As I described it on Facebook:
It's a YA novel about making moonshine. The southern writing is A+, the story B+. The protag's love interest might make you swoon. I'd drop everything to be with him.
I was completely taken with Tomp's style and imagery, from the very beginning:
The ingredients for moonshine are ordinary. Innocent.
Corn. Sugar. Yeast. Heat and time.
Isn't it great how she lays out the story right there? That innocence will be tested with heat and time? (And booze.)
The story centers on teens in Virginia hillbilly country, in the summer after they graduate from high school. It's the kind of place where if your BFF is fantasizing about her wedding you ask if she's pregnant, and she responds that she isn't, but that she and Bucky might get married anyway.
Our protagonist, the first time she ever drinks, Lulu vomits in a cute boy's helmet and observes.
There's a fine line between toxic and intoxicating.
The next day going out with her first hangover is "like entering a sensory battlefield."
On her perceived rival for the cute boy's attention:
Jessie's eyes about scraped me as she looked me up and down. I tossed my hair in some kind of primal reaction.
One last bit of imagery that grabbed me:
"At first we tiptoed and whispered, but the same way we adjusted to the water temperature, we relaxed into the night."
As I said in my mini-review, the plot isn't as good as the language. The book is filled with hints and suspense and take a hair too long getting to it. I also found Lulu a little selfish and frustrating, perhaps because her beau is so appealing. It's like, get your head out of your ass, girl, and be with Mason!