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YA Review: Wild and Crooked by Leah Thomas

Title: Wild and Crooked
AuthorLeah Thomas
Year Published: 2019

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 436
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2019 Google Reading map)USA (KT)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): In Samsboro, Kentucky, Kalyn Spence's name is inseparable from the brutal murder her father committed when he was a teenager. Forced to return to town, Kalyn must attend school under a pseudonym... or face the lingering anger of Samsboro's citizens, who refuse to forget the crime.

Gus Peake has never had the luxury of redefining the way people see him. A Samsboro local, he's either known as the "disabled kid" because of his cerebral palsy, or as the kid whose dad was murdered. Gus just wants to be known as himself.

When Gus meets Kalyn, her frankness is refreshing, and they form a deep friendship. Until their families' pasts emerge. And when the accepted version of the truth is questioned, Kalyn and Gus are caught in the center of a national uproar. Can they break free from a legacy of inherited lies and chart their own paths forward?

Review: I chose this book from one of our local schools just before the Thanksgiving holiday because it is set in Kentucky and that is one of the states that I still need to read for my 2019 Literary Escapes challenge. Little did I know how much I would enjoy this novel.

Kalyn is troubled. Troubled by her poverty, her mother, her dad, and by other people who are cruel when they learn her dad is in prison for murder. Gus is also a great character and together he and Kalyn are able to be themselves and that's what matters. 

I like that the true story of Gus' dad's murder comes out and that it's believable. But the best part about this book is the friendships and relationships amongst the characters. They are all flawed in different ways, they fight and drive each other crazy, but they love one another and just have to accept that they are loved in return.

Challenges for which this counts: 

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