Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Book Review: Nickel Plated

Nickel is a survivor. He has to be. For as long as he can remember, his life has hinged on the flip of a coin. Or, rather, the scribble of a social worker’s pen. He’s been through the system, even had a good dad for a few years, until he was gone, too. But Nickel remembers everything he taught him, and since the day he escaped from foster-care hell, he’s put that knowledge to good use. Just twelve years old, he makes a steady living by selling marijuana to high schoolers, blackmailing pedophiles he ferrets out online, and working as a private investigator. When a beautiful girl named Arrow hires him to find her little sister Shelby, Nickel figures at best the kid’s a runaway; at worst, some perv’s gotten a hold of her. He scours the internet and the streets of Arrow’s suburban neighborhood, and what he finds there is as ugly a truth as he’s ever seen. For beyond the manicured lawns, Nickel discovers children for sale, and adults with souls black as the devil. And people like that aren’t about to let some kid ruin their game. This edgy thriller introduces a canny, precocious anti-hero, the likes of which young-adult readers have never seen.

--From Goodreads

Cover Inspection:
Pretty cool if I do say so myself! I like the shooting target theme.

First Thoughts:
Nickel is quite the intelligent boy. I'm impressed on how much he's got going.

My Review:
Nickel Plated was definitely a lot different than anything I've read lately. Nickel is the type of character that only comes along once in a while, because he's a little bit tough to love. In fact it took me a few chapters to really get into who he was, but once I was invested in him I learned a lot. He's self-sufficient and has financial freedom that most people my age dream about. On top of that he is so multi-faceted. A hard kid on the exterior, but a lost little boy who just is looking for something to hold onto on the interior.

I'm not really sure what to say about this book other than that I enjoyed it. It's a different kind of read because I was following Nickel on his money making ventures and sleuthing most of the time. He's a great kid. Granted he often uses people for money, but he does some really touching things in this book to help other people out as well. Watching him lead his own life was really fascinating. Nickel has to fly under the radar to stay out the foster care system. To say he is a smart kid is an understatement.

The point is that I enjoyed this book, but I also think that it wasn't really for me at this time. I'm kind of torn between enjoying Nickel and feeling like he was kind of a hard character to love. I see that he has to act like an adult because that's the situation that he's been put in, however he just felt so tough sometimes. It's a hard read for sure. I really just wanted to give him a hug. This book contains some tough subjects, as well as some "colorful" language. Perhaps it just wasn't the right time for me to read it.

I'm going to keep this on my pile and pick it up again in a bit, but for now I'm going to give a middle of the road rating. I liked Nickel, I liked his story, I think my mind just wasn't in the right place to really appreciate this book.

Book Details
Title: Nickel Plated
Author: Aric Davis
Publisher: AmazonEncore
Pages: Paperback; 172
Source: Received for review.
FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Final Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart


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