Author: Heidi Ayarbe
Series: Stand Alone
Published: May 1st 2012 by Balzer + Bray
Source: Arranged Tour Through Teen Book Scene
Description: A one-word text message: That's all Michal "Mike" Garcia needs to gather a crowd. Mike is a seventeen-year-old bookie, and Sanctuary is where she takes bets for anyone at Carson High with enough cash. Her only rule: Never participate, never place a bet for herself. Then Josh Ellison moves to town. He pushes Mike to live her life, to feel a rush of something -- play the game, he urgest, stop being a spectator. So Mike breaks her one rule. She places a bet, feels the rush. And loses. In an act of desperation, she and Josh -- who has a sordid past of his own -- concoct a plan: The pair will steal from Carson City's elite to pay back Mike's debt. Then they'll give the rest of their haul to those who need it most. How can burglary be wrong if they are making things right?
I Give This ...
One thing I loved about the previous book I read by Heidi Ayarbe is how real the whole thing feels. While you are reading, you think that this could happen to anyone and anywhere. I was curious how a female teenage bookie might fit into this theory.
From beginning to end I just had a hard time wrapping my mind around the bookie part of the story. I guess I just don't see it in the high school setting. Is this something new? Is it common? I guess maybe it's a new kind of rush for teenagers, but it just seemed weird. It wasn't even the fact that a female ran it. It was literally just the bookie part. And that it was right under everybody's noses. How the hell did nobody pick up on that fact? No one thought "Hey...isn't it a little weird that this group of kids is all together when none of them normally hang out?" I would have thought that.
Aside from all that, I really like Michal. She's interesting to me because she honestly thinks she nobody. When obviously she's chosen to facilitate an activity that more than just gets her noticed. It really causes her unwanted attention. I think she thinks that because she's a spectator, that it makes her less than those who participate. Which is interesting when Josh shows up. Josh is bound and determined to make her feel something. I think he wants her to see herself a little more like those around her see her.
I also really enjoyed the portrayal of the gangs in the area. I really felt the intensity of the situation. It was threatening and realistic. I also liked how Michal and Josh push the envelope. I don't agree with the way the went about their escapades. After all, two wrongs never make a right. But, I really agreed with the overall message.
The ending floored me. It wasn't at all what I was expecting. I closed the book with unanswered questions. I also drew some similarities with a high profile case in Florida at the moment. I wondered though, if it was just timing. Overall and interesting read that I had a little bit of hard time filtering out. It won't stop me from reading her next book though!