Review: Righteous by Kim Lehman

By: Kim Lehman
Publisher: Lucky Stars Publishing
Published: Feb. 24, 2015
Genre: YA

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A story about a troubled girl and her effed up, going-nowhere life.

Quick witted, sharp-tongued Righteous Andrews is troubled by a broken past, fed up with her present circumstances, and resolved to a hopeless future.

On the first day of her senior year of high school she gets in trouble, landing in the principal’s office . . . again. There she meets Colt Jackson, the new kid with a troubled past of his own. Despite her attempts to avoid him, Colt seems to show up everywhere she doesn’t want him to be, and soon they strike up an unexpected friendship. Righteous is wary. Friendships aren’t her thing. But something about Colt is different; something about him makes her curious, makes her wonder . . .

Is Colt Jackson really different from everyone else? Does happiness and love truly exist? Or will every relationship in her life always end in lies and heartache?

My thoughts…

Righteous doesn’t live on the rich side of town. She lives in a trailer with her mother who cares more about finding and holding onto some deadbeat loser of a man, than paying attention to a thing Righteous does. Righteous has come to terms with her life though. She’s well aware that she will never go to college. She’s not going to get a scholarship, she doesn’t even have good enough grades, not to mention the fact that she has no money. She is well aware of the fact that she will stay behind in the trailer she shares with her mother and her flavor of the month while all the rest of the kids from her school go off to start their life. However, when a new kid shows up at school, he worms his way into her life and manages to through her off balance.

This book started off really good. You see what Righteous’ life has been like. She’s in the principal’s office for throwing soda on another girl. You sense right then and there that Righteous has been in the hot seat before and isn’t intimidated by the principal. When she goes home her mother’s boyfriend is roughing up her mom. So when she tries to get him to leave her mother alone and to leave the trailer, he attacks her instead. Well, of course when the cops show up, the mother doesn’t want to press charges and claims it was all her fault the altercation even happened.

Righteous likes to be left alone. Don’t get her confused for someone who wants friends but is the odd kid out. Not only does the new kid try to converse with Righteous, but there is another girl at school who apparently asks her just about every day if she wants to eat lunch with her; Righteous blows her off every time. However, there is one person in her life that she can count on and that’s Magda. An old lady with dementia whom she met while walking through the park. Apparently Magda got out of her nursing home and Righteous helped her find her way back. They’ve been friends ever since. In fact Magda is Righteous’ only friend.

Speaking of Magda, I think she was my favorite character in this book. Due to her dementia she was kind of all over the place, but in a good way. She says these quirky things that were meant to inspire or direct Righteous’ thoughts. For instance:

“You can’t see who’s shooting arrows if you’re hiding behind the trees.”

“Stick your thumbs in your ears some more and you’ll have enough what-ifs and maybe-whens to build a bridge.”

“You can’t flip pancakes with blind eyes.”

The entire book is written in Righteous’ point of view and at times it was rough for me to get through. There is a lot of internal dialog. A lot. Which I suppose makes sense because she pushes everyone away and has no other friends except for Magda. There were times where her ramblings about the “Pops” or “Popsicles” (popular kids), her musings about her dead end life, her negligent mother who cared more about men than her, and the new kid who is following her around wanting to be her friend, became a little exhausting.

I liked that the author gave Righteous struggles. None of it was really over the top. There are people out there who struggle like Righteous and her mother did. My huge gripe though is what happens towards the end. It left me wondering why the author flipped course like that. I mean, does every book have to end with a happily ever after? I’m not going to go into detail but I felt like I missed a chapter where the Fairy Godmother came out and flicked her wand around and changed everything. The story was enjoyable up until that point. Then I just felt like I was reading an entirely different book all together. As if maybe I have fallen into Righteous’ parallel universe or something.


Favorite quote…

“There’s no such thing as normal.”


10 Thoughts on “Review: Righteous by Kim Lehman

  1. The blurb does sell the story well, however the change in course towards the end would have me bothered too. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it more.

  2. Too bad that the ending changed course so suddenly, as it sounds like a good read! Real life doesn’t have Fairy Godmothers or HEA endings, so why do books feel it’s necessary? Too bad.

    Terri @ Alexia’s Books and Such…

    • Thank you! I don’t get it. It seems like every story needs to end on a happy note. I have read a couple books where the characters didn’t get a HEA or died at the end of the book… and I LOVED it. Maybe that’s saying something about my character but I loved that the author didn’t take the easy route and make it all golden for everyone.

  3. It’s a shame the ending because it does sounds very good!! I like these kind of stories where characters don’t have a perfect life and their problems are real! Also, loved this quote: “You can’t see who’s shooting arrows if you’re hiding behind the trees.”

    • That’s what drew me to the story, the fact that it sounded so real. I just wish that the ending stuck with the theme of the book. Magda was by far the best character in the whole book.

  4. Interesting, sounds like a difficult book to read, sorry the ending ruined it for you.

    • The story itself wasn’t all that bad. The MC was a little difficult though because she made it seem like she was all alone in the world but yet she kept everyone who tried to get close to her at arms length.

  5. Haven’t heard of this one, but it certainly sounds interesting. I so often read about A+ students, never ones living in trailer parks. But it sounds like I can kind of guess the ending, and I don’t think I’d like that all too much either – that bit about missing the Fairy Godmother chapter made me laugh!

    • Glad I could entertain you with that. LoL 😉 I really did feel like I’d missed something. I don’t know if the author was rushed, didn’t know how to tie up the story, or was told to make a change at the last minute. It just didn’t jive with the story at all.

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