Publish Date: January 14, 2012
Origins: From Author for Review
Order From: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: Danger lurks everywhere in eleven year old Reggie's world—from the bully next door to the unwanted attentions of a creep at school. Raised by her mentally ill mother, Reggie is left to fend for herself in a rough neighborhood. She escapes in daydreams, battling aliens with her alter ego, Tough Girl.
When Reggie's mother disappears, her fantasy life spirals out of control and starts to invade reality. She is hunted by a creature of her own design, and even Tough Girl is not strong enough to stop him.
Will Reggie survive long enough for her mother to return, or will her dream world take over?
Review: While ‘Tough Girl’ is about an eleven year old girl, it is not childlike at all. Ms. Heily has written ad beautifully poignant novel which will haunt you. I stayed up late reading ‘Tough Girl’ because I had to know what happened next and it was well worth the loss of sleep. I was sucked into Reggie’s story because Ms. Heily makes you feel every bit of Reggie’s emotions along with her. Reggie doesn’t have a great home life as her mom is mentally ill and slips away more and more each day. So Reggie’s left to fend for herself and in doing so has created an alter ego and friend of sorts in Tough Girl or TG, for short. Soon Reggie’s life starts to spiral out of control and her fantasies are invading the very reality she is trying to keep at bay. I was blown away by Ms. Heily and her ability to perfectly paint this world to life around the reader. I can’t say enough good things about ‘Tough Girl’! This is a book with very mature themes and as such, you may want to read it before your child does to be sure you are able to discuss it with them and then read it with them. ‘Tough Girl’ will bring out so many emotions while reading, so be sure to have some tissues close by. Excellent, excellent work and I hope to see more from this author.