How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller.
Publication Date: February 2013
List Price: $17.99
Review: Predators. That's the term we use here. The alumni hate being labeled sociopaths or psychopaths - and they'd be furious to hear you call them monsters. They don't want to be thought of as mentally ill. And they're not. No one at the Mandel Academy is insane. Psychopaths and sociopaths are not defective humans. As a matter of fact, I'm convinced they're superior beings." Thus is the belief behind the long-standing, highly respected Mandel Academy, a school for the chosen few who graduate to be the most powerful leaders in the world. In How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller, readers will enter alongside Flick as he follows in his father's footsteps and attends the Mandel Academy.
Flick is a teenage boy, not terribly different from other teenage boys except he lives a life of crime. After escaping abuse from his father and suffering from the knowledge that his brother was murdered by the hands of the very same father, Flick resorts to the streets and makes a life as a pickpocket. When Flick is offered a deal to finally get the proof to send his father to jail, he accepts the invitation into the Mandel Academy. However, once he's admitted - even though he is seen as the most formidable competitor - he notices that the school is not just training criminals, but it is also eliminating those who are not strong enough to succeed. Since no one can leave the academy without being fully trained and willing to keep the true agenda of the Academy secret, they find a different, more alarming way to eliminate the weak. Flick finds himself conflicted and when an old flame is admitted and they are pit against each other with the threat that only one of them will survive, will he find a way to reach his goal and save the only girl he's ever loved?
How to Lead a Life of Crime has the most unique premise for a novel to date. It takes some of the excitement of The Hunger Games and mixes with it a grueling explanation of what genetic attribute leads to power. "Those who inherited the gene were smarter, stronger. Better. They became predators. Those without the gene were weaker, less intelligent, more prone to illness. They were the predator's prey. That's what psychopaths and sociopaths share in common. Both possess the mutant gene." Readers are grabbed from page one, and their attention is held to the very end. Not only is the backdrop to the novel engaging and exciting, but the character development also adds to the novel's ability to captivate its audience. Every character is significant and developed to the fullest detail so that readers can immerse themselves in the adventure, in the horror that is the Mandel Academy. The New York Times bestselling author has done it again. How to Lead a Life of Crime is bound to be recognized as a one-of-a-kind young adult novel.
Review written by Margo Nauert (6th grade teacher).
We would like to thank Penguin Group for providing a copy of How to Lead a Life of Crime for this review.
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