Title: Damaged Goods
Series: The Outsider Chronicles #2
Author: Nicole Williams
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 9 Sept 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads
When Liv Bennett said good-bye to her sinkhole of a hometown, she planned to leave that chapter of her life behind forever. But forever turned out to only be three years.
After her addict of a mother up and disappears, Liv returns to what she considers her own personal hell smack in the middle of nowhere Nevada to take care of her two younger sisters, and she promptly reinstitutes the golden rule that got her through her first nineteen years of life without getting knocked up, roughed up, or messed up: don’t date the local boys and, god forbid, don’t fall in love with one of them.
It isn’t long before that golden rule is put to the test.
Will Goods grew up in the next trailer over, but the wild, careless boy who used to tear up the town with his three brothers has morphed into someone else so completely, he’s almost unrecognizable. The quiet, contemplative man who works on cars every night and takes care of his mentally ill mother every day is nothing like the local boys Liv grew up avoiding.
But when Liv considers suspending her golden rule just this once, she finds out something about Will that will change everything.
Will Goods isn’t who he used to be—he’s not even the man Liv thinks she’s gotten to know over the summer. He’s become someone else entirely.
He’s become . . .
I have to start by saying that I adore Nicole Williams, her ability to feed my love of word play only makes me worship her more. The clever use of the title within the narrative was used to stunning effect *happy sigh*
Told in first person narrative from Liv’s perspective. At 25 she is hardened by life. She considers herself white trailer trash although she has fought long and hard to escape the confines of the small town and redneck mentality associated with it. She is very much a pessimist but with her upbringing it is completely understandable. However, she has boxed herself into following a set course for her future whether it makes her happy or not. It is soon apparent that Liv hides behind her protective shell but underneath she is responsible and selfless to the core. She always puts her two half siblings before herself. Thinking she had escaped the confines of her home town only to be thrust deeper into its shackles by a cruel twist of fate.
Liv is very judgmental of the people in her hometown and is quick to label them based on their location. Will Goods lives in the trailer next to Liv, recently returned from the army and caring for his ailing mother. It is soon apparent that Will defies all of Liv’s preconceived stereotypes.
Acts of kindness within the narrative help restore faith in human nature (mine as well as Liv’s) although it was a shame that the unexpected nature of the acts of kindness were such a shock to Liv.
Forced into taking a job she is uncomfortable with, Liv battles with her perception of herself. The idea of identity plays a large part within the narrative, showing that the things we do to survive aren’t who we are. It is how we perceive ourselves that ultimately defines who we are. Will plays a large part in helping Liv break through her barriers, opening up to both herself and others. The plot twist was completely unexpected and I have to say worked so well with the situation, forcing Liv to confront her inner demons. There was a point when I wanted to slap her for being so stupid but fortunately she redeemed herself in my eyes
I just loved the way in which this story played out – it is utterly brilliant.
I have to mention Nicole’s stunning ability to weave a in a Stripper 101 crash course within the narrative alongside a heaping serving of sarcasm – is it any wonder I love her writing so much