This book has a decent story but the writing is sometimes repetitive and some of the scenes are completely pointless. For example, there is a scene in the book wherein we find out that Lil Ann is gunshy. This is never again addressed anywhere in the book. Even later, when they hunt at the championship, the boy's father brings a gun, but there is no mention of Lil Ann being gunshy. Also, I found the metaphors in the book were sometimes quite weak or overused.
The story was strong, and I found it was compelling, but the ending and the justifcation for it was hard to swallow. It felt gratutious.
That said, the protaganist is a decent role model, and truly shows that hard work and passion can get you far.