CRIMINAL by Terra Elan McVoy


Age Range: 14 - 18
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Nikki would do anything for her boyfriend, Dee. But, when he talks her into committing a crime with him then leaves her to take the fall, Nikki begins to think that even true love has its limits.

Even though all of her friends tell her that Dee is trouble, Nikki cannot seem to pull away from her moody and sometimes violent boyfriend. Nikki’s stepfather is in jail, her mother is strung out on drugs, and her grandmother is dead. Only her friend Bird, with whom she lives, offers any real stability. Unfortunately, Bird hates Dee, forcing Nikki to choose. Even after the police reveal that Dee’s “N” tattoo might actually be for another girl and Nikki is imprisoned, she defends her troubled boyfriend. Graphic sex, violence and foul language, while appropriate to the circumstances, overwhelm the tale. Even though it is clear that Nikki is lost in her own addiction—to Dee, not drugs—her continued reluctance to see Dee for what he is becomes wearisome. McVoy’s story of abuse and addiction lacks the subtlety and depth that this difficult topic demands.

Readers who make it all the way through the story will be grateful their incarceration is finally ended. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4424-2162-2
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2013


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