5 STARS !!
WOW!! I want to get more creative than that right now but…. Wow!
I just finished this book and I am almost at a loss for words.
What a ride. What a read…..Seriously.
After reading the description of this book, I knew it was one I just had to read. Thankfully I was able to get my hands on a copy. I read it in two sittings. I was hooked from page one. This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions that left me breathless, and it’s not a book I’ll soon forget.
As the book begins we learn about Penguin Bay Prison inmate, Crazy Craig Hollington. Crazy Craig is the president of the prison gang known as Aryan Steel. He sits in his cell but runs all of the “dirty white boys” in California. The lights are on 24 hours in Supermax. He’s not allowed to be near other prisoners. They even bring the shower up to his stall instead of letting him out of his cell.
But they say he’s a God made of other men.
He had men for a mouth
He had men for blood
He had men for feet
He had men for eyes
He had men for hands
“His will be done”
In other words…..he’s one scary MoFo!!!!
He writes death warrants and they move on kites which are pieces of paper that move from cell to cell eventually to the outside.
All signed with the motto: steel forever forever steel
The words were a Vendetta
Three condemned. A man. A woman. A child
Specific acts of bloodshed.
But he doesn’t have anything like a pen so how does he write it?
With a thumbtack punching out the letters, dried urine painted onto envelopes invisible until held to a flame.
How do they get out of the prison? A kiss……A whisper
Eventually made into wanted posters with pictures. Passed around and memorized.
Polly’s mother has always told her she has ‘gunfighter eyes’ like her father. The father she’s never met. However when she leaves school one afternoon those same eyes are looking right at her before she is grabbed and thrown into a car.
Someone has a hit out on newly released prisoner, Nate McClusky and his 11-year-old daughter Polly. That hit was originally for three people but they got to Polly’s mom already, which is why Nate takes his daughter out of school that day. They are all each other has left.
Marked for death.
These people follow orders and would think nothing of killing an 11-year-old girl.
One day Polly is a schoolgirl. The next she’s on the run pulling off heists and learning how to do a stranglehold, how to take a punch, and finding out what a blue lightning tattoo means. Things no little girl should have to learn. But life is tough and sometimes you have to fight to survive.
I loved the characters, flaws and all. But my favorite character isn’t human, isn’t an animal ….but a stuffed bear. The author describes Polly and how she interacts with her bear. A bear who I can clearly “see” covering his eyes, waving, doing push-ups, fist bumps, and even waving his farts away. Polly used her bear to explain what she couldn’t. She used him to help her cope and it was very emotional and heart-warming.
The story is told mostly from Nate and Polly’s perspectives but interspersed with additional characters who help to tell the story.
Nate feels things he never knew he could. He will do anything and everything in his power to keep Polly safe. They need someone to lift the greenlight on them.
The rules of the street…chaos to their rules. Councils. Dirty cops on the take.
She Rides Shotgun broke my heart. But I wouldn’t have it any other way as the book was fantastic.
Although there was violence and at times it was hard to take, I could not stop reading. This book will stay with you long after you read the last page. An addictive, edgy, and compelling read.
Thank you Simon & Schuster and Jordan Harper for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.