#OwnVoices Blog Tours Book Reviews contemporary ya fiction

When the Ground is Hard – Book Review


Title: When the Ground is Hard

Author: Malla Nunn

Pages: 256

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Publisher: G.P. Putnam

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

Adele Joubert loves being one of the popular girls at Keziah Christian Academy. She knows the upcoming semester at school is going to be great with her best friend Delia at her side. Then Delia dumps her for a new girl with more money, and Adele is forced to share a room with Lottie, the school pariah, who doesn’t pray and defies teachers’ orders. 

     But as they share a copy of Jane Eyre, Lottie’s gruff exterior and honesty grow on Adele, and Lottie learns to be a little sweeter. Together, they take on bullies and protect each other from the vindictive and prejudiced teachers. Then a boy goes missing on campus and Adele and Lottie must rely on each other to solve the mystery and maybe learn the true meaning of friendship.

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Continue reading to see my review of When the Ground is Hard.


I was hesitant when I started reading When the Ground is Hard. This isn’t my typical kind of book, and I wasn’t too sure what to expect or how to feel, but I went into things with an open mind. Just because it wasn’t my norm didn’t mean I wouldn’t like it, and I refused to judge it before I knew it. I’m so happy that I didn’t.

When the Ground is Hard is a beautiful book about discovering yourself when you thought you already knew who you were. Adele has always lived an easy life. Sure, people judge her mother because of her chosen way of life, but Adele has never wanted for much, and she has reaped the benefits of her position among her friends and classmates. So when she suddenly falls out of the good graces of the popular crowd at school, she doesn’t know what to do. Worse, she ends up being roommates with one of the least popular girls in the school, a known troublemaker. Adele is faced with two options: try to get back into the good graces of the popular girls, or embrace her lesser status and try to get along with her less-than-ideal roommate, Lottie.

Adele learns so much throughout this book, both about her self and her mother, who she has always struggled to connect with. I loved her progression along the course of the book, and seeing her come to realize that the way she has always viewed things is not necessarily the only way that things are. Perspective is everything, and Adele learns this through tough experiences.

When the Ground is Hard is a beautiful book about family and finding oneself. I am so happy that I gave this book a chance with an open mind. I give it 5/5 stars.

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

By Bailey Riddle

Bailey Riddle is a 22-year-old college student studying Broadcast Electronic Communication Arts at San Francisco State University. She loves all things fandom, and can often be found with her nose in a book. When she isn’t busy with school and being a professional fangirl, she likes to cook food, read, and work on catching up on many hours of sleep.

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