Advance Galley Reviews
This book was way better than I expected. Never thought I would appreciate a "gang" story but this truly me intrigued until the end! I like the strong female lead and the fact that you get to see how she, without trust, thinks in her head even though she may decide to act differently. I would love to read a followup.
This book blew me away and had me gripped from cover to cover with only a very few weak parts along the way. The setting is a crime-ridden part of Los Angeles where drug dealing seems like a perfectly natural way to make a living.
The main character, Lola, is one of the main drivers of the story, and the author has done a great job describing her mixed feelings about her role in the gang, her family relations, and other interpersonal matters such as loyalty, trust, and dependence.
The language is quite graphic, and so is the violent nature of a story about neglect, abuse, gangs and drug dealing, so the book is definitely not for sensitive readers with a weak stomach.
I don't really have very many books to compare this to (except perhaps the amazing Dodgers by Bill Beverly), but fans of mysteries/thrillers about rough neighborhoods and crime will most likely be well entertained by this strong and touching story - I know that I was.
I abandoned this book 2/3 of the way in. I just couldn't read anymore. The premise was promising, but I wasn't a fan of the writing style, and the story itself just continued to drag.
Here is a strong female lead character who is coming into her power. She has grow up in the hell that is the drug controlled area of South Central LA. Mixed up in the business, her life threatened from several sources, she discovers what she missed growing up and what she can have if she can outwit her rivals. She is forced to discipline her gang members and family members to prove her mettle. The subject matter may be disturbing, be this is a well-written thriller from a new voice. My thanks to the author and the Penguin First to Read program for a complimentary copy.
I could not read the format that I received, so I cannot give a review. I really wanted to read this book.
Sure this book was about drugs and gangs in Southern California. But really this book was about a young woman who was struggling against the idea that she, solely because she is female, can't be in a position of power. While put in the scene of the drug trade, the topic is very current and Lola does a great job or highlighting the inconsistencies in society. Lola is expected to continue to take care of her abusive mother because she is the daughter. Lola is expected to be seen and not heard in gang discussions. In fact, she uses this to her advantage several times. Adding more dept to the story, Lola herself struggled with what she thinks she wants to be/do and what she finds herself doing. This book is full of quality writing, well-rounded characters, and thoughtful development. I will look forward to more offerings from Ms. Love.
I had a tough time reading this however I blame the format not necessarily the writing. That said, I had such a tough time that I had to force myself to read it when I wanted to give up which lead to me not getting into the story. My review is try it in a different format.
This story takes the angle of putting a woman in charge of a gang in LA. Of course, there are drugs, money, abuse, sex, racial angles, power moves, punishments doled out, drug drops, cops & robbers....& also a 'who's behind it all?' mystery. The chapters are just the right length, & labeled appropriately....making it a good, fast read that's easy to stay into & read right along. Descriptions of settings are good enough to put the reader right in the scene & there are characters that you can hope to succeed....again, this makes for a 'moves right along read.' I did enjoy it.
I did win this ARC in a First To Read Giveaway program, in return for my own fair/honest review.
Lola is an intriguing and fast-paced story that I enjoyed, largely due to the strong title character. She is a fascinating dichotomy, ruthless and conniving yet also patient and mothering. The push and pull of her intelligence and ambition, tempered by the atrocities she faced growing up that she's determined to overcome, gave this story edge as well as humanity. The narrative style is unique but I liked it.
Welcome to the world of Lola Vasquez. Come and meet her mother, Maria, the heroin addict, her screw-up younger brother, Hector, and her crew, the Crenshaw Six. Welcome to South Central Los Angeles, California. Welcome to Hell.
Lola is a minor demon in this particular Inferno. Extruded into, if not born to the role, lashed by the great demons, the Mexican drug cartel, Los Liones, and its unseen rivals, she struggles to remain whole. The Cartel has permitted her crew to sell drugs on six corners that no one else wants. On the side, they make extra cash by robbing other small fish like themselves.
Now the lash comes down from Los Liones: Capture the couriers of a rival syndicate who are about to make a swap; two million in cash for two million in high-grade Afghan heroin. Botch the snatch and Lola’s life is forfeit. As an extra incentive, they promise the execution will be long and filled with pain. It is an unprecedented opportunity.
“Lola” is brilliantly written, but, I caution you that the story is about a life of eye-popping, gut-churning, brutality and unflinching evil. Murder is just the tip of the ice pick. The sub-story is a bit softer. Beneath the hell and damnation, Lola cares deeply about the younger brother she cannot control, the daughter and dog she stole, and her crew. In their defense, there is no risk she will not take.
If you are the sensitive type, don‘t read this novel. I have warned friends of similar nature to look elsewhere for reading material.
On the other hand, if you have a strong stomach, like original stories about strong women, then “Lola” is one to savor. I strongly recommend this novel to aficionados of crime fiction.
My most sincere congratulations to the author, Melissa Scrivner Love, on a job well done. I won’t be surprised if an adaptation of this book ends up on the silver screen.
Many thanks to Crown Publishing and Penguin Random House's First To Read program for providing me with an advance galley in return for this review.
I received an advanced copy of this book in electronic format from firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review. This review is also posted to goodreads.com
I think I was did in by the publisher claiming that Lola was a mix of Lisbeth Salander and Walter White. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo mixed with Breaking Bad? Sign me up!
Unfortunately, the book couldn't live up to the hype. There is action but it's tame. I've said this before in reviews of books about the drug-trade - which I know very little about, mind you but - it has to be a far more cut-throat, sleazy, violent business than it's portrayed here. And, it's portrayed here like that but so much more could've been squeezed from it. In the real world, Lola, her brother and her entire Crenshaw four, five or six wouldn't have made it past chapter 4. It's true.
I really tried to enjoy this book but it just wasn't interesting for me at all. I love love the premise but the author just couldn't hold my attention.
This is a little out of the norm for the type of book I usually read but I really enjoyed it. I always enjoy a good suspense novel and Lola is a character that I think you have to respect, whether you like or agree with her choices or not. I do hope there will be more books in the series because Lola is a character I would love to follow, even if she is on the wrong side of the law. This is different from so many because Lola is young, yet extremely experienced and hardened from the hand she's been dealt. The choices she has to make are never easy yet she is ruthless when she needs to be, yet she still has a soft heart for certain things.
Overall, this was a great read!
As I began reading this, I wondered if I was going to like the book. It has lots of foul language and was a different type of book than I thought it to be. As the story and characters emerged, I found it mildly intriguing. By about the fifth chapter, I knew I was hooked. Lola is smart, but young and still inexperienced in some ways of the business she has chosen to be a part. You root for her thru the whole book knowing the odds are against her. Lola is tough when needed, yet has the compassion to save Lucy from the same fate as herself.
There was one small part of the story I thought was out of place. Lola would have been smarter than to try to get Lucy into the upper scale school.
The pace is fast and has a few twists and turns. If you like books about tough gals who run the show, then this is for you!
All in all, a good debut book and I look forward to more from Ms. Love.
I could not get into this book whatsoever and totally struggled to read even the first chapter. Not a fan of the author's writing style at all. I wish I felt differently, as it seems many liked it. :(
Lola was an intriguing book. Lola is a complex character who struggles with her position in life. It was a good read and was a new storyline from the usual books on the shelves.
I enjoyed the story.
I couldn't get into this book. The story was slow moving and I wasn't interested in the fate of the characters. I tried to continue on multiple occasions, but the results never changed. I was not able to finish this book.
I thought that this book was definitely ingrained into the climate of the culture. Lola was an extremely strong character who was a force to be reckoned within her gang, however soft enough to help a little girl. Her complexity was great and admirable. This was definitely far from the normal books that I read, however it was a great piece of literature.
This isn't the type of book I normally read. The setting just didn't sound interesting - woman leader of a gang. But the book does grip you with the story and the courage of Lola dealing with her situation. Once I got into her life and what she had to deal with I couldn't put the book down.
When I requested this book, I don't think I was completely sure what kind of book I was getting into, but I did end up enjoying it for the most part. Just not my normal setting for books. I did really love the main character and the way she handled herself. Definitely a well-written strong female character!
I read this in two sittings (would have been one if I hadn't had class), and it was so much fun. It had a lot of the hallmarks of a good thriller, but the setting and characters felt like ones I hadn't seen before. Really enjoyable!
This story was a page turner. I kept wanting to know what was going to happen to the main character and if she was able to make it through her situation. This story was also about things that can happen in the underside of a big city. But mostly looks can be deceiving. I am glad that I had a chance to read this story.
Melissa Scrivner Love's debut novel, Lola, is a must read! Lola is unlike anything I've ever read and was impossible to put down. Lola struggles with making her place in a world dominated by men while dealing with her childhood trauma, maintaining peace/loyalty to her family, and trying to save another innocent child from enduring the same trauma that she did. I was pleasantly surprised with this novel and it's main character. I was expecting Lola to turn soft and tuck her tail and run, but she didn't. The ending was unexpected and amazing. I would definitely love to see a sequel, and look forward to reading more from Love.