Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Tour, Review & Giveaway: Nickel Plated by Aric Davis

Nickel Plated
Nickel Plated by Aric Davis
Publisher: Amazon Encore
Publish Date: March 22, 2011
Paperback, 172 pages
Fiction, Young Adult, Suspense

My Review:
Why I read this: The blurb caught me - one it has a boy protagonist and I am always looking for these books to share with my sons when they get older and two it's a suspense-type book - that sold me.

My thoughts: Very interesting and very different.  It's kind of like John Grisham's Theodore Boone but without a family to support the budding PI/sleuth plus it's grittier.

The thing that pleases me the most is that the protagonist is a male. I have two sons and it just doesn't seem like there is as much for YA males as for females and my oldest son loves to read.  My younger son is just learning but I'm hoping he will share our love as well.

The protagonist, Nickel is young but he's much older in most ways.  He does some things to support himself that aren't the best, but his heart is in the right place and the thing he most wants is to get rid of pedophiles.  Nickel was amusing to me - I loved his sense of humor and the teenage boy that he is.  I like his sense of right and wrong even if it can be slightly skewed, it's still mostly right.  I like also that he wants to help and I hope to see more stories involving Nickel.  Mr. Davis does an excellent job of letting the reader get to know Nickel little by little, showing a little more of his backstory while continuing with the story of Nickel Plated.

The suspense line is well done with several plot lines going at the same time, but they are different enough that it is not confusing.  One gets solved early and the other spans the length of the book.  But they both intersect in a way that makes the book even more interesting.  The secondary characters are very interesting, I enjoyed Arrow and the various sidekicks that Nickel has who help him out without even saying much.

The book reads quickly and is very enjoyable.  It has some tough subjects but I still wouldn't hesitate to let my ten-year-old read it and have some discussion about the subjects that I feel may need discussing.  There is no language, there is alcohol and drug use, but not by the main characters.  There is fighting.  But I did not feel any of it was gratuitous.  We all don't live in one of those perfect life bubbles and I think this book portrays the slightly darker side of life while still remaining a solid young adult novel.  And it's a YA novel that I think kids and adults who love suspense will enjoy. 

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:
Nickel is a survivor. He has to be. For as long as he can remember, his life has hinged on the flip of a coin. Or, rather, the scribble of a social worker’s pen. He’s been through the system, even had a good dad for a few years, until he was gone, too. But Nickel remembers everything he taught him, and since the day he escaped from foster-care hell, he’s put that knowledge to good use. Just twelve years old, he makes a steady living by selling marijuana to high schoolers, blackmailing pedophiles he ferrets out online, and working as a private investigator. When a beautiful girl named Arrow hires him to find her little sister Shelby, Nickel figures at best the kid’s a runaway; at worst, some perv’s gotten a hold of her. He scours the internet and the streets of Arrow’s suburban neighborhood, and what he finds there is as ugly a truth as he’s ever seen. For beyond the manicured lawns, Nickel discovers children for sale, and adults with souls black as the devil. And people like that aren’t about to let some kid ruin their game. This edgy thriller introduces a canny, precocious anti-hero, the likes of which young-adult readers have never seen

About the Author: 
Aric Davis is married with one daughter and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he has worked for the past fourteen years as a body piercer. A punk rock aficionado, Davis does anything he can to increase awareness of a good band. He likes weather cold enough to need a sweatshirt but not a coat, and friends who wear their hearts on their sleeves. In addition to reading and writing, he also enjoy roller coasters and hockey. Nickel Plated is his second novel. His first, From Ashes Rise, was self-published in 2008. 

Through the Teen Book Scene Tour, I have one copy up for grabs to one of my US readers, just fill out the form below. US only, ends 4/8/2011.  If you can't see the form, you can find it here.

FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher through Teen Book Scene for a honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.


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