Criminal

Terra Elan McVoy, Author
Terra Elan McVoy. Simon Pulse, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2162-2
Paperback - 269 pages - 978-1-4424-2163-9
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4424-2164-6
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Like McVoy’s previous books, a romance is central to this hard-hitting story, but the author’s fans may be surprised by just how toxic that relationship is. Readers are immediately plunged into the world of trouble that Nikki, 18, and her 20-year-old boyfriend, Dee, are in as they fabricate an alibi following Dee’s murder of a local deputy. Nikki’s unstable home life (her mother is an abusive drug addict) drove her to drop out of school to work at a hair salon, move in with single mother Bird (Nikki’s only real friend), and bury herself in an intensely sexual and unhealthy relationship with Dee. Nikki gets a rude awakening when the police close in, and Dee turns on her, leaving her alone and facing painful decisions. It’s a dark, devastating, and realistic portrait of a girl in over her head in more ways than one. What McVoy (Being Friends with Boys) gets so powerfully right in this novel is the way that love can descend like a fog, impairing one’s judgment and obscuring the truth. Ages 14–up. (May)
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