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The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  107 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped is about a Los Angeles girl named Michelle Pena, who's a westside foster child, and a straight A student, as well as a record-smashing track star -- who also happens to come from gang royalty, as her mother, Reina, is a powerful gang leader in Montebello, and her brother, Samson, also ruled his own club. Moreover, Michelle was the ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 7th 2010 by Razorbill
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by JenJen for

Michelle has finally got her life on track and has a wonderful opportunity to get into a nice private school. She gets awesome grades and is even a great athlete. She has a terrific foster father and a super-duper best friend, Kiki - but she also has a past that refuses to let her go.

I loved this book, which is a pleasant surprise because I didn't think I would! Ms. Murray really has done a great job with the language and settings for this. I was sucked in
Liza Gilbert
This title has been on the BFYA nomination list (2011) for the better part of a year. I have tried to sell this book to the teens in our BFYA no avail.

I could coat this book in gold and chocolate and I still wouldn't be able to convince a teen to take it home.

In an end-of-the-year attempt to read all the books on the list that haven't yet been read by adults, another library employee and I split the remaining books in half. I voluntarily opted to take this book. I figured that since t
This book has one of the coolest covers ever. And the first half of the book is a gripping, page-turning adventure story. It's also a really clever twist on the "regular girl is really a princess" story.

Unfortunately, I just never believed in the main character. She shifts between academic decathlon/track star and gang princess too seamlessly to be completely credible. I just didn't believe in her as a real person.

As other readers have said, the ending feels like a cheat, as it doesn't clearly r
This is a story about a gang princess and the choices that she has to make. Its a little different than other books out there that have similar outlines (love, power, family that is dead/in jail) and but its also similar because of those things too. She has to decide whether she wants to be with her love and rule the gang or go to prep school with her best friend Kiki and stay with Frank her foster dad. I thought it was a good story.
Peace Love and Reviews
In all honesty, I wasn't sure I was going to finish this book. All the ghetto talk, slang words scared me a little and the whole gang scene was so Discover / History channel but as I flip through the pages it was a really interesting read.

Michelle Pena was also known as Princess P (from the gang that she was born in back in Montebello), she tried to get away from them, for 2 years she was successful until her past finally catches up with her. She was doing so good. Got a best friend name Kiki, a
I have to say that The Good Girl's Guide To Getting Kidnapped is unlike anything I have read before. That is both parts good and bad. It's a very unique story and well-written but I'm kind of mixed in my feelings for it.

The Good Girl's Guide To Getting Kidnapped is the story of Michelle Pena, former gang princess of Montebello. Her life seems to be looking up until she and her best friend, Kiki, are kidnapped and held for ransom. Things get real crazy, real quick and Michelle has to make a decis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I took the summary from Amazon because the summary from Goodreads was way too comprehensive and practically gave everything away.

Anyway, the plot itself is filled with excitement, action and suspense. I loved how Mish or "Princess P" was able to revert back to her old self just to save her best friend, Kiki. She basically burdened herself and took it upon herself to save her friend who had absolutely nothing to do with the situation and who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong tim
I'm torn over how I feel about the language in this book. On the one hand I appreciated all the slang because the entire book isn't in slang, it's understandable and lends an air of authenticity to the book. On the other hand, some of it is so laughably out-there. No offense to anyone who speaks that way but some of the phrases just seemed to be ridiculous (I wish I had examples but I already returned the book). I wish I knew if the language was authentic. I know Chicago slang can be a whole lot ...more
Take a latino gang princess (her mom is the Queen, still in charge of the gang from prison) away from her gang ties, put her in a good foster home and give her a shot at a great education - what do you get? Well, "who do you get?" is really more the question at the crux of this gritty novel.

I was totally hooked by the main character Michelle. She, and a friend from her new school, are kidnapped by her former gang "family." Michelle has to find a way to save herself and Kiki, who doesn't know a
So I never really read these sorts of books - which left me with no expectations, what so ever, of what I would run into reading this.

First thought:
Interesting concept. Girl from the hood - trying to make it in the real world, but her past catches up to her - madness ensures yada yada yada
I got half way before boredom hit. That is why it took me so long to finish - it was just sitting on my table for about 2 weeks.

Michelle Pena: strong heroine, doesn't take shit from no one, commands
Lisa (A Life Bound By Books)
3 1/2 stars. The main character, Michelle Pena or Princess P was born into a gang family - her mother head of the 99's & her brother head of the Snakes.

In her early teen years both mother and brother were jailed for various gang actives, leaving Michelle to feel she had to fend for herself upon entering the Foster Care system. Moving from home to home - finding out that there is more to life then gangs, Michelle turns to school and running with the track team.

While her and her best friend Ki
Yxta Maya
Hi everyone, this is Yxta Maya Murray!
I'm loving reading these wonderful reviews of THE GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO GETTING KIDNAPPED, thank you so much for posting them! People seem to be mentioning the end in most of the reviews -- is it that mysterious? Michelle is doing something very specific at the end of the book; I will send a signed copy of the novel and a little painting (a hobby of mine) to the first person who writes me a cool interpretion of the ending. Email me at, and
Michelle used to be known as Princess P, the daughter of a gang king and queen, destined to lead the Snake Brothers one day. But her father is dead, her mother's in jail, and she has started a new life as a track star and successful student. Until some of the boyz find her and kidnap her and her best friend, Kiki, as leverage. Now she must choose between the good girl she wants to be, and the bad girl she was born to be.

I had trust issues with this book, and it was probably just me. It's written
The cartoonish cover doesn't really go with the story inside. Teen readers were much more drawn in to the cover on Locas by the same author. It does however, reflect the story in which Michelle Pena has hidden her true past as the daughter of a notorious gang leader, Reina Pena. Michelle discovers that she cannot escape her past when she is kidnapped to be used against her mother and brother. Michelle must become the gang princess she didn't want to be in order to save herself and her best frien ...more
Michelle Pena is the princess to a gang. After her brother and mother get busted and end up in jail she turns her back on the world of crime and to be the best she can be. Everything she wants is happening, that is until she and her best friend Kiki are kidnapped. Former members of her gang take her as ransom, so her brother will tell them where the drug money is from he night he got caught. Now she has to use her wit and gang savvy to get her and Kiki out before they get killed.
I didn't relate
if you like dangerous stories and you like haring how they end wether they live or die well this book is for you a good girl or at least you will think she is a good girl had a life that she left when her mom went to prison has gotten kidnapped by her old life which did her wrong and hurt her she was the most interesting girl who want to get nto a collage so if you want to find out what happened to her when she got kidnapped you better go find the book...........

this book will catch your eye
Maybe it's because southern California is really not somewhere I'd ever want to be. Or maybe it's because the whole thing would have been so much more realistic if Michelle had been a few years older. Or maybe it's because the slang was truly bizarre. For whatever reason, this book grated on me. I only finished it for the sake of doing a galley review, and I wouldn't reccomend it to most people. But it wasn't a total disaster- hence the two stars instead of one.
Jan 23, 2014 Ayah added it
Awesome book. I want to read it again.
Nov 22, 2011 Sue rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Michelle is fast, really fast, all American high school fast. She has a foster father who is taking good care of her. Michelle and her best friend Kiki both have a real shot at getting into a very fancy private school on full scholarships. But her past is going to interrupt those plans. She’s also Princess M, next in line to lead The Snakes. She has to decide what world she will live in.
Maggie V
I wish there was a little more closure at the end of the book. However, I appreciated Michelle's dilemma and loved how strong and resourceful she is. Not as good as I was expecting (a friend recommended it), but still a good book (which is why the three more stars)
A fresher take for teen urban fiction. It is well written and enjoyable. Unfortunately, it has a non-ending. I'm not sure if Murray is hoping for a franchise and this book is the first of it, but I was certainly disappointed with the way she left this book.
the keeper
good and fun book
but in the end it does have u thinking like,
so does she choose the ganster way of life or does she go to yale?
i liked games character
It's such a refreshing read because it's written very... differently. I loved it; it kept my adrenaline pumping.
REALLY GOOD!!!! i really enjoyed how they showed how girls can be tough! two thumbs up!!! =D =D 'star' 'star'
I liked this book, but parts of it were slow.
This book took me by surprise, I honestly wasn't sure if I would like it. Turns out, I loved it.
Dragonr marked it as to-read
Dec 24, 2014
Ariel marked it as to-read
Dec 23, 2014
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Yxta Maya Murray is a professor at Loyola Law School and currently lives in Studio City, California.
More about Yxta Maya Murray...
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