Criminal, by Terra Elan McVoy
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller/Murder
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Publication: May 7, 2013, by Simon Pulse
Format: Paperback Edition (borrowed)
Goodreads Summary: A searing and gripping read that explores the depths of desperation true love can inspire, from the author of Being Friends with Boys.
Nikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing.
So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime—a crime that ends in murder—Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him.
But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about? Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.
I FINALLY LOVED A BOOK BY THIS AUTHOR! *squeals* I've actually given McVoy's books a chance so many times and I was always left disappointed. With this one, I promised myself that if I didn't enjoy it whatsoever, it'd be my last chance ever. I guess fate was scared of me letting this author's books go...
Criminal was seriously epic. It gave me heart-stopping moments throughout the whole novel that never let me go until the end, plot twists that I never saw coming, and so many "OMG" moments that I couldn't believe were happening.
Nikki is afraid—that's all she's been since that day happened. But at least she has Dee, right? As her best friend and only home drifts apart because of the police, Nikki finds that she's all on her own, until they come to her house. She's found guilty and is placed into prison, eagerly waiting for trial. The days feel like months, and the weeks feel like years. Nikki feels like she has to fight to get out, just so she can be with Dee, one of the only people who really loves her. And what about Dee's motives? Secrets are secrets, and criminals are criminals. Together, they repose something far more powerful.
We all rarely read a book that takes place in a prison. When you think about it, not much can go on in there in order to create a novel, basically. But the amazing thing about this book was that it worked. And it worked extremely well, far more than I could've ever imagined. The concept and mystery flowed so well together, and by the end, we were left with no need to ask any questions.
Surprisingly, the writing was like devouring your favourite food—100 pieces of it, over and over again. I felt like I was in the need to read this in one sitting no matter what, and I did. This was my Friday-night read, and I sat there after squealing and giggling because I was the happiest person to see how good it ended up being. The plot was so well written—it certainly deserves an Oscar Award for best plot of 2013.
Nikki portrayed an excellent story through her thoughts. I loved reading through her narration, her POV, and she made the story a hundred times better, believe it or not. Her character was somebody who I will remember forever, as being one of the truest female heroines in a mystery novel. She made the story seem real, and she proved that this could absolutely happen in real life. The poor girl went through so much, and adding to that, her feelings and emotions were all over the place because she was spared, used, and left behind alone. And all of the blame was left on her, a criminal who wasn't even supposed to become one. Her message was shown to us more real than ever.
My only negative-exception that my attention span paid attention to was Dee. His motive and personality just didn't work with me. It became too cheesy. We all knew from the moment that he was introduced that he had something going on with him behind the scenes. And when it was released, I wasn't surprised. I expected a twist with his story, perhaps something psychological, but instead we ended up with an average guy's story, but in a more obsessive matter. *frowns*
In conclusion, I am probably the happiest person alive right now. This book was honestly amazing, and I seriously thank fate for getting me to pick it up. It was everything I've wanted in a mystery novel for a long time. Enjoy this, it's a gorgeous read.