Love and Vandalism by Laurie Boyle Crompton is a perfectly quick, emotion-filled read. Heavily character driven and at times difficult to read because the characters themselves are dealing with issues that they aren’t ready to reveal, this is ultimately an interesting read for those who enjoy a wide range of emotions from light-hearted joy and laughter all the way up to rage. It explores mental health, artistic release, vices, relationships… and yet with it being so heavy in context, there is also a certain ease and lightness to the plot.
The story, in short: angsty teenage girl vandalizes her town unbeknownst to her father, who is a police officer, and is busted in the act by a recovering alcoholic teenage boy who makes her feel things she doesn’t want to feel or face (yet). Also be prepared for a nearly, if you are not paying attention, character reveal.
Rory, the teenage girl in question, isn’t what you would call a teen role model. She has some incredibly questionable and destructive behavior. However, her drive to spray paint in the middle of the night isn’t one of the destructive behaviors exactly. It is more of a healthy expression of what she is feeling. Her character becomes more likable and relatable as the story continues and Hayes, the love interest, helps her to see things (including her choice of painting a lion) in a different light.
Overall I found the book to be interesting and engaging. I liked it in the way that I like a not often told, but predictable, comfortable to read, angsty teen romance. 3/5 stars.
Note: Thank you to Sourcefire Books and NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Rory has a secret: she’s the vandal who paints graffiti lions all over her small town. If her policeman dad knew, he’d probably disown her. So when Hayes, a former screw-up on the path to recovery, catches her in the act, Rory’s sure she’s busted. Instead, he makes her a deal. If Rory shows him around town, he won’t turn her in. It might be coercion, but at least the boy is hot.
As they spend more time together, Rory worries she made the wrong choice. Hayes has a way of making her want things she shouldn’t want and feel emotions she’s tried to bury. Rory’s going to have to distance herself from Hayes or confront a secret she can’t bring herself to face…