The Low Down: Driving home late one evening on a dark county road, Lucas and his twin sister, Silver, find themselves in the middle of what seems to be a gang initiation. Trying to get away in his rebuilt Camaro, the crowd disperses only when they see what is coming directly at them: a street race. Before they know it, the Camaro it totalled and Silver is dead.
Lucas and Silver always had a twin connection anyway, but now it has gone to the extreme: Lucas can see and speak with Silver’s ghost. And all they both want is justice.
Whadja Think?: The first thing I noticed about this story was the voice. It is told in first person by Lucas, and, to be honest, he didn’t sound like a boy/brother. For me, when reading first person, not only are the comments that person’s, but so are the descriptions. So when the description is “She danced her fingers on her silver bangles into a tinkling vibration,” I can’t reconcile those words with the picture in my mind of a high school football jock driving a Camaro. Had this been told in third person, that description would have been perfect. I felt like there were many, many instances similar to this of things that I just couldn’t imagine Lucas ever thinking.
On a related note, he also said things that I couldn’t believe a brother would say. For example, describing his sister as “one the hottest and smartest chicks at school.” That one was weird.
To be plain, there were a lot of things that should have been edited out…like talking about “my three-sixty mood reversal” and made-up word usages like he “finagled a bag over his shoulder” “scales of honor” and something that felt like “a lead sarcophagus pressed on my heart.” These are examples of just some of the things that I am more used to seeing in a self-published story, not a “real book.”
Lucas sounds like a professor who lapses into slang to be cool. He goes from “How did one have telepathy with a dead person?” straight into “Hella freaky.” There were many times where the sentences just sounded awkward and not age-appropriate.
Now, I get that the catalyst is the gang initiation and they chose Hispanics to be the gang members, but the anti-Mexican business got on my nerves. Maybe if the story had been better, it would have at least felt real (I’m looking at you, The Outsiders). But saying that someone’s breath “reeked of tacos” was so stupid and jarring that I had to mention it.
And someone is wearing a scrunchie?
Bottom Line: This book did nothing for me. The drama felt forced, there was no depth and I feel like I wasted my time.
Vigilante Nights by Erin Richards was published today by Merit Press. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to Merit Press and the Author.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Fantasy Contemporary
Ages: 12 and up
You Might Want to Know: Some profanity.