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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  500 ratings  ·  109 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
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 2,756)
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
When I first read this book (around nine months ago now, Jesus), the only Terra Elan McVoy book I'd read was After the Kiss. That was far from a perfect novel, but the biggest thing that struck me was the realism of it. And here, McVoy continues to show that this is her strength. Her books are extremely realistic - she adamantly refuses to romanticize or dramatize anything. That's easy to do when you're writing about liking boys, but I was a little nervous about something that's much more likely ...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
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
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
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
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
A good read. I think it is a YA book recommended to me by the author when I stopped into the children's book store she managed before becoming a full time write. If you like Orange is the New Black, you will like this.
princess jasmine
when i started this book, i was thinking that i was looking for something quick and easy to read before i fell asleep, but i actually wound up really loving this book. i loved the diversity and the unique quality that every single character brought to the story, how they were all dynamic and popping off of the pages without needing a lot of backstory or details to make them real. as frustrating as it was, i also loved how endlessly obsessed she was with dee - it wasn't even love, really, it was ...more
Julianna Helms
May 12, 2013 Julianna Helms marked it as to-read-or-not-to-read
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.
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
Well what to say? the book was okay for a quick read but there were some major bad points to hit. first off I felt like the author had a great idea but didn't know how to make it into a two hundred and something page long book. There were a lot of useless info that got me annoyed so I skipped a couple of pages here and there. The main character Nikkie drove me nuts, are there really girls that stupid out there? One of good points was the cover, it was the reason why I opened the book in the firs ...more
It was such a heavy read, gives you all sorts of emotions. This book does not require a sequel at all. The author really captures you and pulls you in making it seem that you are, in fact, Nikki herself. This is not a happy fairytale book, there is no prince charming, and i think you need to be aware of that before you open this book. If your up for books that play with you, well here you go. There are times when you will be upset at Nikki, mad at Nikki, and sad for Nikki. Honestly the only warn ...more
Nikki is in love with Dee, a boy that she can't believe is hers. Dee's hot, with a kind of magnetism that Nikki can't help but to be drawn towards. And even though Nikki knows how dangerous he can be, how he can persuade her to do anything he wants, she's in love with him and believes that he feels as strongly about her as well. There's nobody else in the world for Nikki. So when Dee pulls her into a crime one night, which ends up with a cop getting killed, Nikki doesn't think twice about it. Sh ...more
There’s so much to be said for Criminal. It’s rough and painful, a love story gone horribly wrong. It’s about a girl who makes awful decisions, who does not handle situations well, and is hopelessly naive; it’s also about a girl who learns to look out for herself and do what she needs to do to get her life straight. In this book, Terra Elan McVoy writes a clean, gripping story full of emotions. I didn’t love it without reservations, but I came close.

Criminal is a very character-focused novel, na
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
Michelle Arrow
*4.5 star rating*

I FINALLY LOVED A BOOK BY THIS AUTHOR! *squeals* I've actually given McVoy's books a chance so many times and I was always left disappointed. With this one, I promised myself that if I didn't enjoy it whatsoever, it'd be my last chance ever. I guess fate was scared of me letting this author's books go...

Criminal was seriously epic. It gave me heart-stopping moments throughout the whole novel that never let me go until the end, plot twists that I never saw coming, and so man
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
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
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
[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
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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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