From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Nikki's love for Dee is unconditional. She needs him and she knows, deep down in her heart, that he loves and needs her, no matter what her friends think or how he might sometimes act. And because he loves her when nobody else does, she is willing to do anything for him. Little does Nikki know how far down a criminal path that commitment will ultimately take her, implicating her in a murder that leads to prison. Told by Nikki, Criminal is not an easy book to read. The protagonist is very complex; desperate to be loved and needed, she is almost totally reliant on the affirmation of those around her. It is her search for self and freedom and finally redemption that readers will invest in. While they may not necessarily agree with her, they can certainly see and, on some level, understand why she does what she does. The story moves quickly and the characterization is particularly strong. McVoy's interpretation of life in the county lockup rings true but is definitely counter to stereotype. It is refreshing to see the bond that develops between Nikki and her fellow inmates. This is a book for any teens who might consider themselves lost and desperate for love and belonging.-Erik Knapp, Davis Library, Plano, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*It’s a dark, devastating, and realistic portrait of a girl in over her head in more ways than one. What McVoy (Being Friends with Boys
) gets so powerfully right in this novel is the way that love can descend like a fog, impairing one’s judgment and obscuring the truth. (Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW