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Wanted by Heidi Ayarbe


by Heidi Ayarbe

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What I love about Heidi Ayarbe's writing is that she delves into the human psyche in her books. She poses a question to the readers and explores it. Wanted is a brilliantly crafted novel delving into the psyche of a girl who breaks the rules once and loses. If I were in Mike's position, I would want to stay on the sidelines. She lives in a bad neighborhood and wants to get out of there; she can't afford any major losses. Being a bookie with a close following, she makes a fair amount of safe money. She doesn't need to take any risks. But then a new guy comes to town, throwing off her game and setting into motion Mike's demise.

The tone of the novel is somber. Mike has no delusions about the world around she. She knows that she makes money off people who want to feel the rush of betting, that she creates winners and losers through her deals, and she doesn't baby the losers. She's aware of the dangers surrounding those that she loves, and much of her everyday life is spent worrying of them. She has known innocence, and she yearns for her childhood days when her friend Moch was close to her and not involved with gangs. Mike's world is bleak. It is important in setting up the context for the plot.

As the novel progresses, Ayarbe takes us furhter into Mike's psyche. Even as Josh pulls her deeper into the romance of a modern-day Bonnie-Clyde romance with a Robin Hood twist (that was supposed to make stealing from the rich okay), tragedy strikes and the world moves on. The immensity of Mike's situation is not enough for events to force Mike to question the morality of her actions. There's more to the story. Scattered over the course of the novel are six word phrases from Mike's Creative Writing assignments that describe what's going on in her life at the moment. Many reflect the bleakness of her life.

I was seriously about to cry when I finished this novel. Mike has always been a fairly good girl with a promising future. The only illicit dealing she has done before meeting Josh is playing bookie and encouraging her peers to gamble. Her situation is the perfect example of how one mistake can cost you everything. I admire Mike's self sacrifice for those she cares about. While she makes mistakes, she puts her all into fixing them and making life better for those she cares about. I recommend this for readers looking for a real, gritty contemporary read with a modern Bonnie-Clyde-Robin Hood twist. ( )
  summerskris | Jun 10, 2012 |
This book keeps you on the edge, the mixture of reality and emotional scenes really keep the book interesting. It keeps you gessing right up to the end and even after! Q4P4 AHS/Brianna L
  edspicer | Apr 16, 2012 |
What I loved most about this book is the great plot line. I have yet to read an interesting plot line about a teen who is a bookie and gambles. This alone is intriguing. Let me tell you that I don't know much about gambling. I mean, I don;t know much about running a book. You taking bets, collecting, etc. Ms. Ayarbe, made it is for the reader to fall in the plot really fast as well as understand it. The reader wasn't confused and instead I found myself really enjoying it.

The love interest in the book really felt good. You know, the type of good where you are crossing the line, the adrenaline rush of it? Michal was so used to doing everything in the book. Not getting involve in gambling, just playing the game on the sidelines. Once she gets into the game of gambling and looove, she is lost. I really love that she did take the chance.

What really excites me about the book is the rush of being wanted. To figure out how to get the money in time. I really loved stepping into the shoes of Michal and running for my life. The ending was amazing. I never expected that.

Wanted is a quick consuming plot line that drive the reader to keep reading. There is so much drama mixed with the rush of betting and winning. Winner Winner Chicken dinner! Wanted is excellent ( )
  Bookswithbite | Apr 9, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061993883, Hardcover)


A one-word text message: That's all Michal "Mike" Garcia needs to gather a crowd. Mike is a seventeen-year-old bookie, and Sanctuary is where she takes bets for anyone at Carson City High with enough cash. Her only rule: Never participate, never place a bet for herself.

Then Josh Ellison moves to town. He pushes Mike to live her life, to feel a rush of something—play the game, he urges, stop being a spectator.

So Mike breaks her one rule. She places a bet, feels the rush.

And loses.

In an act of desperation, she and Josh—who has a sordid past of his own—concoct a plan: The pair will steal from Carson City's elite to pay back Mike's debt. Then they'll give the rest of their haul to those who need it most. How can burglary be wrong if they are making things right?

Wanted will thrust readers into the gritty underbelly of Carson City, where worth is determined by a score, power is derived from threat, and the greatest feat is surviving it all.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:19 -0400)

Seventeen-year-old Michal Garcia, a bookie at Carson City High School, raises the stakes in her illegal activities after she meets wealthy, risk-taking Josh Ellison.

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