I was give a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
4 out of 5 Stars
This was a hard story to read for a lot of reasons. It was dark and heartbreaking. Both the neighborhood and the MMA circuit were hard, harsh places to grow up and everyone came away scarred from their past. Also their idea to pay it forward, was the best tribute, very heartwarming. It was also nice that the neighborhood really came together to help out. I was glad to find a HEA at the end for a lot of the secondary characters too, not just the main characters. Although the story started out dark and there were a lot of sad and upsetting hills along the way, in the end it all come out good.
There were a lot of communications and commentary that was hurtful and misinterpreted. Even if that is not how the person talking meant it, it still hurt the person hearing it. It was also hard reading about Dray and Lucky's communications. If you haven't been through a past like Lucky's, it's hard to understand where their lack of self-worth comes from. I think though, that Lucky's experiences are part of why that place will be so great. Dray is right that being able to talk to someone like Lucky without feeling judged and looked down upon is probably the best resource there is for those kids.
Would I recommend this book?
If you like a gritty read, will love and fighting and the ability to heal and move past your past, this is a great read. Please note that there is talk of abused childhoods, so if you have issues with that, be warned this might not be a book that is for you. I loved the extra scenes and the interviews, those were like the cherry on top.