Author: William Richter
Publication: Razorbill; 1 edition (March 15, 2012)
Description: Wally was adopted from a Russian orphanage as a child and grew up in a wealthy New York City family. At fifteen, her obsessive need to rebel led her to life on the streets.
Now the sixteen-year-old is beautiful and hardened, and she's just stumbled across the possibility of discovering who she really is. She'll stop at nothing to find her birth mother before Klesko - her darkeyed father - finds her. Because Klesko will stop at nothing to reclaim the fortune Wally's mother stole from him long ago. Even if that means murdering his own blood. But Wally's had her own killer training, and she's hungry for justice.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens, this debut thriller introduces our next big series heroine!
My Thoughts: This was a very exciting and action-packed story. Wally, Russian orphan and adopted daughter of Claire and Jason Stoneman of New York, left home at age fifteen and is living on the streets with her crew - Tevin, Ella and Jake. She is smart, street savvy, and very angry. She has always wanted to know about her birth mother and goes on a hunt for her. Unfortunately, she isn't the only one hunting because when her mother disappeared she took a valuable stash of alexandrite stones with her. Wally's father Klesko, who is an Russian gangster, wants them back and wants her mother dead too. Other characters want the stones too.
Wally is in a race against her very evil father to learn about her mother and find her first. Along the way she learns more about herself and her relationships with the people in her life. There is a lot of violence in this one mostly centered around Klesko. In fact, the story begins with a murder. Klesko leaves lots of bodies in his wake. I was swept along with the story and kept trying to figure out where and who Wally's mother was. It was a real page-turner.
The relationship between Wally and her adopted mother is an interesting one. Even though she left home for life on the streets, she still maintains a relationship with her mother. I'm not really sure I understand why she felt the need to leave home at such a young age and for such a dangerous lifestyle. I did like that they kept in contact. I also liked the relationship she had with her crew. She definitely had the role of caretaker in the group and considered the other three kids to be her family.
The violence makes this more suitable for older YAs and the adventure should pull them in. Wally is a great character for them to get to know. I liked her growth through the novel.
"Call the police right now," Dr. Ranier insisted.I received this ARC from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.
"Oh," the woman said, taken aback by the urgency in Dr. Ranier's words. "You think so? Okay, I--" the woman turned slightly away from the balcony, ready to walk back toward her office, but never made it any further than that. A thunderous gunshot echoed through the atrium and a bullet tore through the woman's chest, splattering blood on the railing as her lifeless body dropped out of view.