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How to Lead a Life of Crime

por Kirsten Miller

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2771996,579 (3.96)6
A teenaged pickpocket, haunted by the ghost of his brother killed by his father, is recruited for Mandel Academy, a school for criminals where only one student survives each semester.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 19 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This was a fun, easy read, and well-written. Having read a few less positively phrased reviews, I find that they seem to complain about the book lacking things that I actually found in its pages (e.g. indications the perspective character has meaningful flaws that hinder his successes), so perhaps they're just easy to miss. I might be a bit jaded, though, because people talked about it being especially dark and gruesome, with implications of horrors all over the place, but I enjoyed darker literature with no emotional or psychological damage when my age was in single digits.

What I do find missing is some depth. It acknowledges some very real facts about the world, and completely misses others that are intimately connected -- and it largely forgets to follow through on how pervasive those facts can be, wrapping everything up in a neat, imaginary package, easily dispatched by the right person from inside a single (if immensely powerful) school. I guess I'm a bit disappointed that it offered so much potential to make meaningful points about the world, but then utterly failed to carry them beyond the minimum necessary to make plot points of them. The Good Guys Win. The End.

Like I said, it was fun. If you want a little entertainment, have at it. If you want something significant, look elsewhere. While I enjoyed this, I felt a need for something into which I could really sink my teeth, so I picked up Blood Meridian. ( )
  apotheon | Dec 14, 2020 |
This is a great story. I actually think it would be a perfect read to recommend to teens who liked [b:The Hunger Games|2767052|The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)|Suzanne Collins|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358275334s/2767052.jpg|2792775], but have grown up a bit since they read it. It's got fantastic characters and a really fascinating story. If you like books with boarding school elements, heist elements, and excellent characterization this is a perfect choice.

I only have one tiny complaint. This is a book with some serious content, including torture, murder, and rape, and plenty of swearing. But there's the choice to write a certain four letter word as F followed by a line. Occasionally, F___ing. And it's used a lot. It drew me out of the story every time, and I'm really not sure why this technique was used. I'd say either write the full word or just leave it out. And "shit" is certainly used without any dashes. Also, hell and god damn. It just felt... weird. If there's a scene where one character nearly rapes another and is then nearly murdered in turn, I think your readers can probably handle seeing "fuck" written out too. ( )
  bookbrig | Aug 5, 2020 |
I think I went back and forth over what to rate this about twelve times. I really liked it, and it very nearly got five stars... but the thing is, I loved most of it, but it took me a long time to get into it. The beginning didn't draw me in. It took forty pages before I was starting to find it interesting, and it took another forty before I really cared. And then all of a sudden I was hooked. I had to know what was going to happen! It stayed like this for the rest of the book.

( )
  irisssssssss | Jun 17, 2020 |
Interesting premise. ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Imagine Blade Runner meeting Harry Potter and then getting locked up with characters from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and you’d have the flavor of this one. Flick’s been living on the street and surviving by becoming an accomplished pickpocket. He’s pretty much numbed out after years of being beaten by his ultra-successful father, who looks perfect to the rest of the world, but is a monster at home after he’s consumed a certain amount of scotch. After Flick left, Dad turned on his younger brother and hit him one too many times, killing him. It was covered up, but Flick knows it was murder and would do anything to get a chance for revenge. In the mean time, he’s fallen in love with an exotic street girl named Joi who’s taken it upon herself to rescue as many homeless kids as possible. Even though Flick loves her, he forces himself to leave because his need for revenge is stronger than his feelings for her.
When he’s approached by Lucien Mandel who wants to recruit him for the ultra elite and secret Mandel Academy, Flick starts to blow him off, but Lucien makes him an offer he can’t refuse. If he agrees and makes it to graduation, He’ll get a file full of proof his father killed his brother.
The Academy will remind many of the training Katniss and her competitors went through in preparation for the Hunger Games, but it runs full semesters, there’s a top student known as a Dux and the lowest in each class, while supposedly are allowed to go home after they fail out, end up with a far grimmer fate. As Flick gets to know the other students and begins to realize how completely corrupt the whole process is, Lucien ups the ante and all of a sudden Flick is in direct competition for the top spot with the love of his life, Joi, but he can hard;y recognize the cold, hardened and ruthless girl who has no problem taking down and terrorizing even the most ruthless students.
How this all plays out is not only full-out screech, but replete with a bunch of twists that kept me up well into the wee hours so I could finish it. Violent, profane and addictive, it's a YA Edgar Nominee and a great suggestion for mature teens. ( )
  sennebec | Sep 25, 2014 |
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A teenaged pickpocket, haunted by the ghost of his brother killed by his father, is recruited for Mandel Academy, a school for criminals where only one student survives each semester.

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Kirsten Miller's book How to Lead a Life of Crime was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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