Accomplice by Valerie Sherrard
Publisher: Dundurn Press
Pub. Date: February 21st, 2011
Age Level: 13+
Source: For review from publisher.
Synopsis via Goodreads
Lexie Malton is an average Vancouver teen with fairly typical issues. Her stepmother is far from her favourite person, she has a sister with special needs, and life outside the home is the usual mix of school, friends, school, and social events. But Lexie has a secret. Her ex-boyfriend, Devlin Mather, is now a heroin addict living on the street, and only Lexie knows that she's the one who put him there. Guilt makes her give in to Devlin's demands for money time and time again, even though she knows how dangerous his drug use is. Lexie finally gathers the strength to stop enabling Devlin. But when he seeks treatment for his addiction, Lexie finds herself drawn back to him, never guessing what a dark and deadly path she has just chosen. Devlin relapses, and his desperation will lead to an act that will change both of their lives forever.
Relevant and compelling, Accomplice is the story of one girl's journey to overcome the hurt and guilt brought on by her ex-boyfriend's drug addiction.
Though there were a couple of moments where her attitude was verging on bratty, in general, Lexie was likable with an appealing dry humor about her. Her guilt over Devlin being a heroin addict was understandable and while I felt she was partially accountable, another part of me still felt bad about the situation she'd ended up in. However, there were times when I would have liked to have seen Lexie take a little more control over what all was happening in her life, though I guess I can almost see why she didn't. I also couldn't seem to get a firm grasp on a connection with her. I did feel that she had come a long way since the beginning, though, and she proved to be fairly dynamic. As for Devlin, he was much like I would imagine a drug addict would be and I thought Sherrard portrayed him very adequately. My main issue with the supporting characters was the lack of development. They all possessed their own distinct personalities but I felt that the brief length of Accomplice hindered them from meeting their maximum potential. I would have really liked to have seen them grow and contribute more to the overall picture.
Accomplice begins with Lexie being driven away in handcuffs and, immediately, I'm sucked in and left wondering how she got to that point. The book then goes back to three months earlier and works it's way forward. The three months before, and then the time that comes after, flew by quickly, almost too quickly. I would have liked to have seen more build up, to have gotten a better look at Lexie's life where Devlin wasn't concerned as I think that would have helped provide me with a better connection to Lexie. Aside from that, I thought Accomplice was gritty and refreshing. I liked getting to see things from the perspective of a loved one and how it affected them to have a drug addict in their life. There was also just the right amount of suspense, keeping me swiftly turning the pages to find out what would happen next.
After reading the very beginning of Accomplice my first thoughts were that Sherrard had a very powerful and gripping writing style. While the writing that came after that was still well crafted, that feeling of wow slipped away. I think this book could have been even better had the writing been carried out as thoroughly and strongly as it was at the start. That being said, I was glad to see Sherrad had used a first person perspective as I don't think this particular story could have been properly told any other way.
The ending was slightly predictable in that I knew a certain person was likely going to do what they did, indeed, end up doing. Other than that, I thought it brought things to a close quite appropriately.
While Accomplice wasn't perfect and could have benefited from being longer, it is still a very worthwhile read. True, it is short, but if you are looking for something light, this isn't it. However if you want something a little darker and more meaningful, then I think you should pick Accomplice up and give it a try. I look forward to reading more of Sherrard's work in the future.
Buy Accomplice now: Amazon / Book Depository
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Friday, April 22, 2011
Accomplice by Valerie Sherrard
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 4/22/2011 07:59:00 PM