Criminal

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About The Book

A searing and gripping read that explores the depths of desperation true love can inspire, from the author of Being Friends with Boys.

Nikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing.

So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime—a crime that ends in murder—Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him.

But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about? Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.

Excerpt
I’D BEEN DREAMING I WAS BEING CHASED BY A GIANT PIT bull. It was barking, and then it opened its mouth and I heard Doooom. Doooom. Dooom. Dooom, the bass beat sound Dee’s phone makes. It was ringing somewhere on the floor, under our clothes. My eyes opened as he leaned off the narrow futon to answer it. We hadn’t been touching because he can’t sleep with anyone touching him. But I could still feel him moving away.

“We have to go,” he told me when he hung up. He hadn’t said much into the phone.

I watched the stretch of his ribs as he pulled last night’s T-shirt over his head. The tattoo on his bronze chest disappeared: N—for Nikki—surrounded by swirling angels’ wings. I smiled, seeing it. Thinking of my lips on it last night.

“Get up.” He didn’t look at me.

“Are you okay?”

“Get some clothes on.” He walked out of the room. To the kitchen, or to find whatever narrow scrap of joint was left in the ashtray from last night.

I heard him muttering to Bird and her muttering back. Both of them low, short. I lay there hoping that Dee would say something to Bird about where we were going, what the phone call was about, but really I knew that hoping Dee and Bird would talk much to each other was like hoping the last scratch-off number on your ticket would reveal you’d won the whole $25,000 pot.

I kicked the blanket off and reached for whatever pair of shorts lay handy. I didn’t know where we were headed, but wherever Dee needed me to be, I was going to go.
About The Author
photo credit: Robin Henson

Terra Elan McVoy has held a variety of jobs centered around reading and writing, from managing an independent children’s bookstore, to teaching writing classes, and even answering fan mail for Captain Underpants. Terra lives and works in the same Atlanta neighborhood where her novels After the Kiss, Being Friends with Boys, and Pure are set. She is also the author of The Summer of Firsts and Lasts, Criminal (an Edgar Award nominee), and In Deep. To learn more, visit TerraElan.com and follow Terra on Twitter at @TerraMcVoy.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (May 2013)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781442421622
  • Grades: 9 and up
  • Ages: 14 - 99
  • Lexile ® HL710L ? The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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Raves and Reviews

*It’s a dark, devastating, and realistic portrait of a girl in over her head in more ways than one. What McVoy (Being Friends with Boys) gets so powerfully right in this novel is the way that love can descend like a fog, impairing one’s judgment and obscuring the truth.

– Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

Awards and Honors
  • ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
  • Georgia Peach Book Award Master List
  • Edgar Allan Poe Award (Finalist)
  • ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults - Top Ten
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More books from this author: Terra Elan McVoy