Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: Deviant by Adrian Mckinty

Release Date: October 1, 2011
Publisher: Amulet Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368
Overall: 3/5 Stars
Source: Netgalley ARC

Summary From Amazon: Danny Lopez is new in town. He made a mistake back home in Las Vegas, and now he has landed at an experimental school in Colorado for “tough cases.” At the Cobalt Charter School, everything is scripted—what the teachers say, what the students reply—and no other speaking is allowed. This supercontrolled environment gives kids a second chance to make something of themselves. But with few freedoms, the students become sitting ducks for a killer determined to “clean up” Colorado Springs.

I hadn't heard much about Deviant or Adrian McKinty before, so when I picked up this book I wasn't sure what to expect. But before I get on to the actual review I'd like to bring up some things that are incorrect from the blurb (which really bugs me). First, Danny did not make a mistake in Las Vegas, or at least the book doesn't say so. Instead, his mother gets a new job in Colorado so that's how they moved there. Also, the blurb makes it sound like the children are getting threatened or something at school. This is not the case as most of the action takes place outside of the school. Just had to set that straight before the review.

Anyways, this book was a pleasant surprise, but also had a few let downs. I found that it had a good plot that kept you interested as you tried to figure out who terrorized the town. (Okay, terrorized isn't exactly the right word, but I don't want to give anything away.) There was a good mix of characters, although it seemed like all the guys liked Danny's friend Tony (Antonia), which got a bit repetitive. I did like the two warring friend groups in the school, as they provided a lot of action and helped the reader make real life connections. As far as subplots, there was a lot going on. First there was Danny and Tony's group being detectives about the town criminal, then the dynamics between the two groups at school, Danny and the Principal's relationship, Tony and Danny's relationship, and the short chapters from the criminal's POV. However, I felt like there was so much going on that Adrian McKinty didn't have enough time to develop a main plot. I think maybe the author was trying to add depth to their story, but it just came off as trying too hard. McKinty tried adding little idiosyncrasies to the characters and giving them more purpose, but it just didn't work. I thought it was strange that Danny called his mom Juanita even though she was his biological Mom and he lived with her his whole life. Danny's issues with his MIA biological father were also just sort of thrown in there and felt out of place. As for the criminal(s), because the author focused on so much else throughout the book we only got a vague idea of their purpose for what they did. So overall, McKinty was good at throwing in bits of mystery and suspense, but tried too hard when attempting to give the book some depth. It was still a good book, but just a bit lacking for me.

Writing: 4/5 stars
Characters: 3.5/5 stars
Plot: 3/5 stars
Ending: 4.5/5 stars
Cover: 4/5 stars

Feel free to tell me what you thought!

Love always,


No comments:

Post a Comment