Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
*Publisher provided physical copy in exchange for an honest review.
I fell in love with Amy's writing in the Gated series. I really enjoyed those two books and was utterly lost in the world of cults and how tough it was for members to move on from that life. Smash & Grab is a stretch from Gated, and I do like that the author doesn't restrict herself and is writing in other genres. But even though it's lighter in a sense and has an interesting premise, I just wasn't in love with Smash & Grab as I would have liked to be.
In regards to the characters, I did like the fact that it alternated between Christian's and Lexi's POV, but I didn't really connect with them as much, especially with Lexi. There was just something about her character that prevented me from really warming up to her. And I did sympathize with the fact that her father got in serious trouble and her family was in disarray because of it, but when it came to Christian's situation, I was more empathetic for him.
The blurb gave me the impression that there would be lots of exciting scenes, but there wasn't much, in my opinion, and I felt like some parts could have moved along while others, in particularly the ending, could have slowed down a tad. Still, it's an interesting story. There were funny moments and scenes where Christian and Lexi experienced a romantic connection, but when it was serious it was serious. Like with Christian's situation; the way gangs impact communities and how desperation from wanting to help your family can lead to terrible decisions and land you into bigger trouble. I thought the author did a good job in touching on that issue and the depiction of how the gang operated came off realistic.
Overall, Smash & Grab is a good story but with some issues that held me back from fully enjoying it. I did like how things worked out for the characters and that their lives started to change for the better. Again, I'm happy that Amy isn't limiting herself to one genre and is branching out, and I look forward to reading her next release.