Excerpt + Review: Girls Love Travis Walker by Anne Pfeffer

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*
To nineteen-year-old high school dropout Travis Walker, women are like snowflakes--each one different, but beautiful in her own way.

He can charm any girl he meets, and yet down deep he fears he'll always be a loser like his jailbird father. As the landlady threatens to evict him and his sick mother, Travis takes a job he hates and spends his evenings picking up girls at a nearby night spot.

When he enlists in a teen program at the local fire station, he finds out he’s amazing at it. Then he meets the smoking hot Kat Summers, enlists Kat’s friend Zoey to help him woo her, and falls in love for the first time ever.

But he keeps the details of his life secret. His girl will never love him back if she knows the truth about him….

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Don't judge a book by it's cover. The title and the cover make it seem like this is some fluffy story about some player who finally might get serious about some girl. But very soon you realize it's so much more than that. Skipping school is not something Travis wants to do, but he's forced by circumstances. His dad is in jail and lately the only thing his mother does is sleep, so it's up to him to earn money, making sure they have a roof above their heads and that they can eat.
"I was a quitter, a dropout. A nobody on the road to nowhere. But what was I supposed to do? Live in our car with Mom?"
So not everything is as easy as it may seems and nobody knows what's going on. Travis also doesn't want anyone to know. He's prideful and is convinced he can turn it all around, so he refuses to open up to other people and admit he needs help.
"This, right here, in one place, was what I wanted. It was all I wanted. I loved the fire station, loved the work and the feeling of pride it gave me."
There are opportunities for him, like the teen program at the local fire station, which really make him dream and believe in a better life. Also there is Kat or rather maybe Zoey. Somehow Travis ends up working at the Community Center, helping feed the homeless people. She doesn't know how close Travis is to being on the other side of the food counter.

Travis is convinced that if anyone knows the truth about him, they would reject him, he would get kicked off the fire station's teen program and people would pity him. Still how long can one guy keep fighting, keep pushing anyone away...
"When I first saw you, I thought you were both the handsomest and the saddest boy I'd ever seen."
Girls might love Travis Walker, but there is so much more to the guy than meets the eye. Using his good looks and charms, he can sweep pretty much anyone of their feet and keep them out of his business. When the situation gets out of his control, he will be forced to make some tough decisions.

I really adored this book, but honestly it often had me closer to tears than laughter, the story is so heartbreaking. Like any girl I fell for Travis Walker, not for the superficial screen he shows everybody but for the boy behind the mask. Through the entire book you keep hoping he can make it out of these dreadful situations and I even felt like cheering him on, convinced he can make something good out of his life, that he's worth it.

Anne Pfeffer did an awesome job with this story. I definitely recommend it, seeing as it stands out from other YA and NA novels thanks to the complexity and depth, making it a book you won't forget.

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Only fifteen minutes since I’d entered the halls of Perdido High School and already the beady eye of authority was upon me. I hadn’t even done anything wrong.


“Travis!” Ms. Valenzuela called out to me from the door of the guidance office. Although she was getting old, maybe into her early forties, she hadn’t let herself go. She had great legs, which were hidden today by her lime green pants.

“Yo.” I loped over and unleashed a grin that combined sincere remorse for my failings with my irresistible charm.

She pursed her lips. “Don’t start with me, Travis.”

I led the way to her office and took my usual chair while she sat at the desk across from me. “New picture,” I said, nodding to the updated photo of her two daughters. “Kelsi and … Julianne, right?”

She struggled to keep back a smile. “Yes, Travis. Those are their names.”

“Fifth and seventh grade, right?”

“Yes, Travis.” Now she was smiling for sure.

Maybe it was my blue-green eyes, or maybe my granite abs, but I could always get women to smile at me.

Ms. Valenzuela opened my folder. “Six more absences since your last visit to my office. Plus numerous missed homework assignments. You’re this close to suspension.” She held up her thumb and index finger a millimeter apart.

“I have to work, Ms. Val,” I said. “Gotta get ahead, you know.” I had a promising position as a bus boy at Jake’s Burgers.

“How many hours are you working these days?”

“As many as I can get, whenever I can get ‘em.”

“You can’t cut back?” She knew she couldn’t push me that hard. My family’s sudden move to Los Angeles in November of my junior year, coupled with my erratic attendance at Perdido High, had screwed up my graduation credits. With all my former classmates in college, I was starting my senior year, again, at age nineteen.

“I can’t get weekend shifts at Jake’s,” I told Ms.Val.

She didn’t like me working there, but she should just be glad I wasn’t following in the path of my father, who knocked over a convenience mart a year ago and ended up in prison for armed robbery. Mom had gone to visit him, but I refused. He could rot there for all I cared.

“You’ve got one school year left to graduate. I want to see you get that high school diploma, Travis. Or a GED at least.” Between her fingers, she rolled a pen. It was the cheap kind the school district bought that wrote for about five minutes before it crapped out on you.

“Yeah, well, we’re about to get evicted,” I said, “so that’s kind of rearranged my priorities.”

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  1. Thanks for your review - I would've passed this one right by if I hadn't read it. Now I've added it to my TBR list!