Author: Lynne Ewing
Rating: ★★ 1/2
Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Blaise Montgomery lives in the gritty outskirts of Washington, DC, where a stray bullet can steal a life on the way to school. Drugs and violence are the only ways to survive, so Blaise and her friends turn to gangs for safety, money, and love. When Blaise is invited to join Core 9, one of the most infamous crews, she jumps at the chance. Though her best guy friends, Rico and Satch, warn her about the danger, she agrees to be beaten for a minute straight as part of the gang’s initiation ritual.
Now Blaise is finally part of a crew. A family.
But things get only more dangerous when she becomes a member of Core 9 and tensions with a rival gang heat up. Trek, the head of Core 9, asks Blaise to be his “lure,” the sexy bait he’ll use to track down enemy gang members and exact revenge. Rico and Satch tell her it’s a death sentence, but Blaise can’t resist the money and unparalleled power. As Trek puts Blaise in increasingly dangerous situations, she begins to see that there’s more to lose than she ever realized-including Satch, the one person who has the power to get under her skin. With death lurking around every corner, should Blaise continue to follow the only path she’s ever known, or cut and run?
Huge thank you to Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss for this advance reader copy.
Sam’s Review (2.5 Stars)
Considering all the low reviews for this book, it pains me to be another one tossing it into the pot. Ewing’s book has tons of potential, a wonderfully dark, gang-infested world, and an intriguing premise… that could have all been presented better.
Considering my interest in gang related narratives in YA, The Lure hit that note exceptionally well and I felt like Ewing did a great job of understanding the mentality and the cause and effect factors of what it means to be a part of a unique lifestyle. However, the writing is exceptionally dull, the descriptions are often flat, so while the intentions of a great story are there, the writing doesn’t heighten.
Another issue is how predictable the narrative is and how the characters add to that level of predictability. From the very beginning of the novel we know there’s going to be a love triangle, someone is going to get sacked, and bad decisions are going to be made. Even worse is that Blaise is just not a character you can sympathize with considering how poor her decisions are and the fact that she doesn’t see consequence, which is very baffling at times. In this type of story you think that consequence is something to learn from or be showcased and a lot of the time it’s not strongly represented. There are glimpses of great story moments, but are marred by the awkward dialogue. When I think gangsters, I think slang, and it was odd to not really see any.
Sometimes instances in this book felt flat or unrealistic, which is a real shame considering how realistic a lot of this narrative is supposed to feel. I think my issues with The Lure was that I wanted to see a strong, more cohesive narrative that just never came to be. I wanted to like the characters, but found them difficult to like. The Lure isn’t a bad book, it’s just one of those books with tons of potential that is never really realized.