A gritty story about one troubled teen, and the extreme measures he’ll take to find happiness and success in life — and the consequences of those actions, are the highlights of Betting Blind by Stephanie Guerra.
The cards are stacking up against Gabriel James: first there’s Phil, the guy paying the bills for Gabe’s mom (but not leaving his wife). Then there’s Gabe’s new school, filled with kids competing for the Ivies, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street—while Gabe’s just trying to swing enough Cs to graduate.
Gabe’s luck seems ready to change when he meets Irina Petrova: a hot violinist who is home-schooled by her strict Russian parents. When Gabe gets her number, he impresses the top guys at his school. When he becomes the drug connection for parties, his reputation is solidified. How else is he going to afford hanging with his new crew and impressing Irina? Anyway, it’s not really dealing if you’re just hooking up friends…right?
Gabe’s never been loyal to a girl before, but he finds himself falling for Irina hard. As the stakes are raised, Gabe will have to decide how high he’s willing to bet on school, on friends, on Irina—but most of all, on himself.
Mature content, ages 14 and up.
Guerra has a real knack for capturing the gritty details of her teen protagonist’s life, and giving plausible, realistic reasons for his not-so-great choices. The book takes unexpected and daring turns, so even if you think you know where this is going, you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised.
The story is left without a final resolution — so readers will have to wait for the sequel (due out sometime next year) to find out the rest of the story. But Betting Blind is certainly compelling enough to warrant that next book — and readers will want to know what happens next, and see how the rest of Gabe’s story unfolds.
Betting Blind is in stores now.