Emily Calby is a strong, resilient runaway trying to avenge the death of her mother and sister. I really enjoyed the first impression of this book and was super excited for the chance to get a copy. I loved the idea of the runaway white girl being saved by the soft hearted semi-retired black gangster. It seemed like it would be an interesting story. But, I was a bit disappointed. I found that believability and enjoyment didn't go hand in hand for me. I myself trying to choose: I believe Emily was capable of these rather heinous acts or I enjoy the story. To me, if I believed she was actually capable of these things, then how do I enjoy it? How do I enjoy a 12 year old girl running around the country and being involved in a string of murders and crimes? On top of that, not a darn thing happens to her afterword. Don't get me wrong, it has a happy ending and I enjoyed that she ended up where she did (don't want to spoil it). But, I did have a hard time believing that a girl as psychologically damaged goes on to commit these crimes and then all of the sudden is just a hunky dory girl with no more major psychological issues.
I liked the characters and I found myself connecting to Emily. But I also found myself having to put the book down and struggling to finish it. Every bad thing that could happen to her could. That's terrible. To me a better message to convey would be for her to have the same happy ending and get justice instead of revenge. I did really love the discussion questions at the end of the book. I read them all and they were very thought provoking. I feel like this book will be very challenging to a lot of people. Maybe that's the point, but that wasn't what I was hoping for out of this book.