My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was provided with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The book revolves around Kayli Winchester, a girl hit hard by fate and life, and a group of boys she befriends. This was the first book I've read in The Academy series by the author. Kayli is a pick-pocket but a conscientious one at that. She does what she does to support her dad and kid brother. She follows her own code of principles about not picking money from children, old ladies or helpless victims. She gets the attention of a group of boys, who are all part of The Academy, living on the wrong side of law. They, in exchange for her skill, offer to help her hone her skills and teach her a trick or two of the trade. She meets with Axel, the leader of the gang, Marc, Brandon, Corey and Raven. They all ending up becoming more than friends. When Kayli is in danger, her new companions protect her, but do they succeed, and what befalls them all, is what the book takes us through.
It was hard to classify this book as mere adventure, for the characters have a lot of depth to them and there are many emotionally pulling moments. The characters are nice - the ones that stand out are Kayli, having been forced to stand up for herself and to hide her fears; Axel who is sure of himself; and Corey, who forms a foil for all the others in the group, as he is not someone who induces fear, but is in fact a sweet person. For a nice plot and theme, I felt that the book came loaded with a tad higher dose of explicit scenes, descriptions and violence, that perhaps stole away the many dimensions of the characters and the scenes. I would recommend this for a casual read, but be warned that not all pages are suitable for all readers.
My rating for this book: 3 stars
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