How to Lead a Life of Crime
Anywhere else, they’d be vermin. At the Mandel Academy, they’re called prodigies. The most exclusive school in New York City has been training young criminals for over a century. Only the most ruthless students are allowed to graduate. The rest disappear.
Flick, a teenage pickpocket, has risen to the top of his class. But then Ma ...more
Flick’s is one of the clearest voices I’ve come across in YA. He grabs your attention right from the first page and he ...more
This is the first novel that I've read from this author and I have to say that I am very impressed. I don't usually seek out crime, mystery or thriller/suspense novels, but I'm really glad I had an opportunity to read this one. There aren't many books where I can say I have almost nothing to complain about. And even though I've finished the book weeks ago, I still have nothing but high praises for it. Simply put, How to Lead ...more
"What takes more guts? To fight for your own life at any cost-or prove that you're willing to lose it?"
Well, well, well....I am so beyond happy. <<< Eew that sentence, but it's so true! Months ago, I read a series that I absolutely cherished, adored, obsessed over-I Hunt Killers. It took me a long time to get over my Jazz boy, and anyone that didn't grasp my level of obsession over him would have to have been blind or wholly disinterested. But what do you do when you can't make extra ...more
Full review originally at Fantasy Book Critic
Overall rating =2 & 1/2 stars
OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: If you read the blurb to this book by Kirsten Miller, it becomes very hard not to be interested in it. The book beckoned me with oh-so-intriguing premise and so I got my hands on a copy and started reading immediately.
The story begins with a sly and street-smart teenager who is slumming in the seedier parts of New York City trying to toughen himself for a Herculean task that he has to accomplish. He ...more
Where do I start?! The writing was AWESOME. The characters were AWESOME. And the story was. so. freaking. AWESOME. I’m just…AHHHH. The feels. The complexities. Can I rate it higher then 5 stars? Please?
I’ll start with the writing and the plot. Both were epic. I’m always over-the-moon when I find a book I love with re ...more
First of all, I love the concept. It was dark and sinister and had the perfect mood to go with it. No, I can't say the book was very realistic, and a lot of the crimes and background information were a little too over the top. But I think it fits because we'r ...more
I never set out to be a thief. I suppose I once had something grander in mind. But when you live on the streets, you find that your career options are limited. You can be one of the kids who disappear with the strangers who cruise through every night. You can sell the stuff that helps those kids forget what they’ve seen. Or you can be a thief. If those choices don’t suit you, you can always be dead.
How to lead a life of c ...more
What takes more guts? To fight for your own life at any cost - or prove that you're willing to lose it?
A fair bit of warning: this book is NOT for the faint-of-heart. It contains and talks about a lot of stuff, both sensitive and controversial, that will highly likely bother and rattle your squeamish and soft-hearted side. Organized crimes, underground syndicates, briberies, rape, prostitution, suicide, serial killings, secret laboratory stuff that will make you look away in disgust... yup, ...more
Luckily, Flick’s girlfriend Joi (pronounced Joey) is there to give the hugs. She’s sweet, compassio ...more
To the outside world, the Mandel Academy is an upstanding, prestigious school producing many of New York's elite. Bankers, lawyers, and even politicians have emerged from this renowned (but mysterious) academy in Manhattan. Bottom line, anybody who’s anybody graduates from the Mandel Academy. Or, they don’t graduate at all.
That’s right. A school where failing just may be the death of you.
Flick, our hero, knows everything has a price. And, ...more
I did like the male POV and Flick's sense of humor, and of course Peter Pan references are ones I'm going to be fond of! But while the plot has certain points that are ...more
What didn't work for me
- I felt like the book simplified some really big issues: corrupt politicians, greedy businessmen, dishonest lawyers, drug lords and human traffickers are everywhere, but the book's ending leaves the reader with a false feeling of a happy ending, as if destroying the school and its alumni would actually change any of those things. I get that the story had a message of ...more
1) The use of the word "f--" seriously, as in they couldn't print the word but couldn't come up with a suitable replacement. The weirdest form of censorship. What The Fuck? If you won't print the word, don't have y ...more
Wow. Just...... WOW. That 6 pages epilogue made me give it an extra star. This is the type of book you can picture a movie on.
It was an amazing concept and the characters, too. Flick, Joi and our very own Peter Pan. The writing was smooth and I loved the first person narration of Flick. It started slow but once it reached the half mark, everything went boom! And that climax? It ...more
“Where's the course called How to Lead a Life of Crime? That's what this is about, isn't it? You've got everyone thinking this is the best school in the country, but it's really just a Hogwarts for hustlers.”
That quote up there is the absolutely most hilariously perfect quote
to describe this book. I loved it, when I read it I was cracking up! "Hogwarts for hustlers," too funny!!!
This book was pretty darn awesome. Never had I read a book like it. Usually book p...more
Author: Kirsten Miller
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Release Date: February 21st, 2013
Cover Impressions: I like the cover art but I feel they could have done more with the graffitti concept. It isn't something that would jump off the shelves for me. I do, however, really appreciate the quality of the physical copy. The slipcover paper is thick and has an almost gritty feel to it and I love that little surprise when I grab a book off the shelf and it fe ...more
But a bit dull...
To be honest, I’m disappointed about this book. I enjoyed some parts and it was commendable how the authors created various characters, starting from really smart ones, good ones, pathetic and even the psychopathic and sociopathic ones. And how the author didn’t have reservations on being cruel and bloody.
Some were strong. Some were weak. And the only difference between them was a choice. Fight or give in. And that choice was mine. All mine.
I had varied th ...more
Before I write this review, I want to point something out. This book is marketed as a book for readers aged fourteen years and older. However, Kirsten Miller sets all guidelines for giveaways and such for this novel for sixteen years or older because of the content. After reading the book, I have to say that I agree. While I absolutely loved this book, it's very violent, has horrible language, and is uncomfortably twisted at times. It's not something younger kids should read and is defi ...more
Flick is ridiculously edgy and I cant stand anything about his character. The overall premise of this book is great but the execution is dreadful. Every single character is flat and unrelatable. The only time I've felt emotional in these first 150 pages was when Flick was speaking about his dead brother.
I really want to like this book but the writing is choppy and unimpactful. I'm nearly half way through the book and I h ...more
NYC YA prep-school story pits an average grunt against a bunch of Stepford-shiny schoolmates, and rapidly deteriorates into a one-track narrative with cartoonish villains. Women also take a hit since they're jammed into the same old familiar stereotypical roles: Madonna, whore, lunatic, and sexy schoolgirl. Ironic since the author's working hard to give the book a subversively liberal message: greed is, y'kn ...more
What happens when you take a smooth pickpocket and introduce him to a bunch of ruthless teenage criminals at New York City's most exclusive academy for young criminals? You get a twisted, dark story that will leave you cheering on the story's main character, and hoping he not only succeeds but brings down the entire academy, something that's next to impossible to do.
This isn't a book I'd normally pick up and read. When I first received How To Lead a Life of Crime I was both looking forward to p ...more
How to Lead a Life of Crime is a book that is chock-full of complete and utter kick butt. Reading this book made for one heck of a ride, and I loved all the layers of the story. Kirsten’s Miller’s novel is violent, thrilling, and contains some pretty controversial stuff, but it can also be really warming to the heart– the ...more
I LOVED this book! Kirsten Miller has a masterpiece on her hands with How to Lead a Life Of Crime. Though written to appeal to the high school crowd, this novel is sophisticated enough to capture the attention of the 18 and over crowd as well. The writing is uncomplicated and flows well but the plot is comple ...more
So he said let’s get into the flourishing business of crime and I said it is better to enroll into a university that can provide an extensive researched course in the world of crime first, than to get beaten up in a dark alley for trying to steal a wallet that has only maxed out credit cards and a packet of unused condoms.
- From the wicked brains of the author of this review
How to Lead a life of crime is one of those rare books where I have seen a female author come up with a bo ...more
Flick is kid living on the streets who picks pockets to survive. When he's recruited to take his talents and enroll in Mandel Academy, a prestigious school that takes kids with all kinds of rough edges and spits out successful CEO's, politicians, bankers, etc, he's intrigued. When he sees the classes offered are embezzling, exploiting the environment for profit, blackmailing ...more
I always thought that the good-against-evil-and-good-wins type of books were dumb and not for me but the truth is I like them but when they are smart books, when evil is really hard to defeat, when the happy ending is well deserve, when it's something that goes beyond the main characters.
This book had so many aspects, it never got boring; you just wanted to keep reading. ...more