Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Review: Bred by Ginger Scott

A coming-of-age romance inspired by Great Expectations

Publication date: May 10, 2019
Series: Standalone
Genre: mature YA 

 Share on Goodreads


My life was irrevocably changed the moment I stepped foot inside Elena Alderman’s grand front doors. A lifeless tomb on the edge of Chicago’s Southside, the Alderman home sat in one of the city’s oldest and wealthiest neighborhoods, and Elena Alderman was the queen.

She was also mad.

Not the kind of madness that’s readily apparent. No, her psychopathy was far more surgical—more…insidious. She was surrounded by beautiful things—most notably her grand piano and her adopted son, Henry.

I fell in love with both.

My gift blossomed when my fingers touched her black and white keys. But my life began when I became haunted by the boy. Henry Alderman was a handsome blend of arrogance and seduction, and as we grew up together, I found it more and more impossible to separate him from my thoughts. I envied his life. I imagined how my name—Lily—would look with his. I became his closest friend…and more. I gave him my kiss, locked away his secrets, and loved him even when it was hard to.

But we were just a game. Elena Alderman made the rules. And when she decided to change them, she broke everything.


Purchase here: Amazon 

About Ginger Scott

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling, Goodreads Choice Award and Rita award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, This Is Falling, Wild Reckless, The Hard Count, Cry Baby and Bred.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for a hella long time. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at

When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils). 

You can find her on:
BredBred by Ginger Scott
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

    Henry has been bred to win…with room for very little else.

It really guts me to say that I didn't care for this book like I'd anticipated, but I always strive to write an honest review and unfortunately that's how I feel. A modern YA reimagining of the classic Dickens novel, Great Expectations sounded so fresh and exciting. And of course, I'm a big fan of Ginger Scott's writing, so chances were good that this would be a big hit for me. Keep in mind most of my problems were subjective, so you may have a completely different experience. I'm going to skip the plot summary and just explain my personal difficulties with the story.

The love interest Henry Alderman is a troubled kid who lives in a toxic environment. Naturally that has molded him into the kind of person his mentally unstable, manipulative adoptive mother has strived for. Yes, she actually aims to have a cold, calculating son to take over her business when the time comes. She controls every aspect of his life, and removes his personal choices and freedom in pursuit of her end goal. So while I didn't care for Henry's attitude and behavior towards the heroine, I withheld my judgement for the majority of the book as I waited for his character to show signs of growth from his starting point. But I think this was where it went wrong for me. While I understood how he came to be this way since we first met him at the end of junior high school, he stayed consistently subservient to Elena, and remorseless about the often cruel things he did.

    [...] Henry is nothing like me. He’s broken in a different way, and he doesn’t feel things like pressure or guilt. That much I know. He barely feels at all.

The romance is very slow burn. If you're looking for that type of romance, this could very well be the perfect read for you. The first 70% or so of the book is Lily and Henry growing up together, their school interactions, and in my opinion a pretty unhealthy friendship. Henry goes beyond insensitive and often humiliates or hurts her, but she continues to make excuses for him and forgive despite his lack of compassion.

    He isn’t sorry. He’s never really sorry about anything. That’s the man he’s becoming, and I hate that I still like him so much.

There were a couple points where she distanced herself from him out of hurt and realizing that he couldn't return her romantic feelings, but as soon as he crooked his finger at her, she would be drawn back in. There was a lot of back and forth between them. He'd soften a little, she'd get her hopes up for more, and then eventual disappointment. One or the other would get pushed away, only for the cycle to begin again. So when she finally did break his resistance and they started their romantic relationship so far into the book, I wasn't rooting for them. I actually felt as if she was being foolish and setting herself up for heartbreak. Even with almost only 10% of the story left, Henry was writing himself notes to remind himself to stay faithful to her while they were separated. That didn't really inspire confidence in his ability to now make mature, empathetic choices.

Henry failed to fight for Lily when it came to Elena. For their right to be together. There was no sacrifice on his part which is what someone does if they are truly in love. His obedience to Elena was only changed when outside forces intervened, and that was pretty disappointing. That would have raised my opinion of him greatly if he had refused to allow her abuse to continue, because really, he didn't even want any part of the company she planned to pass down to him. So what exactly did he have to lose?

Lily for the most part was a likable character, though she often made immature choices and let her emotions get the better of her. The influence of Elena and the privileged attitudes she was immersed in had a negative effect on her at times. This, along with other things I mentioned align with things that were inspired by the original characters they were modeled after, but in this modern setting I guess it didn't translate well for me personally. Henry is like the spoiled and cold Estella, Elena is the eccentric, insane Mrs. Havisham, and Lily is the enamored Pip who strives hard to improve himself. One thing I will say is that I didn't see the twist coming at the end, and it made me hate Elena even more which I didn't think was possible. Just when you thought she couldn't sink any lower, she proved you wrong.

To sum things up, I think fans of the original classic will find more to enjoy here, or people who are looking for an angsty slow-burn teen romance. It wasn't the perfect fit for me, but I remain a loyal Ginger Scott fan and look forward to what she has to offer next.



0 komentarze:

Post a Comment