Book Review: Narc by Crissa-Jean Chappell

Author: Crissa-Jean Chappell
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: August 8th 2012
Review Source: BEA-Flux
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) "You're going to hate me forever when you learn my secret."

Seventeen-year-old stoner Aaron Foster was offered a choice: go to jail or turn undercover narc to find the dealer who's funneling drugs into Miami's Palm Hammock High School. But Aaron has never been good at getting close to people. He's human wallpaper, a stoner wastecase who's obsessed with video games and street magic.

With a cop from Narcotics breathing down his neck, Aaron gets himself invited to parties where the deals go down. To get close to the school's biggest players, Aaron lies to everyone--most of all, the cute but troubled Morgan Baskin. With the Everglades party on Halloween night--and a planned drug bust there--just days away, Aaron realizes that he's falling hard for Morgan . . . and trying to protect her could cost him everything.

Many know that I jump on any book be it YA or adult when the story is based in Florida or more specifically to Miami. Crissa-Jean does a pretty great job on detailing the locations. It helps visualize the story better when the author helps you picture the locations, people and items that you read in each page. Being from Miami myself, to me its more of a visit home. The smells, noises and people come back to me in full color when I read Narc. So every time her story went somewhere, I felt I was riding along with her characters, hoping I could pop into the nearest Cuban bakery while reading. One more thing I liked was she didn't cover up or glamorize Miami, she wrote it how it is. Just like any metropolitan city, it has its goods and bads.

Narc is the story of Aaron, Aaron was caught doing something illegal and the cop offered him 2 choices. Its a pretty simple choice actually, if you ask me. Help the cops out by becoming a Narc or go to jail. I think you know which one Aaron chose. Who in their right minds would want to go to jail. 

If you don't know what a Narc is, here is a definition: An informant is a person who provides privileged information about a person or organization to an agency. The term is usually used within the law enforcement world, where they are officially known as confidential or criminal informants (CI), and can often refer pejoratively to the supply of information without the consent of the other parties with the intent of malicious, personal or financial gain.

So Aaron takes on his new undercover job for the cops. He needs to find out who is the big player in their high school, who supplies the little guys. Aaron has no idea how he will figure this all out. So he begins friending people he normally doesn't hang out with. Aaron in reality has always kept to himself, so this is a big project for him to make all these new friends. Aaron begins to get in with some of the girls from school and getting invites to the parties were drugs are present, but the cops say its not enough. he needs to get in deeper and get them the big guy. So Aaron continue his lies to his new friends or associates he has made. Problem when you get close to people especially girls is that you begin to fall for a certain girl. Now he is starting to get closer to the information the cops need but at what cost to his new friends and love interest. What will Aaron decided is more important. 

This is a fast stand alone read to pick up this summer. The novel is raw and to the point, I just felt at times that Aaron's character needed something more. I could never put my finger on what, but towards the end of the novel he bettered himself for me. This is as real as it can get, the story is not pretty pink ponies and fluffy white clouds, you are getting what really happens on a day to day basis in the large cities around the world that include today's youth. Its an eye opener of a tale. Those readers that like dark, realistic fiction will eat this book up. 

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