Author: Leigh Hutton
Release date: May 24, 2014
Inspired by a true story
It’s hard to be the new girl, but it’s even harder being the new girl who races dirt bikes . . .
Ever since her parents forced her to move from Canada to Silvertown, Colorado, Clover Kassedy hasn’t fit in. So how do you deal when everyone hates you?
Focusing all her energy on racing her motorcycle did it for a while, but now that Clover’s managed to find a bestie and a boyfriend, the pressure on the sixteen-year-old is worse than ever.
She’s determined to get to the World Championships, where she could finally meet her idol – an Australian, the World Champion – and have a shot at becoming a professional dirt bike racer. But with her super- competitive dad, workaholic mother and relentless bullies at races and at high school, Clover is struggling to make her dreams a reality.
Will it be her scheming ex-best-friend who shatters her world? Or will she let her ‘perfect’ boyfriend – the guy who has finally made her feel like she belongs in their school and their town – stop her from becoming an international racing star?
Praise for REV GIRL and Leigh Hutton
‘A heroine who has the guts to chase her dreams. REV GIRL’s Clover Kassedy takes you on a ride you’ll never forget.’
– J.C. BURKE, award-winning author
‘Hutton’s real life experience as a dirt bike champ roars off the page. A gritty, modern girl hero for the 21st century.’
— EDWINA SHAW, author of Thrill Seekers
‘REV GIRL explores how a girl survives high school, family, first love and what it takes to become a world champion endurance trail bike chick. Dramatic, adrenaline pumping, thought-provoking, wonderful. This is no princess fairy-tale story. This is real. Congratulations to Leigh Hutton for an exceptional first book. Thank you for bringing us REV GIRL.’
– CAROLYN MARTINEZ, author of Finding Love Again
‘I felt very connected with REV GIRL, this book and its characters truly express and emphasize how important it is to believe in yourself! When reading REV GIRL I felt on the edge of my seat, looking forward to read each page as I read through the book. Leigh Hutton has written this so realistically that it reveals all the determination, motivation, success and all the negatives that come with big decision making, too. While reading this book I had just finished competing in the World Enduro Championships myself. This book will inspire many girls and women of all ages to stay strong and shine in your adventures that you create.’
– JESS GARDINER, world Enduro racer and International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) reigning women’s champion
Excerpt from Chapter 1
Clover Kassedy winced and dropped her chin, using the visor of her helmet as a shield against the rocks and mud being flung off the tyre of the dirt bike in front. It hit her chest protector like gunfire, stung at her cheeks and clung to her goggles. But she kept the throttle pinned. Just a few more corners and she would have her. Lasha Moore was going to get knocked off her throne, and Clover was going to win this championship.
The narrow track was heading upwards, through a funnel of trees, and their autumn leaves streaked past in a haze of red, yellow and orange as Clover wound her way up and over a tall spine of the Rocky Mountains.
Her bike vibrated beneath her as she hunted Lasha down: up the short straight away, hairpin left, right sweeper, driving onwards, up towards the sky. Her body was shaking, but not from the cold. She was hot, burning up. Sweat dripped into her eyes, stinging, clouding her vision. Her muscles were wasted from the hours spent glued to the bike. All she could smell was exhaust and swamp mud from the low-lying bogs.
Then she hit snow. Watched as Lasha slid on a patch of white on the precipitous trail. Her bike bogged down, losing momentum, back end swapping from side to side, her feet flung off the pegs. She was paddling to get to the top.
I’ve gotta pass NOW, Clover thought. A grey haze was all that remained of the daylight. A wicked northerly wind cut through the trees, their shadows spread across the trail, camouflaging the nasties − tyre-cutting rocks, slippery logs, patches of black ice. Dangers she would normally be wary of. But not now. Not when she was desperate to get in front and secure the win.
Clover threw her weight forward, turning the bars to the left and holding firm to the side of the trail, as branches whipped at her arms and the bike’s swing arm clanged against the boulders on the edge of the tree line. Her front tyre pulled in line with the rear of Lasha’s bike, and suddenly Clover’s mind was gone; she could see the finish line, could see herself, finally taking her first ever title. Trumping one of the fastest junior girls in America. Proving everyone wrong: her pushy father, her absent mother, her best friend, Sera, who’d never been supportive of her racing. Proving to the kids at school, the bitchy girls who called her a ‘tomboy’ and a ‘try hard’ – not a real racer. She wanted to know it was possible. That she could be a winner.
Too bad her body didn’t follow.
Lasha’s back tyre flicked off a rock and into her motor.
Clover screamed out in shock. A loud CRACK sliced through the air as her bike hit the boulders on the edge of the track and stopped dead. The force shot her forward – her stomach crunched against the cross bar pad, punching the wind from her chest. Rocks ripped through her pants and jersey, scoring into the soft flesh of her legs. But her head hurt the most – her hair stuck in her plastic chest protector and it felt as though it was being ripped from the roots one strand at a time.
I’ve gotta get back up!
Winded, she gasped the cold air in and out, as if something was lodged in her throat. Her chest burned with the effort. Her bike was silent. She wriggled from under the weight of it, frantic now as precious seconds were being lost.
The stiff fabric of her gear rubbed against open wounds but she couldn’t stop, couldn’t let herself register the pain. Her arms shook with the effort of trying to stand the bike up, and keep it from sliding backwards down the slope.
She eyed her bike for damage. As soon as she spotted the front of the swing arm, she knew it was over.
Her chain was snapped in two, coiled up around the front sprocket. She had no idea how to fix a broken chain.
This was it. The chequered flag out of reach.
Panic rose within her, like a raging fire, when a voice came from above her, ‘Nice try, loser!’
Clover looked towards the darkening sky. Lasha had stopped at the summit and was glaring down at her. Her body started to tremble. ‘Bet that hurt!’ Lasha said, shaking her head and laughing. Her cold blue eyes burned from the top of the hill.
Clover’s fists balled with hatred, and she gritted her teeth at the perfection that was Lasha Moore. Her bike was hardly dirty, and her gear was spotless. Lasha had it all, including natural talent, and she knew it.
At one time, Clover had actually thought they were becoming friends, until their second season in juniors, when Lasha stopped talking to her. Not just that, she’d turnedevery girl in their class against her and made her life hell at every possible opportunity. Clover wished more than anything that she knew why.
Clover’s eyes weighed with tears as she looked down at her gloves; there were holes at the end of nearly every finger. She’d kill for Lasha’s gorgeous FOX gear; all the guys loved her. It fit Lasha’s curves, perfectly feminine, instead of Clover’s father’s old, baggy stuff he’d said would do fine.
‘Gotta fly, got a race to win!’ Lasha said, raising a hand in a ‘royal’ wave. ‘Save yourself the humiliation of another dud season next year, Kassedy. Seriously.’ Lasha spun around, tipped over the lip of the hill and dashed off for the finish line.
Clover started to cry, and punched the seat of the bike. Her heart was bursting, from the frustration of an entire season spent fighting for every point she could get. She was showing promise, and had scored solid podium results in a string of events from Texas to Wyoming. She was in second place behind Lasha and close enough to win the championship. Close enough to prove to her father that she was ready to tackle the Pro Ladies Class, and finally have a shot at sponsorship and making racing her career. After all, she was no good at school. Racing was her only shot.
And I’ve blown it!
To read more, check out REV GIRL, available at: Amazon.