Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: Narc by Crissa-Jean Chappell

Author: Crissa-Jean Chappell
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: August 8, 2012
Pages: 279
Read in: 4 days


"You're going to hate me forever when you learn my secret."

Seventeen-year-old stoner Aaron Foster was offered a choice: go to jail or turn undercover narc to find the dealer who's funneling drugs into Miami's Palm Hammock High School. But Aaron has never been good at getting close to people. He's human wallpaper, a stoner wastecase who's obsessed with video games and street magic.

With a cop from Narcotics breathing down his neck, Aaron gets himself invited to parties where the deals go down. To get close to the school's biggest players, Aaron lies to everyone--most of all, the cute but troubled Morgan Baskin. With the Everglades party on Halloween night--and a planned drug bust there--just days away, Aaron realizes that he's falling hard for Morgan . . . and trying to protect her could cost him everything.

*I received Narc as a free review copy, in exchange for an honest review. For more information go to our Authors-Publisher Policy.*

The Sugar and Spice:

First things first, is anyone looking at that cover the way I’m looking at it? I mean there’s not a lot going on with the cover, but it’s enough to make you wonder where that loner kid’s story is going to take us.

Narc is about a guy named Aaron, he’s not the most popular kid in school, and he’s not the smartest. He looks just like the guy on the cover --  alone. Until he’s caught doing twenty over the limit, with his little sister in the car. He’s pulled over by a cop. What’s the worst that could happen, right? A ticket, and your free. Unfortunately … his sister is caught with a dime bag of weed. Thinking about how this would tear apart his mom, and his barely-holding-it-together family, Aaron accepts a job offered by the officer to act as an undercover narc, and help the Narcotic Unit take down the people supplying drugs to his school, Palm Hammock. While on this undercover “mission,” Aaron discovers more about the person he is/wants to be. The group of “friends,” he begins to associate himself with, are The stoners. Only  Aaron wasn’t expecting to actually like them … or most of them.

I am completely and utterly in love with Crissa-Jean Chappell. From page one, she jumped right into the problem at hand. I didn’t have to push myself through this novel, at all, I just kept going and I didn’t want to stop, either. Also did anyone notice the main character is male?! Yay, for originality! I really liked how Chappell identified Aaron as an outsider from the beginning of the novel. It gave me a reason to want to root him. To want him to kiss a girl for the first time, do crazy teenager things, have a first real girlfriend, fall in love, have friends, and overall love Aaron’s character.

I honestly have nothing bad to say about Narc. I was very disappointed by the ending, but it makes sense now, when reflecting on it. This is a definite Stop-drop-and-read. If you weren’t fully compelled to read Narc, then I’m telling you, this a quick, easy, and intriguing read that you won’t regret.

Author Info:
Crissa-Jean Chappell is the author of Total Constant Order (HarperTeen, 2007), which earned a bronze medal from the Florida Book Awards, received a VOYA “Perfect Ten,” and was named a New York Public Library “Book for the Teen Age.” She holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in literature, film theory, and philosophy from the University of Miami, as well as an MFA in screenwriting. Her reviews, short stories, and poems have appeared in many magazines, including Confrontation, Tatlins Tower, Broken Wrist Project, and the Southwest Review. For more than eight years, Chappell wrote a weekly film column for the Miami Sun-Post. The author lives in New York.