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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

30 June 2015


Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy is the story of Nikki - who is going to jail for her boyfriend.

Nikki has had a rough life. She moved out of her mother's house and is living with her friend Bird and Bird's young daughter. Life has been better living with someone who cares about her. And she has a boyfriend.

After breaking up for a while, Nikki is seeing Dee again. Bird doesn't like Dee, but doesn't object to him spending the weekend at the house with Nikki. After Bird leaves to go shopping for the day, Dee returns from the gym and tells Nikki to get ready to leave.

Nikki thinks they are going to have a great day together. There is excitement in the air. But what Dee has planned is the opposite of a romantic weekend day together. Before Nikki knows what is happening, Dee has two guns and tells her to drive the car.

On the news the next day, Nikki sees that the man Dee shot was not gang related - it was a police officer. And now the police are questioning her and Dee is telling her they cannot talk until things cool off.

McVoy has written a book about a girl who made poor decisions to try to hold on to someone - someone who didn't love her, but she didn't know that until it was too late. Nikki's story is like a train wreck in slow motion. Readers can see what is coming long before she realizes it herself. Criminal is a novel written for teens - likely with the hope of teaching them take care with their own lives.

McVoy, Terra Elan. (2013). Criminal. New York: Simon Pulse.

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