Hi-Lo title written in Verse
Lacey “Lace” Stewart knows who she is. She's the star of her high school's lacrosse team, she's confident and brash, and she doesn't seem to worry about what other people think. Lace tries hard in school, works weekends at a coffee shop, and is counting on a lacrosse scholarship for college. She's got it all figured out. At least that's what she shows everyone at school. But underneath her brave face, she's battling deep-seated anxiety, and she's one panic attack away from losing it all.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
Thank you to #NetGalley and the publisher #west44books for allowing me to read the eARC of this book. This was my first Novel in Verse and it did not disappoint. Lace is a star lacrosse player who seems to have it all together, but underneath she is dealing with crippling anxiety. The only time she feels "normal" is when she is on the field, but her parents think she should quit the sport to focus on more important things. She feels like she is failing at everything: her job, school, relationships, friendships, life. When she tries to tell her parents they are dismissive and tell to to just "try harder." This Hi/Lo explores the stigma of mental health issues and one girl's fight to find her way through to the other end. I believe this book would be fine for students in Intermediate or High school. There is some underage drinking, but nothing out of hand.
The way the story is written in short spurts makes this a quick read but overall shows how someone’s mental health can really impact all areas of their life if not treated or handled. Good message for those having the same feelings that support can be available.
I had mixed feelings about the cover it looked a bit dark but when reading the book, it does kind of make sense, as the main characters name is Lacey and she is continually being told to “be tough.” The lace on the book cover is pretty but has that small hole within it, representing the character Lacey really well. The main character Lacey, though people do call her Lace for short is the star of the lacrosse team, she appears to have it all. Lace dates Owen, the star of the male lacrosse team. Lacey appears to have everything, be good at everything and comes across as confident, “in your face”, loud girl. However, behind the wall Lacey has carefully constructed around herself she is more unsure, reserved and has anxiety too. Lacey works hard at school and in her weekend job in a little coffee shop but sadly things start to slip. First, it’s Lacey’s grades and then missing assignments, which has a knock-on effect of her beloved lacrosse being taken from her. Lacey is told if she wants to play at the lacrosse games, she needs to keep up her grades too. With pressure from her teachers, along with peer pressure from her lacrosse team mates saying they need her in top form is a heavy enough weight to carry. Then every attempt at initiating a conversation about the anxiety this is all causing with her parents is met by being told to “fake it till you make it” and “push through it” etc it’s no wonder poor Lacey ends up suffering panic attacks, she literally has no outlet, she feels like she has no one to speak honestly with and confide in. The book goes on to tell of her panic attack, luckily for Lacey a teacher at school notices the signs and offers her help and guidance. Its not long until others realise and step forward to help her. My immediate thoughts upon finishing the book were that it had been a good read that covered an important subject in a short book. Summing up I really like the concept of these books being HiLo in that, they are short reads, but they tackle important issues. The book is also classed as poetry, which I’ll be honest I wouldn’t normally read, in fact I would usually just dismiss poetry altogether but I do really enjoy these novella’s. I think they would make an amazing tool at schools to tackle certain subjects as well as encouraging those who are not used to reading. They would be a shorter commitment to read, yet still interesting for not so keen readers
Tough as Lace is a YA verse novel that tells the story of a young lacrosse star struggling with test anxiety and panic attacks. It is written at a level accessible to all readers but specifically for those reading below grade level. The story and character are very relatable, as teens regularly feel pressure to do well often to the point of making themselves ill. Well done, would recommend to my students.