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Rashika, The Book Owl

So my name is Rashika and I am weird. I read a lot (duh) and I watch a lot of TV. I also like to review. Check out my blog (where I co-blog with awesome people).

Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy

Criminal - Terra Elan McVoy

This is not a book for everyone. Not everyone will love it as much as I did and some people will find it boring. But for me this book was so beautiful. I am not sure there are enough words to describe the beauty of this book.

The other day I was trying to explain what happened in this book to someone and I ended up rambling. I am not sure how I’ll manage to write this review.

When I requested this book I was kind of scared because it sounded so intense and I wasn’t wrong. This isn’t YA, its somewhere between Mature YA and New Adult.

Our main character, Nikki has had a shit life. Her mother is a druggie, her step-father is in jail and she has to take care of all the stuff her mom is too stoned to. She dropped out of school when she was 16 and well she has no authority figure present to help her get on the right track. Her grandmother used to take care of her but she died. All this aside, the author doesn’t dwell on what Nikki’s past was, she doesn’t want us to pity our character but to understand her and where the thoughts behind her decisions stem from.


The author doesn’t make Nikki a particularly easy character to like. Initially she annoyed me then I started to sympathize with her and then slowly I fell in love with her (in a not creepy way).

The thing that annoyed me most about Nikki (and is meant to annoy us) is her obsession with Dee. She cannot see that he is using her and that he doesn’t actually love her. She blindly follows him thinking that if they love each other everything else will be okay. Her friend Bird tries to tell her Dee is a bad guy but she doesn’t listen.

I think that Nikki always knew, the signs were there but she always fooled herself into thinking otherwise. She just needed someone to love her and yes I realize how cheesy that sounds but it’s the truth. She later goes on to realize that maybe she didn’t really love him, that maybe he was like an addiction, a way of filling in all the empty spots in her from the absence of parents and people who would be there for her. In doing this she forgot that she had Bird who would have been there for her no matter what and Bird finally reached her breaking point and gave up on Nikki.

When her boyfriend and her best friend ditch her things get real bad. She realizes she deserves it for the crimes she has committed. She goes to the police and tells them what happened but she still doesn’t tell the whole story, she tries to protect Dee. She ends up going to jail anyway.

This story is kind of like a coming of age story. Nikki makes realizations about what she had and the things she never saw or overlooked and in the end she finally has to deal with the guilt of helping kill a man who did nothing wrong.

To see her change and accept her mistakes and finally stand up for what is right is so beautiful. It made me so proud.

This is a heart wrenching tale which shows the other side of falling in love. Love isn’t all flowers and hearts, it isn’t perfect. This isn’t a tale of crime but of self-realization and has become one of my favorite reads of the year.

That being said this book isn’t perfect, there are tons of things I could pick on and complain about but I’d be a real ass if I did.

If this is any indication of how the author’s other works are like, I need to look into them and read them ASAP.