The Tenderness of Thieves

352p. Philomel. May 2015. ebook available. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399171369. LC 2014017359.
Gr 10 Up—Seventeen-year-old Jane is a good girl living in a small coastal town where everyone knows everyone. In the summer before her senior year, Jane decides that she wants to be a little bad. Why not? She deserves it after the year she's had. The previous February, she was the victim of a burglary and is now haunted by the violence of that night. So, to put that in the past, Jane begins to date the local bad boy, Handel, and flirts with the rich guys that come to visit her small town. And the teen revels in how she and her girlfriends are so adored now that they have gotten older and beautiful. Jane's friends are loyal but two-dimensional and do not stray from their pre-assigned roles: the promiscuous friend who is supportive, the cynic who criticizes everything Jane does, and the mediator who is always level-headed. Jane's internal dialogue begins to wear thin, particularly when describing her love for Handel and her new popularity. The violence from the previous winter is the main story line of the book and the resolution is well written; it is just unsurprising.
VERDICT Sadly, a major plot twist will be too obvious to most readers, and this beachy thriller wraps up exactly as expected.

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