Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Review: A Penny's Worth

Novel: A Penny's Worth
Author: A. M. Hooper
Release Date: 15 Jan 2013
Publisher: Prose By Design, LLC
Genre: YA Romantic Thriller
Pages: 250

His kisses are passionate. His romance is flawless. The last thing 17 year old Emmaline expected was for her perfect boyfriend, Cephas, to kidnap her. Now she'll have to outsmart and outrun those closest to her in this fast- paced adventure of insubordination and torrid love.  Friends will become foes and trust will gave way to bitter lies as Emmaline tries to save innocent lives which may perish at the hand of Cephas's crooked boss. With a posse of lethal hit men hot on her trail, Emmaline must decide whether unraveling the truth is worth enduring the betrayal, destruction, and deceit that stand in her way. Cephas Bourdon is trouble, but maybe she could kiss him again . . . just one more time. It couldn't hurt.   (Goodreads)

Quick Look

In this romantic thriller, readers will hitch a ride with 17 year-old Emmaline as she goes from girlfriend of the high school basketball star to a hostage at the center of a high-speed chase. Her captor? A criminal mastermind ... and the boy she'd thought loved her.

Full Review

For the first few chapters, A Penny's Worth appears to be a contemporary romance - Emmaline is finishing up her senior year, complete with all its typical and relatable teenage drama. But after a few chapters the tone of the story shifts when she's taken hostage by her new boyfriend Cephas. From there, the latter half of the novel shifts to a complex sequence of dramatic chase scenes, tense moments at gunpoint, ever-changing loyalties, and ever-shifting uncertainty about whether to trust her head or her heart.

Throughout the story Emmaline struggles with her attraction to guys that are wrong for her (read: abusive). Initially, she stands up for herself, shutting down at least one suitor that's been physically harming her. But she   gets confused when the abuse from another guy turns psychological. I can't say I fully agreed with or understood some of the decisions Emmaline makes in this book. That said, kudos to the author, who has decided to tackle some pretty serious subject matter that so many novels leave unquestioned!!

I do wish that the protagonist had a bit more agency in her decision making. She had shining moments, but was often not privy to the plans of her allies and therefore had less agency in the latter parts of the story.

Overall, this was a thought-provoking, fast-paced read. It will certainly keep you guessing! Plus there's a scene with a fascinating discussion on U.S. agricultural policies -- a subject near and dear to my heart!!

Recommended for fans of:  Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris, or Morgan Rice's Arena One

Book Soundtrack: I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift

Favorite Quotes:

"What are you saying?" he asked, eyeing me suspiciously. I couldn't believe I'd been dating such an idiot.

"Maybe that's all you need: someone to remind you of your capabilities every now and then."

"I wasn't sure I could ever love him again. At least not out loud."

Want more book suggestions? See my other Book Recommendations.

But you don't have to take my word for it
Need some more convincing? Check out reviews of A Penny's Worth on Amazon, at Goodreads and from Wordpaintings Unlimited.

You can buy A Penny's Worth from these sites:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Smashwords CreateSpace

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