Grade A Stupidby A.J. Lape (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Series: Darcy Walker Series #1
on November 9, 2012
Genres: Action and Suspense, Comedy, Coming of Age, Contemporary, Contemporary, Family, Friendship, Kidnapping, Law & Crime, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Mystery and Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult
Amazon • Goodreads
Fifteen years ago, Darcy Walker's parents thought it was a good idea to give her a unique name: Darcy, meaning "dark walker." Whether that was a stroke of genius or stroke of stupid, they definitely nailed the irony. She lacks direction, her grades stink despite a high IQ, she's boringly average--although flirting admirers claim otherwise--and God help her, she's infatuated with a bad-boy.
A bad-boy that her hottie best friend, Dylan, wishes would get acquainted with his fist.
And, oh yeah, there's that tattoo that was a royally stupid idea.
With her life spiraling out of control, everything changes when she skips class and finds a dead body...in fact, it gets worse. It jump starts Darcy's inner-verb, and her brain hard-wired for action gets caught up in a situation she can’t let go.
Set in the fictional Cincinnati town of Valley, Ohio, Darcy falls into a world of threats, violence, and gangland exploits chasing down every clue to finger the murderer. When a fellow misfit is fingered for the crime, Darcy goes from zero-to-sixty trying to clear his name--constructing aliases, breaking the law, everything that makes perfect sense to her but reeks of Grade A Stupid to everyone else.
Trouble is...will she live to see sixteen?
I stumbled upon this series in a daily email that I get with links to free Amazon books. The description for Grade A Stupid sounded good, I checked out the reviews on Goodreads, and I downloaded it right away. This series was such a refreshing, fun set of books for me, and I’m excited to share what I love about Darcy and her boys!
In Grade A Stupid, we meet Darcy. She’s smart, but she doesn’t have much drive and she’s easily distracted. Her best friend since they were five is school it-boy Dylan, and she honestly doesn’t know why he puts up with her and her weirdness when he could have anyone that he wants. When her boredom and nosiness lead her to a dumpster with a dead gangbanger in it, she jumps feet first into a dangerous investigation to save her wrongfully accused garbage picker acquaintance from being convicted of the killing. With a small cadre of quirky, charismatic boys that bring something unique to the table, Darcy solves this case, but brings Dylan’s overprotectiveness and heaps of trouble from rival gangs and a few other sources down upon herself.
Two weeks before junior year, Darcy hops a plane to Orlando for a little R&R with her best friend Dylan and his family. Fresh off the heels of solving three murders in Valley, you’d think she’d sit back and enjoy the vacation capital of the world … maybe if you’re a noun. Darcy Walker, however, is nothing but verb.
Before her feet hit the Orlando soil, she’s meddling in the disappearance of a five-year-old boy who vanished six months earlier.
With authorities still no closer to solving the case, Darcy is shanghaied by her impulsivity and runs headlong into that proverbial burning building, convinced she can bring him home.
She travels down a road that not only follows this missing child but branches off into the corrupt and sinister world of mob activity when she tampers in a case on which Dylan’s detective grandfather is working.
After a near disastrous midnight meeting in a warehouse and a date with a mechanical bull, Darcy realizes she might’ve bitten off more than she can chew. Add the boiling flirtationship with her best friend and the appearance of his romantic rival, and she is in over her head.
Will she survive a life of flirting with death too easily? Or will her flirtationship with Dylan become the actual death of her instead?
For a girl with a habit of finding dead bodies, No Brainer gives Darcy Walker more of the same…surprising twists and turns…and running for her life.
Darcy has her hands full with Dylan’s flirty and protective nature while on vacation with his family, but in No Brainer, we get to meet Dylan’s family. While his grandfather is a detective that doesn’t know how to leave the dangerous work at home when he’s on vacation, his father takes his down time a little too seriously, so Darcy has to watch herself when she decides to help find a little boy who’s been missing for several months. Her acting before thinking lands her in some hot water and tough situations in this one, but she has a few new boys that can help her get what she needs to get to the bottom of this mystery. But the deeper mystery seems to be her growing feelings for her best friend Dylan, and why everyone else seems to think that there’s more to their relationship than she sees. No Brainer is higher stakes, faster paced, and definitely more dangerous at times than the first installment, and the set ups for more things to come with Dylan’s grandfather definitely left me begging for more of the hard nosed detective and his mysterious Irish partner!
100 Proof Stud
Sometimes life smacks you right in the kisser with a whole lot of ohhhh craaaaap.
Just ask Darcy Walker.
100 Proof Stud picks up four months after No Brainer’s cliffhanger ending, and Darcy discovers the aftermath pales in comparison to the crisis her heart is in. All of a sudden it’s raining men, and this teenage heroine’s personal life turns her inside out.
Before she can sort out her feelings, she chases a spray-painting vandal and stumbles upon a case of identity theft right in her own backyard. Darcy jumps into the fray headfirst to prove she can hang with the big boys.
But it’s not just to hang…nope, she’s chasing reward money.
Tapping her band of misfit brothers for help, she turns Valley upside down trying to unearth the criminals. Problem is, the cloak and dagger goes high-octane, and she raises the bar on “crazy” in the process.
Bullets ring out…dead bodies appear…and Darcy rubs shoulders with the ultimate sociopath. In the midst of murder and mayhem, will she finally follow her heart or build a fortress of lies around it? Will she even get the chance?
100 Proof Stud has the return of my favorite brother in the Darcy Walker Series — Vinnie! You can never have enough Vinnie in these books, in my opinion. Darcy is back to working at the book store, back to acting like she doesn’t know what her relationship should be with Dylan except best friends, and she certainly can’t keep her nose clean when it comes to trouble. Her jealously is in high gear when it comes to Dylan and other girls in this book, and it leads her to retaliate with a new boy that just might make Dylan blow more than a few gaskets. But when someone tags the basketball coach’s car and an identify theft ring seems to be running out of her school, can Darcy and her boys find the culprits before she’s in their crosshairs? Highly unlikely in this one, and there are a lot of tense moments–and funny moments too–as they try to navigate school, dances, work, basketball games, and other teenagers’ activities while sleuthing this one out to collect a ten grand reward.
Darcy is such a likable character. She’s fiercely loyal to her friends and family, and she’ll lie, cheat, and steal for them. But she’s plagued with self-image issues, so she doesn’t think that she’s pretty enough for Dylan to like, even when he tells her differently all of the time. While she’s extremely smart, she has trouble focusing and keeping on task, so her follow through on school work is poor. But she can investigate and push like no one’s business, so she always gets the job done and puts things together–even if luck has a hand in it in the end.
But what really pulls together this series is the sense of humor of all the characters, but also the side characters. Each of the boys that help out Darcy are unique and have a specific purpose. You never forget who is who, and you’ll definitely have your favorites. Darcy’s father, sister, and nanny are a hoot. This is such a great series, and I’m eagerly awaiting book 4: DEFCON Darcy. If you like Darynda Jones’ Charlie Davidson series and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum’s series, then you’ll enjoy this series.