senior basketball player. A mysterious new girl. A secret romance…
Charlie Baker wants out. She wants out of her small, southern hometown of BluHaven and she has her sights set on a basketball scholarship to a college as far away as her dreams can take her. Everything is going according to plan until she moves to town.
Aspen Sullivan is breathtaking. She is beautiful, smart, talented… She evokes feelings in Charlie that she hadn’t thought possible. When their friendship blossoms into something more, Charlie discovers a new truth about herself. But with Aspen’s mysterious past, they must keep their relationship a secret.
Will their love be strong enough to endure the trials of deceiving those closest to them?
Do they have what it takes to escape the constraints of the south and the closet together?
My Ticket Out is a Young Adult, LGBT story about love, and self-discovery. If you enjoy stories that include romance, heartbreak, and embracing who you are, then you will definitely love this book by author J.N. Marton.
Sarah – ☆☆☆☆
This is an emotionally charged read, full of impossibly heightened adolescent angst. It is the story of Charlie, a small town basketball star in her last year of high school. The book follows Charlie as she grows into herself, prepares for the future, and falls in love for the first time.
It is impossible not to fall hard for Charlie. Certain that she doesn’t belong in her small town, she devotes herself to her basketball – her ticket out. I love Charlie’s intense friendship with her friend and rival Riley, and I love her complicated relationship with her brother. Charlie’s background is complicated and her relationship with her grandparents is fragile. Charlie is a fighter, she’s a survivor, and she’s pretty fabulous.
I’m not entirely sure why this book is marketed as a romance. It is definitely a coming of age story and it is definitely a young adult, not a new adult read, but I’d argue that the focus of this book is the growth we see in Charlie herself over the school year. Without spoilers, there is a romance element to the book but it is a difficult, fractured romance for most of the book and the storyline doesn’t use a conventional romance novel structure.
My initial reaction to the dramatic storyline around Charlie’s coming out experience was disbelief – but sadly I’ve seen enough American news in 2020 to understand that small town America is quite possibly as hostile to LGBT teens as Charlie’s story suggests. However, I do feel like the book gets unnecessarily preachy in places – especially at the end where resolutions feel too easy and a bit trite. I’m not sure deep hurts can be healed quickly with pretty apologies. Charlie, Riley, and Matthew feel like complicated, fully developed characters. I didn’t quite know how to feel about Aspen in various parts of the story – but all of the other characters feel a little bit too simplistic. Either goodies or baddies, there isn’t much room for multifaceted humans in this book.
I recognise that as a teacher in my 40s, I’m definitely not the target audience for this book. I think the angst, the emotional turmoil, and the intense romantic scenes will resonate better with teen readers than they did with me. It’s all a little too much for me but it did make me smile – and cry.
Shannan – ☆☆☆
My Ticket Out is a young adult angsty story.
Charlie is a senior in high school. She doesn't feel she belongs in her hometown. She has hopes to get a basketball scholarship to be her ticket out. When Aspen is a new student, Charlie immediately notices how beautiful she is. Together they form a friendship that grows into something more.
The pace was very slow for me in the beginning, it did seem to move better the further I got into the read. I didn't feel as though I connected with the characters as much as I wanted to. As a young adult read, this is a very high-angst book, but with teenagers that is pretty realistic. The ending seemed a bit too easy for me, with a few apologies it was wrapped up in a bow. I did like that it touched on very realistic issues affecting LGBTQ teens.
J.N. Marton graduated from the
University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor’s degree in education. Along
with educating the future of our nation, she enjoys taking her daily morning
run, reading any book she can get her hands on, and binge watching the latest
shows on Netflix. Marton happily lives with her wife, Hollis, and their
Lab/Basset Hound mix, Sam.
Connect with J.N.
Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads
Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of My Ticket Out by J.N. Marton to read and review for this tour.