cover image Mouthful


C.R. Grissom. Tule, $4.99 e-book (358p) ISBN 978-1-951786-23-6

Grissom’s deeply-felt debut introduces a remarkable heroine whose body image issues are rendered with expert precision. Full-figured Faith Lacerna developed an adult body in elementary school and the subsequent teasing and harassment have lingered with her into college. Her only sexual encounter in high school ended with her humiliated when pictures taken of her without her consent were posted on social media, and she enters college determined never to allow herself to be that vulnerable again. Then the utterly gorgeous Caleb St. John accidently beans her with a Frisbee. Caleb is the antithesis of every cruel man in Faith’s past, and he’s captivated by his “fantasy girl,” who refuses to give him the time of day. Faith’s all-to-human self-esteem issues are achingly convincing, while sweet, persistent Caleb, who is dealing with his ex-girlfriend’s betrayal and, later, with a personal tragedy, is sure to make readers swoon. Grissom’s skill for considerate characterization also extends to Faith’s spirited sidekicks, Kirsty and Beau, and Caleb’s wise friend Everest. Smart, believable, and endearing, this unputdownable romance will win Grissom plenty of fans. (Mar.)