on July 18, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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A "good boy" will do anything for vengeance when a gang rite kills his twin sister. Will Lucas win, or follow his sister Silver into the darkness?
After a hideous car wreck, Lucas wakes from a coma to find that his world is gutted. Not only is his beloved twin sister, Silver, gone forever, but Lucas is broken in body and spirit. He will never be a college athlete, and is robbed of what he now realizes was the most important bond of his life. Although they weren't identical twins, Lucas and Silver shared a bond so fierce it defied reason, and was nearly supernatural.
After her death, that bond seems to endure when Lucas sees Silver everywhere he turns. Either he's crazy, or Silver is trying to tell him something about the California gang initiation they stumbled into that cost Silver her life. Lucas is bent on revenge, turning on Raymond, Silver's former boyfriend; the one Lucas never wanted her to date. He forms a posse of vigilantes to take out the gangsters responsible for Silver's death, but he risks not only his own life, but the love of the new girl on his block, who knows more about Lucas and Silver than can be accounted for by mere chance.
With such an interesting premise, Vigilante Nights was a struggle to get through. I would have abandoned it early on if it wasn’t for this review I had to do.
Lucas is a damaged teenage boy who has an empathetic connection with his fraternal twin. His twin sister, Silver, dies in a car crash and he can still see and talk to her in ghost form. She pushes him to form a vigilante club to avenge her death and to right wrongs while he’s at it.
You’d think the main focus would be the whole vigilante thing, but it isn’t. It’s part supernatural with Lucas interacting with Silver’s ghost, part pursuing gangs and trying to avenge Silver’s death, and part romance with him picking up Tara.
I could not connect with Lucas at all. It’s like this boy doesn’t even think, and neither do his friends. They didn’t consider the dangers or stupidity of getting involved in gang busting at all. Why would you face some gang members with 1 switch blade? Why do these teenage boys have access to guns, and somehow carry it around with them? When people start to get hurt, why is there no emotional depth, guilt or ceasing of these stupid and dangerous activities?
The largest thing that put me off the novel, was the strange language used throughout the book. Lucas walks, talks and thinks like a dude bro, and looking at early reviews, it looks like I’m not alone on this.
Everything that comes out of his mouth is an attempt to be hip. “Kev gave me the DL. That prick Raymond’s gunnin’ for a bruising…Hey, catch you on the flipside.” Seriously, who talks like that? The narrative is pretty much the same vein as the speech and painfully jammed with puns, overused references, lame rhymes, the works. It just screams of trying too hard to be cool. Check out this particularly painful section:
“Our perfect illusion of delusion. What straight guy in his right mind would let Tara – the sun who eclipsed my frozen moon – go? Let everyone think I was nuts. Shouldn’t strain too many brains….Acid burned in my Swiss cheese stomach.”
I also had a real problem with where Lucas’s priorities were. Despite the death of his sister, he is preoccupied with making his sister’s douchey ex-boyfriend pay for trying to force himself on her. He seemed way more upset about this than his sister’s death. There was barely any mourning, emotional depth, or regret at all.
I’m probably not in the target market for this, and perhaps a young teenage boy may connect far better with the protagonist than I did. He’s a prankster who used to be a jock and goes in with his fists first, mind later. But then again, I think that good books can be enjoyed by any gender, regardless of who they are written for.
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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