonists, readers will root for them to stop being such drama queens. And readers will root for them to finally figure out their issues with one another.
Date Submitted: April 07, 2017