Kelly's Reviews > Wanted

Wanted by Heidi Ayarbe
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's review
Mar 08, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: ya-fiction, read-in-2012
Read from March 08 to 10, 2012

Ayarbe calls this an "unconventional western" in her acknowledgments and I think that's a great description. This is a little bit like Robin Hood meets Bonnie and Clyde.

Michal's a bookie, and she's a tough girl because of it. It's how she makes her money and earns her reputation. Her own rule is never to play the game herself. Always be the one watching, not betting. But then Josh moves to town and he convinces her to try her hand at the game and when things don't go well, they really don't go well.

I found this kind of a slow starting book, but the pace picks up quite a bit in the middle, then through to the end. Ayarbe writes some rough teens in a rough world and she does a good job of it. There's a lot of social class stuff playing into this one, too, and it's handled well. And this one does a good job of giving a setting that helps elevate the story.

That said, the writing itself left a lot to be desired for me. It tried almost too hard to be pretty when I didn't necessarily read Michal that way at all. Some of the things she said or observed or the way she described what was going on just didn't sound like her voice at all.

This book also had two things going on I really don't like: Michal gives up her toughness, her independence, for a boy (even in the end or maybe especially in the end when it looked like she was finally facing her demons head on by herself) and the book begins with a flash-forward to the ending of the story.

Putting this book in the same category I've put Ashley Hope Perez's: not for me, but they reach a certain readership that will eat them up. Ayarbe's writing reminds me a lot of Ellen Hopkins's, too, especially with how gritty she is.

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Reading Progress

03/08/2012 page 50
03/10/2012 page 300
75.0% "This took a way different course than I thought it would/was led to believe by the cover copy."
03/10/2012 page 350
88.0% "Girl has no problem breaking and entering, stealing, being a bookie, but she's googling how to kiss a boy."
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