Pepper Jones is ready for an epic cross country season. She wants to qualify for Nationals, and she’s willing to do anything it takes to make it happen. She can handle long miles and hill sprints, but boys? That’s an entirely different challenge.
Pepper’s never considered revealing her deeper feelings for her longtime friend, Jace Wilder. After all, he’s got the personal magnetism and good looks to hook just about any girl in town — and he has. Their friendship stands apart from high school social circles, and they’re both just fine with that (or at least they pretend to be).
That is, until running star Ryan Harding moves to town.
When it comes to running, Pepper’s goals are clear. But when it comes to Jace and Ryan, it’s nowhere near as simple.
I was able to get my hands of a copy of Pepped Up via Review Opportunities at Xpresso Book Tours, so a big thanks to them. I was keen to read this novel due to my recent obsession with sport related novels. It was a rather quick read at ~200 pages, and after finishing it, I'm kind of on the fence with where Pepped Up sits with me.
Like any good Chick-Lit novel, Dean provides a healthy dose of hunky boys with something for everyone to drool over . You've got your bad boy fixer-upper, Jace Wilder, Mr. Popular, football star, player, and party king. Then you have your all round good guy, boy next-door type, Ryan Harding. Caring, thoughtful, and with a picture-perfect family, Ryan's the type of boy your parents hope you bring home. And of course Pepper likes them both - and cue love triangle, the bane of all readers existence (or possibly just mine...).
One thing that really bothered my about this novel, is the blasé way underage drinking, and taking and dealing drugs is portrayed. This is a YOUNG ADULT novel. I feel it sort of encouraged these activities and that just doesn't sit right with me. Though, from the way the book ended, I presume that this was a set up for further plot in future books.
If I put aside the love triangle and the drugs stuff, I was engaged by Dean's writing style, reading the book in one sitting. It lacked the comedy I usually enjoy, but it didn't seem to effect my enjoyment of the novel which surprised me.
Pepped Up deals with the pressures and complications of high school, and highlights the traps you allow yourself to fall into of you're not careful.
3 out of 5