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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  431 ratings  ·  94 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,577)
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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
Rashika (is tired)
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
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
Rhiannon Johnson

With no family to lean on, Nikki is newly 18 and mixed up with Dee. Blinded by love she makes an irreversible mistake and lands in the middle of a homicide investigation. When police start putting pressure on her only friend, Bird, Nikki knows it's time to start talking. Speaking to the police, she doesn't confess the events of August 24th, not exactly. But the police have information that she doesn't know.

It is uncomfortable hearing Nikki beg Dee for attention or to call her because one can re...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
Lesley Marie
Ten-Second Review: A brutally honest portrayal of how love can make a person completely blind, and a great story on how a girl begins to see again.

More-Than-Ten-Second Review:

Love can make a person blind. It can make a person ignore warning signs and ignore terrible deeds when it comes to the object of that love. This sad fact is what Criminal shows in its story. Terra Elan McVoy did an astounding job with the topic of blind love, and created a compelling story about a girl’s growth and eventual...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
Mariah Conduff
Romance is my favorite genre in books and movies hands down, so that means I've read different types of romance books. CRIMINAL was nothing like any other "romance" book I've read. Nikki, the main character who's head over heels in love with Dee, the bad boy, sacrifices everything she loves for him. It starts out when Dee and Nikki have a "romantic" weekend filled with weed, alcohol, and sex. Then the book takes a turn when the cops are after Dee as a suspect in the murder, of one of their fello...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 was a book about what lengths a person would go through for love. It wasn't a brilliant masterpiece but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Nikki was insecure. She needed to feel wanted and adored. And even though her boyfriend, Dee, treated her like shit she did everything he asked her too.

Nikki's best friend Bird warned her he wasn't a good guy. But she didn't care, because she thought they were in love.

Cold, manipulative Dee killed a man and used Nikki as an accomplice. It was painful to re...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff Crompton
Okay, I know Terra McVoy, and sometimes play gigs with her husband, who is a fine musician. But I hadn't really planned to read any of her books - I'm 55 years old, and not exactly her target audience, since she's a "young adult" writer. But the reviews of Criminal intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try.

Well, talent wins out. I quickly became drawn into the story, almost against my will. Criminal is realistic and satisfying, if not "happy." Some of the other reviewers are annoyed by how muc...more
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.
Jade H
This is a decent book. It's an easy read, very good for a long car ride or a beach trip. The dialogue between characters feels natural with the exception of conversations between the protagonist's boyfriend, Dee. While this book is very well written, something about it may leave the reader unsatisfied if they go into it with high expectations. The ending is just a little bit rushed, and wraps almost without the reader noticing. I personally walked away feeling as though I still had more to read...more
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.
Brittany Sicard
Criminal was one of the best romance novels I have ever had the pleasure to read. The plot and morals were amazing, and they caused me to think more about what relationships I put myself into. I love how the book ended with a cliffhanger because I'm a total sucker and love to be put on edge by a story. Dee and Nikki had a beautiful relationship even though it was laced with distrust, sex, and abuse. It was beautiful for the lust and desperate need of love, and it sparked similar feelings in me f...more
Dont let anyone who hurt you see you cry just smile and show them what they are missing
the book was asweosme i cant believe that she actually went to jail. I was confused at first because i was like ok is she gonna tell the police what really happened or not and i cant believe bird turned on her i didnt like that and i still think miss palmer had something to do with the murder. I didnt like how they tried to make nikki seem desperate and made her look like a stalker. i did like how she actually was happy in jail she found friends and that dee got a hard life sentence. My favorite...more
The story of Nikki and her blind love for Dee is one that is very realistic and very sad. Unfortunately for Nikki, she loved Dee and would do literally anything he asked her to do. Thus she found herself in jail, having to defend herself in a crime that involved both her and Dee.

Nikki's reality could teach many real people valuable lessons in life if they would only listen. How many girls have trusted their boyfriend to a fault, ignoring all warnings from friends and family? Nikki's story is an...more
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
Criminal turned out to be really different than I'd expected. I had assumed the story would start with Nikki being happy with Dee, show how he gradually pulls her into this darker stuff, and then escalate with the murder. I figured the novel would end with Nikki finally giving up Dee and going to the police. But that's not how Criminal is set up. The story starts with the murder and deals mainly with the aftermath. This set-up has its pros and cons: it made me feel Nikki's despair, and it let us...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
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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
More about Terra Elan McVoy...
Being Friends with Boys The Summer of Firsts and Lasts Pure After the Kiss In Deep

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