Title: Girls Love Travis Walker
Author: Anne Pfeffer
My Rating: 3.5-4/5 Stars
To nineteen-year-old high school dropout Travis Walker, women are like snowflakes–each one different, but beautiful in her own way.
He can charm any girl he meets, and yet down deep he fears he’ll always be a loser like his jailbird father. As the landlady threatens to evict him and his sick mother, Travis takes a job he hates and spends his evenings picking up girls at a nearby night spot.
When he enlists in a teen program at the local fire station, he finds out he’s amazing at it. Then he meets the smoking hot Kat Summers, enlists Kat’s friend Zoey to help him woo her, and falls in love for the first time ever.
But he keeps the details of his life secret. His girl will never love him back if she knows the truth about him…
When I first started reading Girls Love Travis Walker, I really had no idea what to expect. I gathered from the title and the summary that Travis Walker was a bit of a womanizer but really, anything beyond that was a complete guess. This book turned out to be a lot more heartbreaking and honest than I could have ever imagined.
When I was first introduced to Travis Walker, I thought of him as quite a jerk. He looked good and he knew it. He could score pretty much any girl and he knew it. He shouldn’t be treating girls the way he did, and you guessed it, he knew it. Even though some of his actions earlier on in the story turned me off quite a bit, it didn’t take long for me to meet this completely different side to Travis. During the day, when he isn’t within the confines of a club surrounded by women, his life is drastically different.
Travis is struggling to keep him and his mom afloat. Ever since his dad ruined their lives by gambling all their money away and getting locked up, life has thrown Travis and his mom one curve ball after another. When his mom becomes too sick and depressed to work, Travis is forced to quit high school in order to get a job to pay for their apartment…that is if the landlady will accept their rent a few dollars short and quite a bit late. Working the mornings and evenings with a brush clearing crew, he spends his lunches at a volunteer center. It was during these moments that my initial feelings for Travis began to change. Sure he still had moments in which he was cocky and a bit jerkish but he also showed how determined he was to make a better life for him and his mom. Travis proved that he was a hard worker and was trying to do his best despite what life threw at him.
Through a string of events, Travis also lands himself in the Discoveries program at the local fire station where teens can go on the weekends to train if the plan to be a firefighter one day. While going through the program, Travis decides what he wants to do with his life if only he could just get caught up on everything. I loved seeing Travis go through the fire fighter program. For the first time he seemed to feel proud of the work he was doing and started to see a future for himself.
Even thought Travis is busy trying to keep a roof over his and his mom’s heads, he still finds the time for the ladies. Or I guess one lady in particular. Zoey, his boss at the Community Center soon gets under his skin in the best way possible. Her determination to make the world a better place, to help out the community in which she lives in makes him learn to like a girl in a completely different way then just the physical reasons. This was yet another part of Travis I enjoyed watching. Seeing him become friends with a girl first, learning to like her for who she truly was, only showed just how much he was maturing and growing over the course of the book.
Of course before Travis can have his happily ever after where his mom gets better, Zoey becomes his, and he is transformed into a fire fighter with no worries on how to keep a roof over his head, things must get worse. And boy did they. My heart broke for Travis during this part of the book. It was how the old saying goes “When it rains, it pours.” Just when one thing would go bad, another thing would go worse. Even through it all, Travis kept one thing in mind: he had to take care of his mom. Even if it broke my heart, it also made me feel proud of Travis in a way. He struggled yes, but he never gave up.
Girls Love Travis Walker may not be what I was expecting. It may have had more of a serious message than I was first anticipating but regardless, it was still a good story to read. Travis’ struggles through life may not be things we all face but his journey through all of the ups and the downs is definitely something we can all identify with.
WINNER — Third Place for Fiction 2013 Indie Reader Discovery Awards
FINALIST– New Fiction 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards
“ ….the title of this book had me expecting something very like a teen romance. While there is romance aplenty in this wonderful novel, Girls Love Travis Walker is far more than that…”
“Little did I know that what I was about to read would have such a huge impact on me…. This book hit me right in the heart.”
“I really loved Travis…. I cried and was scared with him.”
“This book will make you fall in love for so many reasons…”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anne Pfeffer lives in Los Angeles, California. She likes to write, walk her dog, play poker, and work as a library volunteer at a local school. Her book Any Other Night has been named a Finalist in both the 2012 Indie Reader Discovery Awards and the 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards.
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