CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 13. . . .December 2, 2016
New York, NY: Simon Pulse (Distributed in Canada by Simon & Schuster), 2016.
342 pp., hardcover & eBook, $23.99.
ISBN 978-1-4814-3944-2 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-4814-3946-6 (eBook).
Las Vegas (Nev.)-Fiction.
Grades 6 and up / Ages 11 and up.
Review by Wendy Phillips.
“This is a great offer—better than you deserve. You need to think about what’s best for your sister.”
Emotion strangles my voice. “Because I don’t all the time?”
“Roger checks out,” she says again, softer now, not answering my question. My stomach does a slow roll of acceptance. “He’s kind and generous. At least give him a chance. Because if this doesn’t work out...”
No need to elaborate. Her underlying threat hits me with the force of a head-on crash.
Jules Parish is too good at boosting cars to get caught, but her (ex)boyfriend talked her into a bad bet. Now she’s been arrested, and she and her little sister, Emma, will soon be kicked out of their foster home.
For a while, it looks like they will be living on the streets of Las Vegas. Then along comes the strange and wealthy Roger Montgomery who promises to take care of them. But there’s a catch. Along with three other outcast young people who share Montgomery’s mansion, she has to steal seven of the rarest and most valuable muscle cars in the world in seven weeks. Chelsea, the lock pick, Mat, the hacker, and Nick, the sexy car thief, join forces with Jules for the biggest car heist in history. As Jules slowly comes to trust her partners, though, she starts to wonder what – or who -- is really driving them.
Full of gunning engines and car chases, Overdrive is an exciting read for muscle car fans and thriller readers. Though the premise is far-fetched, the action is unrelenting, and Canadian Dawn Ius writes with the enthusiasm of the converted. Characters are street-savvy and full of sass, and a certain population of teen readers will respond to the detailed appreciation of rare and sought-after muscle cars. The mysterious Roger Montgomery comes slowly into focus as the story advances, and the fiery romance between Nick and Jules will appeal to romantic readers.
The heist story tradition is a familiar one, and Las Vegas, home of the “Ocean” casino heist film series, is a recognizable and glittering backdrop. Familiar plot, character types and relationships entertain readers but do not stretch them. However, to draw in readers who might not have considered the library as a source of hot cars and mystery, Overdrive might just hit the track running.
Wendy Phillips is a teacher-librarian in Richmond, B.C. and the author of the Governor General's award-winning young adult novel, Fishtailing.
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