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.
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?
Wanted will thrust readers into the gritty underbelly of Carson City, where worth is determined by a score, power is derived from threat, and the greatest feat is surviving it all.
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 400
Reviewed by Alexandra, age 17
Michal is one tough cookie, and this book faces a lot of hard themes – including gang violence, immigration, and class issues. It’s not an easy read, but it is enjoyable and can teach a lot about a part of society that is invisible to many, including myself. Babylonia, the undercover crime duo created by Michal and Josh to ease her debt and solve problems in her neighborhood, is like a modern day Robin Hood, but without any of the glamour. It’s much grittier and is relatable for today’s teens, making the mature struggles accessible to readers. This book is definitely not in my comfort zone of reading, and I thought the writing style was a bit mismatched with the themes – it sounded like your average high school novel but handled much more serious topics – but I did enjoy it once I got into it and would thoroughly recommend it to readers, around seventeen years old, who enjoy realistic fiction, and are not troubled by darkly realistic writing.
This book is in stores now!
Alexandra, age 17