Author: Allison van Diepen
Publication: HarperTeen (November 25, 2014)
Description: From Allison van Diepen, author of Snitch and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel—perfect for fans of Simone Elkeles and Paul Griffin—about a teen who witnesses a murder and gets caught up in the seedy world of Miami's gangs.
Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn't, she wouldn't have seen two members of the Reyes gang attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, she knows there's a target on her back.
But when the Reyes jump her on the street, Maddie is protected by a second gang and their secretive leader, Lobo, who is determined to take down the Reyes himself. Lobo is mysterious and passionate, and Maddie begins to fall for him. But when they live this close to the edge, can their love survive?
My Thoughts: Maddie Diaz is a high school senior attending a magnet school but living in a bad part of town. She has been accepted to the University of Florida with a full tuition scholarship and is eager to get out of Miami. One night walking home from work she sees a couple of gang members attack a homeless man and set him on fire. She identifies them to the police and then becomes a target of gang retaliation.
Luckily, she has also attracted the attention of Lobo who is the leader of a rival group who wants to stop that gang from trafficking in young women and who decide to protect Maddie. When she is attacked and beaten by gang members, the other group saves her.
Meanwhile, she is hanging out with her friends including her overly dramatic best friend Iz who is constantly trying to hook her up with guys. One guy who has caught Maddie's attention is Ortiz who works at a nearby convenience store.
I did really like the romance between Ortiz and Maddie. I was very worried for their future at many points in the story.
This story is for the older young adult. These teens do a lot of drinking. The violence could also be disturbing for younger readers. There is a lot of violence.
I remembered something that Mom had once told me—that there was a difference between being in love with someone and loving someone. Being in love was that wild, exhilarating feeling of needing to be with them every moment. Loving someone was a pledge to care about them forever. To make their happiness as important as your own.I got this eARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.