Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on July 19, 2016
Genres: Law & Crime, Romance, Thrillers & Suspense, Young Adult
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LEXI is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares.
After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist.
CHRISTIAN is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful. . . .
Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other.
Told in alternating points of view, this caper is full of romance and fast-paced fun.
Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker is a fun mash-up of the Ocean’s and Point Break with a little Goodfellas thrown in. And did I mention that it is a YA? It is, and it seems like all of these elements should not work together, but they actually do. Lexi is a spoiled rich girl who only feels alive when she is pushing the limits to get an adrenaline rush.
As we meet her, she is BASE jumping off of a skyscraper the same day her father is arrested for embezzlement. At the same time scrappy Christian is scoping out a new bank to rob. He is trying to keep his family safe from the local gang and sees no way out. After a chance encounter, Lexi and Christian team up and plan the heist to end all heists, and hopefully save both of their families at the same time.
I liked the plot of Smash & Grab. It was not a typical YA and I really loved that there was no insta-love. The stories of the two main characters felt like they fit together and there was no forcing a relationship. The writing of Amy Christine Parker was funny and sharp. She had a way of writing each character (the chapters alternated narrators) with a distinct voice, I always knew whose chapter it was.
The pacing had a few blips where time would jump faster than it had, but it did not harm the story. The world created was interesting. I got much more of a feel for where Christian lived and worked then I did for Lexi. There was a nice emotional overlay to this read. The two teens doing whatever they can to save their families and their futures was one nice layer and then the romance was a great other layer.
Now as for the characters, I loved Christian, he was a good kid doing what he felt he needed to do for his family. Lexi however, was pretty much a super spoiled brat. However, she grew during the book and also grew on me.
Smash & Grab was a fun read. Sometimes you just need a book that does not take itself too seriously. Like, teen bank robbing gangs are not a normal YA feature. Amy Christine Parker crafted a tale that was a nice change of pace for me and I loved the way she crafted the romance. This is a perfect summer read; a bit of intrigue, a bit of love and a smidgen of blockbuster action.
Favorite lines – “Sometimes people who are stuck in a really deep hole don’t see the point in trying to get out. The climb just feels too high. And when you want to escape, they get all freaked out because if you actually manage to get out, they’re stuck in the hole alone.”
Biggest cliché – Poor little rich girl.
This review contributed by 125 Pages. 125 Pages. Laura is an addict. She reads 5-8 books a week. In addition to writing her own book reviews, she frequents other book review and blogger sites for just that little bit more.
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