City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson
Star rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
Summary: Tina, a refugee girl from Congo living in Kenya and turned thief has been working for five years to get revenge on her mother’s murder. As she is attempting the first steps in her plan of revenge she is interrupted and forced to reassess what she believes about her mother’s murder.
Review: I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from firsttoread.com for review.
While I wouldn’t say this book is exactly a thriller, I really enjoyed this book. It is a murder mystery, but not what I would call thriller and I’m not sure why it’s being officially compared to Gone Girl. Then again, I never agree with those “it’s the next–” like why can’t something just be its own thing why does it have to be the next other popular book? It was pretty different from what I have read before, I’m not sure I’ve read a YA book quite like this. The main character was really great to read about. She’s in a street gang and a thief, trying to get revenge on her mother’s death.
I liked the characters a lot, especially Tina and Boyboy. I liked the relationships of this book too, Tina’s protective role for her little sister, her past with Michael (and future) and her friendship with Boyboy. I liked that Tina believed at first that she in,y had professional relationships and no friends and how long and how much she had to go through before she finally realized Boyboy was her friend all along. I thought the romance was really good, it wasn’t too much so that the book lost its focus and I feel it was pretty age appropriate for Tina and Michael with how awkward it was at points. I thought it was well done.
I don’t personally know much if anything about the current situation in Kenya or anywhere else in Africa for that matter so I’m not sure if the author got anything wrong/was offensive. From reading her about me and afterword it seems she has done a lot of research and has lived in Africa some herself so I feel I have more confidence in what she’s written than I might for others. But again, I don’t know anything really myself so I could be completely wrong.
I didn’t like the way things ended with Kiki and Tina, I feel like Tina should have had more say in what happened to her sister. Sure, Greyhill is Kiki’s father but I don’t think he really acknowledged her as his own until the end of the book when he’s telling Tina what’s going to happen to Kiki.
I thought there were a lot of good twists in the story and that the mystery was well done. I knew with how insistent Tina was that Greyhill killed her mom that she would end up being wrong but I had hoped that wouldn’t be the case. Just because I wanted to see how Tina handled that now that she had rekindled her friendship and discovered her feelings for Michael. That would have been interesting to me but I’m still happy with how it ended.
This book was a lot of fun and kept me interested the entire time. I liked the style and how a lot of chapters begin with the rules Tina has made for herself to survive. This book is to be released on January 24th, 2017.
Recommendation: This was a really enjoyable book and I think if you like murder mysteries this will appeal to you.