We are still away. I know. You’re probably all languishing and dying without our daily updates of awesomeness. But, to ease your suffering, I’ll introduce you to a book I LOVED.
Do you see the title? This is obviously one of those must-read books. (It’s not exactly Crime for Dummies though…)
A meth dealer. A prostitute. A serial killer.
Anywhere else, they’d be vermin. At the Mandel Academy, they’re called prodigies. The most exclusive school in New York City has been training young criminals for over a century. Only the most ruthless students are allowed to graduate. The rest disappear.
Flick, a teenage pickpocket, has risen to the top of his class. But then Mandel recruits a fierce new competitor who also happens to be Flick’s old flame. They’ve been told only one of them will make it out of the Mandel Academy. Will they find a way to save each other—or will the school destroy them both?
Oh. My. Gosh. I can’t give this book enough stars!! I’m totally shellshocked. This review will be a buzz of incoherent warbles about how much I ADORE this book. You have been warned.
Where do I start?! The writing was AWESOME. The characters were AWESOME. And the story was. so. freaking. AWESOME. I’m just…AHHHH. The feels. The complexities. Can I rate it higher then 5 stars? Please?
I’ll start with the writing and the plot. Both were epic. I’m always over-the-moon when I find a book I love with really, really good writing. My only negativity is the amount of tense swapping. Sometimes I really didn’t think it fit. Other then that, it was beautiful. The prose swung from page the page. The balance of action to backstory to narrative to dialogue was perfect. If I had to quote a book for exceptional writing style and voice, this would be it. As for the plot? The twists kept me on my toes. It was complex, but not confusing. THIS BOOK NEEDS TO BE A MOVIE.
Characters. I want to hug all the characters! (Only, they’d…well, kill me. But still.) They are SO well written. It’s narrated by Flick (that’s not his name, though. I know his name, but you won’t know until the end of the book…Ha ha to you!). Flick is a complicated fellow. He’s been abused and mistreated by his father, and he’s witnessed enough horror to kill a person. He’s fuelled on hate and revenge, but doesn’t want to be because he refuses to be like his father. I was just gobsmacked at how well he was written. At times I thought his character would slack off, especially when Joi was on the scene. But he my favourite character (though I simultaneously loved and wanted to bash him).
The other characters? Just WOW. Everyone from the villains to the people who barely get a name were all detailed with minuet precision. They were so real. Of course, then there’s Joi. She’s a do-good person, living in the slums and trying to help out people. Well, that’s what she lets YOU think. You can’t describe Joi. Flick tries, but all he gets is she smells like “jasmine and cocoa butter” and that’s really perfect. Although, my only question is: how did she stills smell like jasmine and cocoa butter when she was living in the academy and obviously had no access to nice smelling body lotions? Come on. Reality strikes every paragraph of this story… EXCEPT for that bit.
And then there’s Peter Pan. Jude. Juuuuuude (wails quietly). I can’t help but love that kid, even though he was dead the entire book. He saved Flick. On multiple levels. I loved how he was Peter Pan and how he was simultaneously Flicks savior, life, and tipping point – and also mental breakdown. Every scene with Jude was powerful.
Basically, the entire book was awesome. I would rave about it all day. Sure it’s violent and gritty and sad and desperate and horrible. But the title indicates that, right? My gosh. All I can think is: if every book was as powerful as this one, I’d get nothing done because I’d just read my whole life.
Cait is currently camping and without WiFi. This is a concerning combination, but so far she’s having a blast. Lots of hikes! Swimming in pools! Beach! And catching up on reading! She is typing up notes for world domination and also a new book which may or may not include zombies and Oliver Twist. She plans to reread Divergent by Veronica Roth and start Heist Society by Ally Carter.