Ten-Second Review: A thrilling novel that blew my mind. It has a great group of characters, great writing, great plotting. Just great, great, great.
How to Lead a Life of Crime is a book that is chock-full of complete and utter kick butt. Reading this book made for one heck of a ride, and I loved all the layers of the story. Kirsten’s Miller’s novel is violent, thrilling, and contains some pretty controversial stuff, but it can also be really warming to the heart– the story subtly shows the importance of friendship, family, and many other things.
I experienced so, so many feelings awhile I read How to Lead a Life of Crime. I felt pumped up from the thrills, frustrated and angry when things seemed bleak, happy and smiley when something sweet and heartwarming happened, and flabbergasted when something insanely awesome happened. If you want to lead a life of feels for a short time, read this book. (Did you see what I did there?)
The plot of the story is extremely compelling and addictive. Boring moments don’t exist in this book, guys. From the very first page, nothing but entertainment is present. Another amazing this about this book’s story is the conspiracy behind Mandel Academy, a place that turns kids into vicious, cruel people. It was beautifully done and, I dare say, Miller actually makes it believable and possible. She fits the academy with bad intentions right in with the real world. It sort of blows my mind.
Miller focuses a lot on social issues. And these social issues are made an integral part of her novel and are, I believe, written well. I think it’s really great that Miller is taking on so many social issues and presenting them in a YA novel. It makes How to Lead a Life of Crime something that is very new to me.
Flick is a character that I would say is perfect because of his imperfections. Miller did a brilliant job at writing the boy whose bent on revenge’s flaws and internal conflicts and, at the same time, showing that, even though he is broken, he is a genuinely good person. In the very end, Flick isn’t just a character that seeks revenge, he’s more than that. So, so much more than that. Really, Flick has so much depth to his character…
I might have not agreed with Flick’s actions, but I still rooted for him and felt for him. Oh, and his voice… His voice is very clear, intelligent, compelling, and snarky– his dark humor is guaranteed to make you laugh.
And Joi, Flick’s old flame, is so great. When she makes her way back into the story after the beginning, she is just full of unexpected things. She’s kick butt and has the leadership skills and confidence in her peers that Flick lacks. She knows how to handle a situation and can rely on herself. Strong doesn’t even begin to describe her.
I also loved that every other character had a purpose. The side characters, such as the people at Mandel Academy that still have their hearts, play a big role in the story, rather than being introduced and then thrown away. The author puts every character to use and I loved that.
How to Lead a Life of Crime is one of my favorite books, and I loved reading it. It has a lot of cool-factor and has a plot that made for a very intense ride. And it’s intelligently written, which is great. Highly recommended.