Review: Lola

9780451496102

By Melissa Scrivner Love

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 3.63

Genre: Thriller

Publication Date: March 21st 2017

Format Read: Physical ARC

Goodreads Summary: The Crenshaw Six are a small but up-and-coming gang in South Central LA who have recently been drawn into an escalating war between rival drug cartels. To outsiders, the Crenshaw Six appear to be led by a man named Garcia . . . but what no one has figured out is that the gang’s real leader (and secret weapon) is Garcia’s girlfriend, a brilliant young woman named Lola.

Lola has mastered playing the role of submissive girlfriend, and in the man’s world she inhabits she is consistently underestimated. But in truth she is much, much smarter–and in many ways tougher and more ruthless–than any of the men around her, and as the gang is increasingly sucked into a world of high-stakes betrayal and brutal violence, her skills and leadership become their only hope of survival.

An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman who combines the genius and ferocity of Lisbeth Salander with the ruthless ambition of Walter White. Lola marks the debut of a hugely exciting new thriller writer, and of a singular, magnificent character unlike anyone else in fiction.

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This was essentially a book about a gang, more specifically the leader of that gang, who happens to be a woman.  Their gang gets on the wrong side of the mob, and Lola has to deal with being a secret leader, a woman, trying not to get herself killed, and saving her gang all at the same time.  This was a great idea for a plot line, in my opinion, and that is what carried me through the novel with a 4 star rating.  If it hadn’t been for the solid plot, I might not even have been able to finish.  The actual writing style was weak, and I often had to reread sentences just to make sure I was properly understanding.  Overall, I would recommend if you have a deep love of the genre, but not if you’re looking for a well written book.  The two need to be separated for you to enjoy.

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Lola, the main character, is absolutely totally completely awesome.  She comes off as this passive, submissive housewife to a gang leader, but really she’s a total badass who doesn’t play by anybody else’s rules but her own.  Just becauses of how amazing she is, it makes it very feminist, because Lola is very set on not listening to what the “big man” says, and making a name for herself despite the fact that she’s a woman.

The other characters were not nearly as well developed as Lola was, but that was okay because it was told from Lola’s perspective and they were really just side players in her story.  If you aren’t interested in Lola’s personality, you probably won’t enjoy the story at all, since she powers it through and is the only very well developed part of the story.

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The plot in this story was my favorite part, by far.  It was very well written, and it was a strong story line which built properly without twisting off into some far fetched fantasy.  The author did a great job keeping it realistic, intertwining side stories in such a way that helped develop Lola’s character and show what type of person she was while still moving the main plot along.  I thought the pacing was perfect, and would have given a solid 5 stars to just plot alone.

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This was written present tense, which threw me off a whole ton of times, but maybe that’s just me having an issue with the way it’s written.  I was willing to put that aside as a personal problem, but in general it just wasn’t well written.  The sentence structure felt very middle school, and I never encountered a single word that I didn’t know.  It felt very basic and young, which was weird for me in an adult novel.  It’s not like I was expecting anything spectacular, but it was less than other “fluff” reads that I typically read.

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The plot was absolutely incredible, Lola was well developed through actions, words, and just being able to hear inside her head.  I would highly recommend this just based off of the story alone.  However, you have to know going in that it’s not spectacularly written, or you’ll be disappointed.

Disclaimer: I received this book from LibraryThing and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Have you read LOLA? What’s your opinion? Have you read any other gang banger books that you’d recommend?


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