Monday, 5 October 2020

Last Night

Finished September 30
Last Night by Karen Ellis

This novel could be a teen crossover as the major characters in the book are both in their senior year in high school in New York City. Titus "Crisp" Crespo is a high achiever, and has been held to a high standard by the mother and grandparents that raised him. He is set to be valedictorian of his class in a public school, but the day before he is stopped by a cop and he talks back, and that lands him in jail. He isn't released in time for his graduation. After his release, with his judgement still impaired, an argument with his mother causes him to take off, and he decides to go visit Glynnie, a girl he knows only a little. He'd spotted her on the roof of her building when he was on the rooftop basketball court in jail and decides that he wants to let her know why he was there, that he isn't a bad guy. And thus events are set in motion that will have long-lasting consequences for both of them.
Glynnie is from a well-off family, but she likes to push things, and now isn't the time that she feels like stopping with that attitude. Not with her mother planning to send her to Outward Bound for the summer. Crisp is a good kid, but he also doesn't want to let Glynnie go off on her own into a potentially dangerous situation.
This plot has a lot going on, with gangs, drugs, and even guns. With the two teens in over their heads, they struggle to get out of a very bad situation.
I liked the plot and could see how something like this could unfold, one bad decision after another. One young character pulled at my heartstrings, and I liked the way that things started to turn around for him, a kid in a bad situation through no fault of his own, and with no one really caring that he fell between the cracks.
Although this is a second book in the series featuring police detective Lex Cole, it felt to me that the police were more minor characters here. They did have important roles and you did see some of their personal lives, but they weren't at the heart of things.
A good, fast-moving read that will keep you glued to your seat.

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