Piper is a con artist whose canvas is the city of Las Vegas. She rolls with a crew of young grifters including a card-counting genius, a tourist-hustling pool shark, and a pocket-picking magician. Together, this crew of teenage outlaws live with their mentor Max in the penthouse of a hotel casino. They work hard and play harder. But unlike the others, Piper must balance her hyper-real Vegas fantasy with the reality of raising her 14-year-old half-sister Sophie. Disaster strikes when the Las Vegas mafia kidnaps Sophie and demands a multimillion-dollar ransom. With only five days to piece together the money, the crew races the clock to save her. (Via Goodread.com)
Release Date: March 4th, 2015
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
In exchange for an honest review, the author of Grift, Jason Mosberg, gave me a free advanced e-copy. Before he contacted me, I had never heard of Grift. I was not even aware that grift was a real word. I was a bit hesitant to start Grift because it is a self-published novel, but I quickly learned that you should never judge a book by how it is published. I am sad to admit that I had originally fallen for such an ignorant stereotype. Like I mentioned in my review of Melissa Parkin's Divine Vices last August, books are the same no matter how they are published. Most self-published novels are assumed to be 'bad' because they have yet to be picked up by a major publishing house. But, trust me, I have read my fair share of 'bad' books that have been published by major publishing houses. I have only read a couple self-published novels and I have yet to stumble upon a stereotypical 'bad' one.
Jason Mosberg's Grift is a novel that rips apart Las Vegas' facade of glitz and glam. I learned a lot more about the city than I knew prior, but it did not make me love the city any less. I love how Vegas is able to take you all over the world in a just a few city blocks. But, for some, like the characters of Grift, Vegas is also able to take everything away from you in a matter of minutes.
I loved how close-knit the characters of Grift were. They all shared close bonds and were willing to risk so much to save each other. Like families, tragedy was able to bring them even closer together and strengthen their bonds. No matter how at odds they were with each other, they were willing to overcome that for the sake of others. Their rag-tag team of misfits reminded me of a teenage version of CBS' Scorpion.
Speaking of characters, I really liked the main character, Piper. Unlike most Young Adult heroins, Piper does not let her emotions control her. She is extremely mature and clear-minded for a teenager. She knows what she wants for her sister and was willing to do anything to give her sister the life she deserves. I just hope that Piper will allow herself a break from being an adult. She has been forced to play the role as an adult/provider since such a young age and she should be able to act young at times and let loose.
I was really amazed by Jason's ability to write in the mind of a teenage girl. I do not read many male authors, but I have read many female authors with male protagonists. In some of those cases, the perspectives seem unbelievable and stereotypical. I know I am not a guy, so I can't be sure what goes on in their heads, but some female authors don't seem to grasp it either. They overplay their male character and it causes the easy assumption that the author is female. But, if I read Grift without an author's name attached to it, I would assume the author was female because he perfectly executed Piper's perspective.
I saw the cover of Grift for the first time when I began to piece together my review and I absolutely love it. The cover's background looks like the Las Vegas strip with the bright and vibrant colors that go as far as the eye can see. You are also able to pick out at least one tall building that looks like a casino.
I loved Grift. It was full of action and nail-biting suspense that had me flipping the pages as fast as I could. Like poker, Grift was extremely addictive and would not let me put it down. Grift included a very fulfilling ending, but allowed room for a possible sequel. I am really excited to see what Jason Mosberg writes next.
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