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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  284 ratings  ·  69 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Simon Pulse (first published April 8th 2013)
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Lottie Eve
3.5-- A strong, solid novel, but I had a few quibbles.

I believe that there are different ways to love someone. After reading so many books, watching so many movies and T.V. shows, I think that I have found out about many of those ways. But Criminal is the first novel that I have read that features such a dark, startling honest story about the consequences of being utterly blinded by love. But awhile this is a strong and solid story, I did have a few quibbles here and there.

The Things That I Like...more
Jenni Arndt
Being a heavy reader I feel it’s safe to say that I have read all kinds of romances. I have read some sweet ones, some boring ones and some pretty twisted ones. CRIMINAL definitely falls into the twisted category. As we meet Nikki and see how helplessly (and unconditionally) in love (or maybe a better word is obsessed) she is with Dee I found myself hating the romance in this book and pitying Nikki so badly, but that’s exactly how I was supposed to feel.

I could not empathize with Nikki personall...more
I knew the moment that I saw the striking (and utterly perfect) cover of Criminal that it was Terra Elan McVoy, but that it was a very different type of Terra Elan McVoy than readers had ever encountered before. Here, we are not neatly sequestered behind the walls of high school, but very much in the real world. Nikki is a drop out, but one of necessity. She’s never met her father, her step-father’s in jail, and rather than take care of her daughter Nikki’s drug-binging mother only desires to wh...more
Three Stars: A brutally honest look at what happens when you are blinded by love.

Nikki awakens to the harsh tones of the cell phone. The ring seems to be barking doom doom doom.....Dee falters out of bed and answers. The police want him to come in for questioning. Dee insists that Nikki accompany him, assuring her everything will be fine as long as she sticks to the story. They rehearse the story over and over on the way to the police station. But everything is not fine. Soon Nikki's fragile wo...more
Trae Brookins
Mar 10, 2013 Trae Brookins rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: YA Readers;
Recommended to Trae by: Rebecca S.
I just finished reading the advanced readers' copy of Criminal. Love! (Personal disclaimer -- and bragging rights: Terra is a close personal friend, and so I'm not the most objective reviewer.) Yes, I love it. And the book is about what love can make us do--it's about one of the most common types of love -- the unhealthy type that make us idiots.

While this is the most adult of her books so far, it is still one well-matched to the audience that she's most concerned with: teens and young adult rea...more
Review originally posted on my blog

I am a massive fan of Terra Elan McVoy's books - they're relatable and realistic and fun and moving. So was I a little bit worried at first before I started Criminal. I knew right away that it was going to be vastly different from her previous books and I was nervous that I wouldn't like it as much.

But you guys, Terra Elan McVoy nailed Criminal. It's such an emotionally-wrought story full of bad decisions and confused ch...more
Review originally published on Rather Be Reading Blog:

Criminal was one of those books I had to hide in another room so I wouldn’t be tempted to keep picking it up way way past my bedtime.

Terra Elan McVoy, queen of summer camp and girls being friends with boys, has created such a tense, horrifying, addicting read in 288 short pages. Nikki is a down on her luck teenager with an addict for a mother, finding a sense of home living with her best friend, Bird, and her baby daughter. But her whole life...more
Read Review at Bewitched Bookworms

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 me...more
Kelly Hager
Terra Elan McVoy's first novel, Pure, is one of my favorite books ever. Her next two were good but nowhere near as great as Pure was (I haven't read her fourth novel, the one before this one). And so when I was accepted for the blog tour for Criminal, I was excited and nervous. I wasn't sure if she'd ever write something I loved as much as I do Pure.

This one isn't up to Pure status, either, but it was close.

Reading this as a grownup, I wanted to shake Nikki. It was SO OBVIOUS that Dee is bad new...more
Rashika (is busy trying to graduate)
This is not a book for everyone. Not everyone will love it as much as I did and some people will find it boring. But for me this book was so beautiful. I am not sure there are enough words to describe the beauty of this book.

The other day I was trying to explain what happened in this book to someone and I ended up rambling. I am not sure how I’ll manage to write this review.

When I requested this book I was kind of scared because it sounded so intense and I wasn’t wrong. This isn’t YA, its somewh...more
Originally posted at City of Books

Criminal is an enjoyable YA crime novel, with great writing and an intriguing backstory. This book is similar to others I’ve read this year, but at the same time very different. It addresses some pretty important issues, and I think the way Terra has done that is really effective.

However, the fact that I simply detested the characters dampened my enjoyment of the novel. I felt no connection to any of them. I spent most of the novel yelling at Nikki inside my hea...more
Ok, disclaimer, I have met the author and so therefore feel predisposed to like her books. That being said this book is a great read. We meet Nichola a street smart young woman, whose boyfriend asks her to lie to the police. She gladly does this, because she loves her boyfriend and sees them having a future together. As the book progresses Nichola wonders why he wants her to lie & what really did happen on that Friday night. She needs to make choices about what's right & wrong and does h...more
[Maybe a 2.5.]
Nikki is the kind of character that smart girls might not be as likely to understand as much as reluctant readers would. (Yes, I just basically said that smart people read and that people who don’t read or won’t read aren’t as smart. Massive stereotype. Acknowledged. I’m a librarian. Allow me my book-related prejudices.) This is not to say that many, many females, I.Q. notwithstanding, have done incredibly stupid things in what they thought was the name of love. And Nikki does, for...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julianna Helms
May 12, 2013 Julianna Helms marked it as to-read-or-not-to-read  ·  review of another edition
I want to read this, but I have a feeling that I'll hate hate hate the main character. I know this type of stuff happens, and I'm not being ignorant towards it. It's just that from the reviews I have a gut reaction that this one is going to frustrate me to no end, so I'm probably going to pass on this one.
Honestly I didn't even finish the book. Nikki was just so blinded by her love for her boyfriend which made her stupid, in my opinion, not loyal. Just the way she was acting pissed me off I couldn't go through with the book.
Kate Mcneil
I enjoyed this book a lot, I thought that it had a great storyline, but I felt that the author could have done SO much more with this story!!! It felt like it was missing a lot of information and things that could have made this book a 5 star book! I thought the idea was amazing, because I'm sure a lot of girls that age that could relate to Nikki, and it shows how terribly things can go wrong when you are completely and utterly blinded by love, but the story could have been taken so much further...more
Emma (Miss Print)
Nikki knows her life isn't a dream come true. Even the thought of seeing her mother makes Nikki's skin crawl. Her step-father is in jail. Nikki is a high school drop out.

But she has her friend Bird and her job at the hair salon.

More importantly, Nikki has Dee. Everyone tells her that Dee is no good but Nikki doesn't believe that. Not really. How can Dee be anything but perfect when he looks so good and makes Nikki feel like this? He even has her initial tattooed on his chest.

When Dee does the un...more
Criminal is the first book I've read by Terra Elan McVoy and I know it's a branch out from her typical style of writing but I'm definitely planning to check out her other books based on how much I enjoyed this one. It's a quick, gritty read that will leave readers thinking long after they've finished.

Criminal starts off with a bang and while it does fizzle out a bit after that first initial shock, it quickly picks back up and will have readers turning pages as fast as they can. It's not necessar...more
The BookWhisperer
Criminal is a tragic and depressing story about a young girl that must learn the truth of love is blind. From the start Nikki has had a horrible life; with a drug addict mother, and no father she has been sliding by entirely by street smarts. Her one bright light is her friend Bird that has offered her a safe place to stay. Although, not entirely untouched she has falling in love with Dee, a local dead beat that has no interest in helping her overcome her past. Actually, he furthers her decline...more

Review: Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy

Young Adult

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Review: Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy

Posted by Kari on Mar 22, 2013 in Reviews, Young Adult | 0 comments

criminalA 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 da...more
Originally posted at Mrs. Crawford's Thoughts

Last month (has it been that long since I have been here?), I attended a Young Adult Authors Panel at the Ann Arbor District Library with my nerdy friends Beth, Brian, Sarah, and Lindsey. It was an absolutely amazing experience! Terra was one of the authors. I had heard of her books before but had not read them. (I plan on fixing this in the near future!) She spoke about Criminal, her latest release. I went back to the lobby to purchase it after she e...more
Two things: 1) This book is written by an author that I love and 2)
This author wrote the heck out of this book.

This excerpt is taken from my full Three-Things Review and is featured in my 2013 Contemporary Fiction Event on Into the Hall of Books. Read more here:

The first thing you need to know is this:
Dee has committed a crime. Gunshots were fired.

Nikki will do anything, say anything to protect him.
Nikki didn't realize when she went to that house with...more
This review and more at wrapped up in books

This book punched me in the gut and broke my heart and left me feeling raw. In Nikki, McVoy has created this character who is both sympathetic and pathetic and who is both hardened by experience and still painfully naive. She is complex and contradictory and while not particularly endearing, impossible to ignore.

Nikki grew up with a stepdad in jail and a drug addict mother who showed her no affection. She gets a job on her own in a hair salon and moves...more
Vanessa Booke
Written by our reviewer Rory:

Matter of factly, somberly, subtly (no sudden rise of dramatic words here to try to make a point that is already made by the situation alone), and so richly researched that it makes you wonder what author Terra Elan McVoy must have felt during that work, Criminal reminds young adult readers that there will be personal hells of one’s own making, hopefully metaphorical prisons that we find ourselves in, having to hit bottom before we can sort ourselves out and start an...more
Anna Motteler
Nikki, an 18 year old highschool dropout, practically lives with her best friend Bird and her daughter while dating bad boy Dee. You immediately realize that Nikki hasn't had the best life. Her stepfather is in jail, her mom is a huge druggy and her boyfriend is your typical trouble maker who is also a gang member. But you easily realize how willing Nikki is to do things for Dee. To be honest, sometimes it made me sick to my stomach because there are so many young girls out there willing to do a...more
Nikki loves Dee but her friends warn her about him. Her best friend Bird is particularly worried that Dee is dragging Nikki into dangerous situations. Since Nikki lives with Bird, because her mother is too drug addled to take care of her or make a home for her, Bird’s opinion usually carries a lot of weight. But not where Dee is concerned. It’s not until Nikki finds herself in a very dangerous situation where someone is killed by Dee and Nikki drives the getaway car that Nikki discovers a lot of...more
Jun 10, 2013 Zoe added it
Shelves: 2013
This was the first book I’ve read by Terra Elan McVoy, and it definitely made me want to read more of her books. Though this book was at times slow, it was beautifully written. From the very first page, I was interested in Criminal. The story automatically drags you in, and demands to be read.

Nikki is not an easy character to read though. Her obsession with Dee is beyond annoying. However, I was kind of expecting her to be at least a little bit obsessed with him- so I suppose I was partly prepar...more
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I have been reading and writing, basically, ever since I learned how to, and everything I've done has pretty much been connected to those two things. I went to college at a small, fantastic school (with a super writing program) called St. Andrews Presbyterian College. I got my Master's degree in Creative Writing from Florida State. I have worked as an event coordinator at a major chain bookstore;...more
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Being Friends with Boys The Summer of Firsts and Lasts Pure After the Kiss In Deep

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