Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tripping Me Up by Amber Garza

Tripping Me Up** 4 out of 5 Stars **


I may not have special powers, but sometimes I think I'm invisible.  No one in my high school seems to notice me at all.  When they finally do it's because the popular Tripp Bauer accidentally smacks me in the face with a wad of paper.  Talk about humiliating.

Only now he keeps talking to me.

At first it was to apologize, and I figured once I forgave him he'd go away.  But he doesn't, and now my feelings for him are starting to grow.  And that scares me.  Guys like Tripp Bauer don't fall for girls like me.  Or do they?


This is a typical YA read.  You have the wallflower girl who is invisible to everyone. You have the popular boy who ever girl wants and every guy wants to be.  Girl is and has been crushing on said boy for years but knows that he'll never look at her that way...he'd have to actually notice her first.  The setting takes place in a high school.  I liked the hero and heroine.  Hadley is withdrawn and makes it a point not to be noticed by the "mean girls" but in the process makes herself invisible.  Let me just say that I can't stand "mean girls"!  I will never understand why females feel a need to be horrible to other girls for the sake of making themselves look better.  These girls are in their prime in high school.  What they don't realize is that if they don't change then this is it for them.  College is a whole other ballgame. Tripp is the direct opposite of what everyone thinks he is.  He's hiding a huge secret and he's never told a sole.  I liked the story line and it's done in dual POV.  I'm not a big YA reader and though this was a good book it was still a little too young for my tastes.  If you love YA then you should definitely read this book!


Hadley is 16 and a junior in high school.  She's an invisible wallflower secretly crushing on the boy she can never have.  She is very pale, has long brown hair and caramel eyes.  She's a little on the curvy side and she's very self-conscience and always second guesses herself.

Guys like Tripp Bauer don't fall for girls like me.  It's just not the way it works.

Tripp is the most popular guy in school.  He's on the football team and he's the guy every girl wants to date.  He hates his life.  He hates football, the fake girls, high school, and everything he represents.  He lives the life though.  He has a huge problem standing up for himself.  he's hiding a huge secret and has for years.  He's a good guy with dreams that he doesn't pursue because of circumstances beyond his control.

As Hadley enters her classroom she is smacked in the face with a wad of paper.  He apologizes and she brushes him off but he's not one to back down so easy.  He continues to apologize and she's very hateful to him. He's very confused about why she dislikes him so much.

They live in the same neighborhood and after apologizing for the millionth time Tripp tells her he wants to be friends.  They are kindred spirits but neither can understand why they are so much alike.  Over the next several weeks they begin a kind of friendship outside of school.  They hang out a lot at home but he ignores her at school...completely ignores her.  Even though he knows he's not treating her fairly he can't let her go.  He wants someone to share things with but he can't let anyone, including her, know that his charmed life isn't so charmed.

Tripp's dad beats him and his mom.  He always leaves bruises where no one can see.  He is always walking a line trying to please his father so he doesn't use him as his own personal punching bag.  Tripp is terrified of him and unwilling to stand up to him at all.  He does exactly what he say and exactly when he says to do it.  His dad tells him to take Sonya, who happens to be Hadley's ex-best friend, to the school dance.  Sonya is beautiful and everything that Tripp should want but he can't muster up even the smallest feeling for her.  He takes her to escape the wrath of his dad, even kissing her and trying to feel something.  He begins to realize that this girl will never be anything to him and that he might have found the girl of his dreams a lot sooner than he thought.  He knows he's in trouble and not just with his dad.  She's a nobody and his friends will never understand...but he still can't stay away.

Watching her, I realize that no matter how hard I try to like her, she'll never be the one.  None of these girls here are.  But I have a feeling that the right one is closer than I ever imagined.

Even realizing this doesn't change his behavior.  He still comes to hang out at her house to watch movies with her and her best friend.  The more time he spends with her the more he can see them together.  Hadley finally confronts him about the way he treats her and he promises to change...and he does.  His friends aren't nice about it.  She tells him about her past with Sonya.  The girl is evil.  She told some very personal things to the school about Hadley all for the name of being more popular.  Soon after, because of jealousy, Sonya does the exact same thing to her and spills the beans about her crush on Tripp and a family issue she didn't want anyone to know about.  Tripp doesn't stand up for her and she ends the friendship.

He tries repeatedly to talk to her but she pushes him away until he shows up at her window one night with a plan to fix things at school.  His big plan?  He asks her to be his girlfriend.  He tells her he's really into her.  She actually turns him down but he's not even close to being finished.  He's decided what he wants and he plans on getting it.  He starts by blowing off is friends and eating lunch with her.

"Challenge accepted, Hadley.  And just so you know, I never lose.  Until tomorrow."

She finally tells him why she can't go out with him and he kisses her.  It's her first kiss and it's one she'll never forget.  She agrees to be his girlfriend and the fun really begins.  She goes to his ballgame and his dad finds out about her then demands he stop seeing her.

I've never disobeyed my dad before, but I can't let him take Hadley from me.  She's my whole world.  Without her I have absolutely nothing.  He's taken everything else.  This time I've got to find a way to fight back, to hold my ground.

Not knowing how to handle the situation he blows her off all weekend and then he's cold to her at school but all the while still with her.  She catches him talking to Sonya and then breaks up with him.  He goes to her house that afternoon and finally comes clean about what is going on at home and why he's been behaving the way he has.  He's not willing to lose her so he decides to fight for them.  They tell each other they love each other.

Sonya that's for you!!!

Toward the end of the book he takes her to her first dance and Sonya runs her mouth.  This time he stands up for her.  They have a great time but he comes home to find his mom severely beaten by his dad.  He does the one thing he's never done.  He finally stands up for himself and his mom.  He calls 911 and his dad is arrested.

The epilogue takes place during their Senior year.  His mom has an apartment and he lives with her.  He has quit playing football and lost all of his friends but he's happy.  He spends all of his time with Hadley.


This is a great YA read.  I give it 4 stars because even though I don't particularly like YA this is a good book.  If you are into YA then I suggest that you take the time to read it.

My Tripp / Hadley


Favorite Quotes:

"Last chance to get out of this."
He smiles.  "I'm not looking for a way out Hadley."