Tourmaline Harris’s life hit pause at fifteen, when her mom went to prison because of Tourmaline’s unintentionally damning testimony. But at eighteen, her home life is stable, and she has a strong relationship with her father, the president of a local biker club known as the Wardens.
Virginia Campbell’s life hit fast-forward at fifteen, when her mom “sold” her into the services of a local lawyer: a man for whom the law is merely a suggestion. When Hazard sets his sights on dismantling the Wardens, he sends in Virginia, who has every intention of selling out the club—and Tourmaline.
But the two girls are stronger than the circumstances that brought them together, and their resilience defines the friendship at the heart of this powerful debut novel.
Sons of Anarchy meets Thelma & Louise.
“We’re friends because when girls–women–are alone in this world, they’re easier to pick off.”
Debut author Sarah Nicole Lemon whizzes into the YA scene with DONE DIRT CHEAP, a powerful, gripping novel that is, in short, a work of art. And every time I hear a motorcycle roaring down the highway, I think of it.
Tourmaline Harris accidentally put her mother in jail, and lives a somewhat sheltered, albeit jaded, life. Her father is the president of the Wardens, a biker club with benevolent deeds and nothing else.
Or so she believes.
Virginia Campbell works for a sleazy, disgusting ‘lawyer’ named Hazard. Once a beauty on the stage, she’s now forced to find her way into the secrets of the Wardens and snuff them out.
When the two, fresh out of high school teens (both eighteen) meet, neither is ready to trust the other.
And so begins an amazing friendship I loved from the start. Tourmaline and Virginia are polar opposites at first, slowly melding into one another’s hearts, the bricks of friendship layering row by row, working past jealousy and suspicion until they form an unbreakable bond. It was a lovely thing to watch as it grew, albeit shakily. It’s rare that one finds such a strong friendship in YA that we get to experience from the very beginning.
DONE DIRT CHEAP is full of twists and turns, as thrilling as a motorcycle ride, with a fresh and lyrical voice, and two alluring, realistic romances to boot. What I loved most about the novel was that the dominant relationship was the friendship between the two girls, rather than the romance. But despite the romance being a side-thing, there was plenty to swoon about. Trust me.
The novel, in short, is about two girls working past obstacles to trust one another, and then working together to take down the worst of men. What I loved most about DONE DIRT CHEAP was how realistic it was. There were plenty of mistakes proving the characters’ humanity, and plenty of mistakes that threw the plot in directions I never saw coming. It was as unpredictable as real life.
All in all, DONE DIRT CHEAP is a pretty amazing book. It was a breath of fresh air, and a novel that kept me on my toes, grinning like a fool at times, and then tearing up at others.
You hear that Harley roaring down the road? That’s DONE DIRT CHEAP, making its way into your heart.
About the Author
Born and raised in the Appalachians, Sarah Nicole Lemon spent the first fifteen years of her life doing nothing but reading and playing outside and has yet to outgrow either. Writing allows her to do both on a professional level. When not writing, you can find her drinking iced coffee in a half-submerged lawn chair near her home in southern Maryland.