Brandon's Reviews > How to Lead a Life of Crime

How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller
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Feb 20, 13

bookshelves: dystopia, ya-books, thumbs-up-nominees-2012
Read from February 04 to 17, 2013

I received this book on preview from Netgalley.com.

Flick lives by his wits and his quick hands, but he hasn't always lived the rough life of the streets. Once, he had a nice house and a family. But the death of his younger brother at the hands of their abusive father and his mothers suicide drive him to the streets of his father's old neighborhood in New York. Flick lives part time with his friend Joi (pronounced Joey), and she stitches him up when he comes rolling in after his street altercations. Through all this, Flick still plans to get revenge on his father for taking away his "one good thing". When a man asks him to perform a simple breaking and entering job as a test, Flick finds out that the man is Lucian Mandel, the headmaster of the Mandel Academy, where he trains students to become international criminals and politicians. He promises Flick that in return for his help winning a wager against Flick's father, he will give him all the evidence he needs to finally get revenge on his father. But there is more going on here than Flick sees.

I really enjoyed the character of Flick. He's a troubled young man, obsessed with his dead family, and living only to exact revenge on his father for the death of his brother Jude. He has a lot of flaws, most of them stemming from his obsession and his need to become "strong" in order to take down his father, but his heart is generally good and he knows what is right even when he persuades himself to look the other way and to harden himself.

Some of the other characters are not nearly as strong as Flick. Joi is interesting, as she presents a good moral compass for Flick to rely on as he makes his way through the twisted world of Lucian Mandel and his father. Gwendolyn, however, kind of bothered me. She went from being this apex predator to a hollowed shell in a remarkably short period of time. Most of the other characters are place holders or give Flick foes to rail against. Mandel is kind of a figurehead for what is wrong in the world, but doesn't really have a lot of depth as a villain until the end of the book.

Overall, I am pleased with this book. I think it will really get guys hooked with it's action and subject matter.
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02/04/2013 page 15
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