Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy

Posted 25 April, 2013 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review, Featured / 8 Comments

Criminal by Terra Elan McVoyCriminal by Terra Elan McVoy
Published by Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse on May 7th 2013
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
4 Stars

A searing and gripping read that explores the depths of desperation true love can inspire, from the author of Being Friends with Boys.

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

There are not so many books out there that deal with Criminals in YA, and I mean real crime and not pranks. When I read the synopsis I knew this book wouldn’t be easy but still, the subject fascinated me and I was excited to read it.

Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy

When Love Makes Blind…

Nikki has a sad life and lives in a part of the city where danger and crimes are just around the corner. Having horrible parents (who are not allowed to be called parents at all) Nikki lives with a motherly friend and focuses nearly completely Dee. She loves Dee with all her heart and this love feels rather desperate as he is the only thing in Nikki’s live that feels like a light in the dark. Nikki would do anything for Dee and .. I mean anything. He is her only hope, so she’s more scared of losing him than any other consequences.

This love combined with such an unreal hope makes Nikki very blind…

How Far Do You Go?

When a horrible murder happens, the police soon finds Dee and Nikki and she’s faced with some horrible decisions and .. some even more gruesome truths. The question now is, how far will Nikki go to save Dee?

It was incredible sad, somber and frightening to see this sad and broken girl risking everything to save a boy. I not sure if Nikki was only so very naive or if she was just so incredible blinded. I think it was a combination of both. It’s always easy so see the right path and the truth behind it when you are looking at situations from the outside, so we as the reader knew what was going on pretty fast, but Nikki? She was in between this mess and had no way of getting out of it without losing the one thing that she put all her hopes in.

Dark Reality

What struck me most about this book is how long it stayed with me , even after finishing it. It’s a book that gets you thinking and reflecting your life. Even more, I think it makes us realize how horrible some teens have to grow up because I am 100% certain that this book could be a real story, as sad as frightening it is – I’m sure! It wasn’t easy to connect with Nikki as I constantly saw how wrong she reacted and what she would need to do get out of it. Still, this was an essential part of the story so I appreciate the way Nikki was developed even though it made it not impossible to connect with her. And at the end, Nikki did grow! She did realize what she needs to do and she did realize that she has to change her life! Nikki never believed in herself and she had no idea about her own worth and she needed to comprehend that she is worth much more than what this boy made her believe…

Bewitched Rating


Bottom Line

Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy was powerful, read and incredibly frightening. It’s a story that will stay with you long after finishing it and it will make you reflect. Nikki was a sad girl who needed to realize that she’s worth so much more than just being played by someone who just uses her. Love can make very blind… but sometimes you have to be your own person… Don’t shy away of this book because you think it might make you uncomfortable, it will  but.. it’s  deep outstanding story!



Are you scared reading such stories? Stories with characters you might not like, but which is needed to get the message across? 
Much Love,
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8 Responses to “Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy”

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever read a YA book with criminals, so this definitely caught my attention. Thanks for the review!
    I just wanna say that your blog is absolutely gorgeous.

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  2. Awesome review Danny! I’m glad you liked this book because I think it sounds AMAZING. Like.. super intense and gritty—which I love. I am honestly a little nervous though because it hasn’t been getting the best ratings on Goodreads! 🙁 Not horrible, but not the best either!

    I think I’ll still give it a try though because it just sounds sooooo good!
    Ashley recently posted..The Boyfriend App by Katie SiseMy Profile

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  3. “It’s always easy so see the right path and the truth behind it when you are looking at situations from the outside, so we as the reader knew what was going on pretty fast, but Nikki? She was in between this mess and had no way of getting out of it without losing the one thing that she put all her hopes in.”

    That’s exactly what I have to remember when I read books like this Danny! It’s easy to be judgmental when we’re reading from the safety of our living rooms and aren’t neck-deep in the emotional intensity of it all, so I always have to remind myself not to be too hard on characters like Nikki. Glad to see you enjoyed this one, maybe I need to add it to my list:)

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  4. Thank you, Danny, for reading CRIMINAL and giving Nikki a chance. What I love best about this review is that you’re honest about how you felt about her! Glad the book stayed with you, and keep up the great reviewing.

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