Book Name: Goodbye, Good Girl
Author: Renee Blossom
Genre: New Adult
Number of Pages: 316 Pages
Publishing Date: October 3, 2017
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
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*ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review*
Kandace Santellan life is not an easy one. Her mother is addicted to opioids following a major car accident and Kandace is tasked with taking care of her unwell mother and her two younger sisters. Her dad has not been around for the past two years due to his job, which Kandace does not fully understand. Right now, she is the glue holding her family together. She scrimps and saves every last penny, not earning nearly enough as a professional pole dance instructor, in order to take care of her family. All her friends have moved on to college, something that is not attainable for her at this time.
Kandace is really missing her father and she does not understand why he can’t be there for her and the family during their time of need. Sure, he sends home money when he can, but it is never enough. His job is clouded in secrecy and she does not even know where he is living. Things take a turn for the worst when a strange man packing a weapon shows up at her front door demanding information on her father’s whereabouts. Fearing for her family and for her father, she packs up her sisters and sends them to stay with her aunt Vivian, her mother’s sister, while she takes a road trip with her boyfriend trying to get to California to find her father. Kandace feels she is the only one who can help him.
Too bad her boyfriend gets called back home and Candace refuses to leave after their ten hour journey from Pittsburgh. In St Louis, not sure what the next move should be, Kandace winds up being targeted by April, a local pole dance stripper. Life suddenly takes a turn for Kandace and not in a good way or is it? Will Kandace make it out before it is too late? Or will she find herself and accept who she has become?
Kandace is only eighteen years old, and even though she lives in Pittsburgh, she is still very much a small town girl. Even though she has to act grown, she is still a young teenager trying to find her place in this world. You can see how much family is important to her and while she tries her best, she hasn’t really had time for herself to be a teenager or to learn about life in general. In some ways you can see just how naive she is especially once she meets April. For the first time, Kandace has freedom. Freedom from the responsibilities of taking care of a family and caring for her younger siblings. I think a lot of teens go through this especially if their home life is not perfect or they come from a one parent household where they don’t necessarily have the supervision or the help in making right or wrong choices.
I really felt bad at first for Kandace and felt that in a way she was targeted for her innocence and her vulnerability. Left alone in a city with no one to turn to, the glamour of making money, more money than ever thought possible held an appeal to Kandace. She IS a good girl. Is she doing bad things? I guess its left up to your interpretation. Stripping has such a huge stigma attached to it and in this day and age it is still frowned upon and girls are looked down at when their job is deemed by most of society as legalized prostitution. One thing that I was not comfortable with was Kandace’s easy acceptance on taking ecstasy especially after she wanted her mother battle through an addiction. Does it happen in strip clubs? I am sure more so than anyone would like to admit. But, it can also happen at any job.
Renee Blossom, author GOODBYE, GOOD GIRL, did a fantastic job of showing the other side of stripping and consequences with family members who do not necessarily agree with the job choice of a loved one. She really metamorphosizes Kandace from a good girl, a young, vulnerable teen, to someone else entirely – more of an adult, able to finally accept herself and make it out on her own. There are a lot of life lessons throughout this novel and I commend the author for shining a light on stripping and not making it overly one sided. She shows both sides of the coin, such as, the money aspect and the longevity of this type of career choice. I, for one, would never tell someone would they should or should not do with their life as long as they are making an honest living and are safe. I really recommend picking up a copy of this story, leave the judgement at the door, and journey along with Kandace as she finds her way in the world.