Sunday, 12 May 2013

Review: Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy



Title: Criminal
Author: Terra Elan McVoy
Release date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult Crime/Thriller
Format: eARC
Pages: 288
Source: Edelweiss

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.


Criminal is an enjoyable YA crime novel, with great writing and an intriguing backstory. This book is similar to others I’ve read this year, but at the same time very different. It addresses some pretty important issues, and I think the way Terra has done that is really effective.

However, the fact that I simply detested the characters dampened my enjoyment of the novel. I felt no connection to any of them. I spent most of the novel yelling at Nikki inside my head, wanting her to appear in front of me so I could slap some sense into her. And I also really wanted to punch Dee in the face all throughout. Plus, Dee’s always been a girl’s name in previous books I’ve read, so at the beginning I kept picturing a girl instead of an asshole of a guy.

Never have I wanted to slap a fictional character as much as I want to slap Nikki. Seriously! She’s completely blinded by her love for Dee, and so incredibly stupid. She’s so whiny and clingy, and no wonder Dee didn’t want anything to do with her most of the time. I wouldn’t, either. She was obsessed! Sending him 50 texts in a row even though he told her to stay away from him for a while. Thinking Dee actually loved her. Assisting Dee in a murder and not even caring about the guy he killed. I hated Nikki so much. She did gain some wisdom by the end of the novel, thank goodness. I guess jail knocked some sense into her. But better late than never, right? I was actually a little proud of her by the end, even though I despised her so intensely at the beginning.

And Dee. God I hated him. He, also, is blinded by love. But not for Nikki. No, this was for another girl. And that made him do unforgivable things. I hated how he used Nikki, treated her like crap, and then cast her away like trash. But then again, Nikki shouldn’t have taken his crap. She should’ve been strong. Dee was pretty much impossible to even remotely empathize with. He acted so bipolar the whole novel, and he’s so unpredictable. And crazy, of course. The things people do for love… Dee takes that to a whole new level.

Criminal begins after Dee and Rachael have committed the crime. They are then questioned extensively by the police, and despite their well-rehearsed story, a lot of things go wrong. Nikki finally begins to question Dee’s motives, but it’s too late. She is pushed away by the one real friend she has, and her life goes to pieces. I think Nikki did the best she could under the circumstances, though. I did admire her for the choices she made later on in the novel, and I liked the fact that she became very wise towards the end. She learnt from all the mistakes she made, and even though her life will never be the same, she’s recovering.

I’d recommend Criminal to anyone who enjoys this genre, but I warn you about the characters! For me, the characters are one of the most important things in a novel. If I can’t connect with or don’t like the characters, I can’t enjoy the novel as much. This factor is even more important to me than the plot of a novel. So, though this book has potential, and I definitely loved Terra’s writing, the novel in itself was a bit of a disappointment for me. I will try Terra’s other novels, though, because I fell in love with her descriptions and vivid imagery. The writing made this novel redeemable to me.

*Thank you to Simon Pulse for providing me with an eGalley for review*

Rating: 2.5/5

1 comment:

  1. BLECH. Man, don't you hate it when you get ahold of a book with characters who are just begging to be shaken, hard? Nikki sounds really ridiculous. Eep. But at least you had the good writing to redeem the book somewhat!

    Happy weekend, Richa! Have a great day.


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