Author: Terra Elan McVoy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: May 7, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Criminal was a novel about a girl who found her self involuntarily being an accessory to a crime her boyfriend committed. This novel deals with how the main protagonist, Nikki, deals with being part of the crime as well as trying to keep her boyfriend safe from getting busted and obsessing over him to no end. In all honesty, I was slightly disappointed with this novel because of several reasons I'll mention below, but overall, it was still a very realistic and honest take on taking advantage of a girl's desperate need to hold on to the one she "loves".
Nikki ends up witnessing, or a least hearing, gun shots that ended up killing a cop. She also was the getaway car for her boyfriend after he killed the cop. It took a couple of seconds for Nikki to process it all but a couple of days in pathetic denial about what happened during that single minute. I just found it SO frustrating that somehow all Nikki cared about after the murder was Dee.. Dee.. and Dee. I was in AWE. Your lovely boyfriend just killed a guy, a cop, a father, a husband.. and all you seem to care about is whether Dee replied back to your message or when he'll see you? really? I mean, it is not like Nikki has been on the wrong side of the tracks.. she seems to be a pretty stand up girl, so I would believe she at least has a conscious. So to say I was annoyed, furious, and out right disgusted at Nikki is an understatement.
Of course Dee was another story all together, my instant hate for him mirrored the hate radiating from Bird, Nikki's friend and also the girl who allowed Nikki to stay with her when she didn't have a house to stay in. He was SUCH a charmer (sarcastic tone). Here is when he really won me over, his reply to when Nikki kept on freaking out after the whole murder happening:
"What if I put my fist straight through that mouth of yours, crush your pipes so you can't talk anymore, huh? What if that?"
I do believe that Terra Elan McVoy is a brilliant author for invoking so much emotions towards her characters. I am not denying that some people aren't like Nikki or Dee, but these are the types of people and stories that I don't care much about because people like that frustrate me to no end. However I do believe that Nikki ended up getting burnt extensively for being so naive and lovestruck. Her heart, in the end, isn't full of hate and black blood like Dee. She really did make an honest mistake for trusting Dee and going against her instincts.
The first half of the novel was the whole Nikki being obsessive over Dee, but when she got busted for the crime, and you see the reality of being tangled up with the wrong people and how your life could be wasted for this tiny mistake, that is when I started flipping the pages like a madwoman, trying to find out what will happened to Nikki, Dee, and the relationship between Nikki, Bird, and even Nikki's mother. The whole trial and court dealings were something I was very interested in and in the end I did enjoy the novel overall. I think the second half redeemed the novel for me and I was glad I stuck through with it to the end. If you are looking for a glaringly honest and realistic story of a girl ending up being an accessory to crime and how that changed her whole life, you should definitely pick Criminal up.