It’s my turn on the BlogTour AGirl Called Ruthless by Melody Pendlebury.
About the Author
Melody firmly believes that one should never completely grow up. That is why she has chosen to spend her days writing for a younger audience. Melody resides in Jacksonville Florida with her beloved corgi Gatsby, and her husband Dylan. She started her writing career with children’s picture books and has now pivoted to middle-grade novels.
She believes that children are eager for more books with strong-willed characters that deal with darker and interesting topics. Her debut novel, A Girl Called Ruthless, is inspired by the fiery girls in her fourth-grade class. When Melody is not writing or teaching kids how to write, she can be found planning her next big trip to some magical place she has never been to. Follow @melodypendy on Twitter, @melodypendywrites/ on Instagram
About the book
A girl with ambition. A clever ruse gone awry. A fatal encounter… Eleven-year-old Ruthless will do whatever it takes to live up to her name. Slaughtering pirates, running an underground gambling operation, and intercepting Russian spies are just a few examples.
In true Ruthless fashion, she claims the title of student body president, but her aspirations are cut short after getting in trouble. Not letting that stand in her way, she runs for Mayor with the help of her incredibly strong best friend, Owen. Her town of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has no age requirement to run for the post. The chances of a child winning are slim, to say the least, so Ruthless and Owen disguise themselves as an adult with the good old ‘two kids in a trench coat’ ruse.
This seemingly harmless scheme has grave consequences that invite the turmoil of her mother’s past back to haunt her. When the dangers of the adult world come crashing down on Ruthless, she must learn how to live with her new reality, and ultimately use it to turn her life into a success story – and live up to her name. But will she be able to leave the past behind?
Ruthless prides herself on swimming upstream – she is her name and her name is her. Nothing will stand in her way, even if it means walking over people to get there. She wants to be Mayor, ergo she shall be Mayor. She learns that life isn’t always going to go her way and the best laid plans sometimes fail.
Whilst I am absolutely onboard and in agreement with the fact young readers need to encounter more strong-willed young female lead characters, I think Ruthless overshoots the mark by a mile though. What you have instead is a child written like an adult character. Strong-willed isn’t the same as rude or lacking impulse control, boundaries and any regard for rules or authority. It’s not relatable or a potential role model. You can write a rebel without her being an A-class miniature adult muppet or add half a decade to her age.
What I did like was the way her imagination, reasoning and her stories, and those of others, become part of the narrative. The fairytale, the memory, the life experience – all of them show the storytelling talent and simultaneously the contradiction in the main character. It’s loud, brusque and ambitious.
Buy A Girl Called Ruthless at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : darkstroke books pub date 21 Aug. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.