Tuesday, February 4, 2014

REVIEW--How to Lead a Life of Crime

Good afternoon, friends!  Unfortunately all that anyone can talk about in Indiana is that we're supposed to get MORE SNOW today....sigh.  I don't know how much more of winter snow I can handle!  Maybe a book review will cheer me up!

Today's review is on How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller.  It's dangerous, intense, surprising, and a great read!  So let's jump in!

  • Standalone novel
  • Thriller
The Gist:
Teenager Flick (at least that's the name he goes by) was raised in a very wealthy family.  He could probably have anything he wants based on his family's financial situation.  But Flick's dad is incredibly abusive, and Flick only gets away from his abuse when he goes to a military school.  But Flick leaves school and starts living on the streets as a thief when his dad gets away with killing his younger brother, Jude.  Flick is a good thief, in fact a pretty professional pick-pocket, so he isn't interested when Lucius Mandel invites him to attend the Mandel Academy.  This academy is for teen criminals and works to make those criminals even better at what they do.  But when Flick hears that Mandel has the evidence to put his father in prison for the rest of his life, he agrees to attend the academy through graduation.  But there is MUCH MORE to this academy than Flick first suspected, and when the love of his life becomes a student, too, Flick knows he must risk his race to the top to save both himself and the ones he loves.

What I Loved:
  • Such a cool premise--a school for criminals to make them better criminals!  You can take a class on assassination techniques or human trafficking...it's wrong but pretty funny, too.
  • The villains in this book weren't just one step ahead of Flick--they seemed to be five steps ahead of him.  Kept the book very mysterious.
  • This is a standalone book when I was certain it would be part of a series.  I appreciate having a book wrap everything up. 
  • There is so much that can be explored in this book, especially the characters' obsession with revenge or success (or both!).  
What I Didn't Love:
  • A pretty gory, disturbing, gross book at times.  Took things beyond the boundary that I expected.
  • Flick's communication with "Peter Pan" Jude was just a little bizarre at times.
  • The ending wasn't completely satisfactory for me.  After all Flick went through, I found myself thinking "that was it?"
  • The extra reading material at the end (like the files of characters and the class descriptions) told me things I already knew.  They just weren't necessary.  
I'd say a 3-heel read for me.  A good read with a few problems for me.  What did you think of the book?

I'll be back tomorrow (hopefully not buried in the snow!) with an outfit based off this book.  See you then!

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