Monday, January 13, 2014

ARC Book Review: The Lure by Lynne Ewing

Title: The Lure
Author: Lynne Ewing
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 11, 2014

Cover Impressions: 
Interesting, I think they could have made better use of the graffiti element and the color is a little hard on the eyes.

The Gist:
Blaise Montgomery has built a reputation for being fearless in the face of danger.  Living with her grandmother on little more than welfare and social security has left her longing for a different life and a family that can protect her from the dangers of the neighborhood.  She finds that in Core 9 a fearsome gang that promises to open up a new world for her.  Blaise faces a brutal initiation and is quickly chosen to act as bait for rival gang members so that Trek, the head of Core 9 can exact his revenge.  This new position offers her prestige and power, but also places her in a dangerous situation from which she may not escape.


I read this book in a day.  With a 2 1/2 year old running around.  That is serious high praised.  I was shocked when I went on Goodreads to see the low reviews and from people who claimed that they didn't understand why these characters made the choices that they did.  I don't think that assessment is fair.  Yes, you hear stories about kids who grow up in these kinds of neighborhoods that escape the violence and make a better life for themselves but, do you know why they are such compelling stories? Because they don't happen very often.  The characters in The Lure were faced with a limited set of choices and a life that kept dealing them one hard blow after another.  The more I learned about each girl's set of circumstances, the more saddened I became. 

The Lure features some pretty gritty scenes of violence.  I was very interested to see this portrayal of gang life from a female's perspective and that it featured the different initiations and roles that females could take on.  I do wish that there had been more development to show why girls do join these gangs.  As a reader, I suspected where the plot was headed eventually, but we did not have a great deal of time between Blaise's initiation and her being thrown into a very violent situation, in order to see the prestige and perks that would have drawn her to this life in the first place. 

I also wish there was a little more character development.  This might have been accomplished by alternating the narration among the four girls.  I truly felt for each one of them and their situation, but I would have liked to know more about them personally.  Ditto with the two love interests.  I loved the scenes between Blaise and Satch and was genuinely rooting for a happy ending for the two of them.  Speaking of endings, I did find this one to be a little anti-climactic.  There was a great deal of running from place to place followed by a choice that I never really expected these characters to make and one that left me questioning what the repercussions would be.

Overall, The Lure offered a gritty glimpse into gang life and the sense of hopelessness that overtakes many of those thrust into that life.  It has some flaws, but is certainly worth a read. 

Teaching/Parental Notes:

16 and up
Gender: Both
Sex: Kissing, Talk of sex
Violence: Gunplay, Knifeplay, Intimidation, Rape and Gang Rape
Inappropriate Language: Bitch
Substance Use/Abuse: Underage Drinking, Selling and use of Drugs


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