She’s bringing us a quick peek into Terra Elan McVoy’s newest book, Criminal (which is soooo good). I’ve previously recommended Terra’s novel-in-verse After the Kiss and her rock-music-themed Being Friends With Boys (click link for my no-spoilers book talk in a new window).
As Terra and Alison ask – how far would you go for love?
Inspired by a news story about a young man accused of murdering his girlfriend’s parent with another girl as his accomplice, Terra Elan McVoy asks the reader, “How far would you go for love?” She searches for the answer to that question from the perspective of her main character, Nikki, who has unknowingly become an accessory to murder.
Read an excerpt from the book here.
Alison’s book talk: As the title foretells, Criminal is a dark departure from McVoy’s first four YA novels. Protagonist Nikki lives with her friend Bird, a young single mom, in a tough neighborhood in Atlanta. Nikki fled her family home because her mom is a drug addict who often brings home questionable characters. With no family support, Nikki clings to love where she can find it, even if it’s Dee, her on-again/off-again boyfriend who often mistreats her.
McVoy makes an interesting choice to begin the book the morning after the crime has taken place; the details of what happened are revealed in subsequent chapters in a plot-thickening, satisfying way. Readers discover along with Nikki just how deeply entangled she is in Dee’s deceptions and witness Nikki’s troubles multiply as she lies to protect the man she loves.
No one reading the book can deny that Nikki is a criminal — the facts are very plain. Yet, anyone who has survived young adulthood and a relationship with a “bad boy” or “bad girl” will relate to Nikki’s predicament. Readers see what Nikki cannot, but grieve right along with her when she realizes that the person she trusted, loved and sacrificed for has betrayed her.
In their starred review of Criminal, Publishers Weekly said that what McVoy “gets so powerfully right in this novel is the way that love can descend like a fog, impairing one’s judgment and obscuring the truth.”
Guest Blogger Bio: Alison Law is a professional writer and marketing and social media consultant based in Atlanta, Georgia. As owner of Alison Law Communications, she has worked with a variety of clients, including published authors and book publicity firms, public relations and advertising agencies, attorneys, accountants, veterinarians and other professional service providers.
Her career began twenty years ago in a newsroom in her hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. She spent almost seven years in various editorial and management positions at television stations in Chattanooga, Lexington, Kentucky and Baltimore, Maryland.
In 2012, Alison combined her editorial, online marketing and social media skills to launch SouthernSpines.com, an online community dedicated to celebrating and promoting southern writers, songwriters and poets, and “Books with Backbone.” Alison is a member of the She Reads Book Blogger network.
Alison is a part-time graduate student at Georgia State University where she is pursuing a master’s degree in English with a concentration in literary studies. She’s also “football widow” and fan club president to husband Zach Law, a successful fantasy and pro football writer. When not reading or writing…or reading some more…Alison is catching up on her neglected DVR queue with her two cats, Sting and Chewie.
Book cover image and review copy courtesy of the publisher. Terra’s photo and Alison’s photo appear courtesy of SouthernSpines.com.