Today I am sharing a blog tour stop for this cool little book I signed up to read. A huge thank you to Blackthorn Tours as always, they’re really great to work with. If you’re looking for some horror or dark books, I highly recommend checking them out. Their team is amazing, and the books are phenomenal every time.
Lake City Way – Ninja Girl
Genre: Superhero novel (?)
Format: Review copy provided by tour company
Read: September 24-25, 2020
Driven mad by poverty, the death of her father, and the ruthless streets of North Seattle’s Lake City, twelve-year-old Gabriela Urieta puts on her ski-mask at night and becomes Ninja Girl. In her own mind, she’s a superhero—the only hope for cleaning up her neighborhood. In reality, she’s a sixth-grader who drugs her little brother to sleep so she can sneak out at night and rob criminals.Using money taken from her victims, Gaby hires a transient as her sidekick, naming him “Wallman.” Together they get lost in her comic-book fantasy. But before long, Ninja Girl and her family find themselves in all sorts of danger.
3.75 Stars (rounded up to 4 stars) ⭐️
Going into this book, I did not know what to anticipate. Gaby is living a hard life when she is just a young girl, and I know that is sad. But it is also realistic for some people. I was thinking of some words to describe this book after I finished and the best ones I was able to come up with are: realistic, tough, raw, and gritty. These are best descriptors for this book. It’s a surprise Gaby is the age she is and not older. But growing up in a tough neighborhood and seeing the things she does makes one get older quicker.
I liked the elements of her still being younger. She had a crush on a boy, she talked about comics with a friend, and she wanted to take care of her younger brother. But the realistic aspect of the book was hard too. She didn’t have a dad, she had to care for her brother, and she has seen a murder when she was small and waiting in line at the food pantry.
The tough part comes in having a teenage superhero. She should be gossiping about makeup and liking boy bands, not trying to save the world. But she is not afraid to punch people and behave violently. These are all tough subjects to see someone so young endure, but this does happen to those who live in impoverished areas. While this does not happen to me, I did grow up in this type of area and it is never easy.
The raw aspects of this book was quite visceral. She would punch people. She robbed someone. She saw two people murdered at different times. And she just accepts this as part of her life. She never tries to change anything. She just goes with it and keeps on going. The situations she encounters in this, including having a homeless man as her sidekick were unique and raw. It is just an intense read.
Lastly, the gritty comes from the setting of the poor city and how much her family struggles. She is even trying to save the neighborhood, but she ends up putting her family in danger. I just thought it was like the Batman comics talked about, sometimes he is the hero and the other times he is the gritty antihero they city hates. This book juxtaposes the two identities of Gaby and Ninja Girl, showing her personal struggle along with the public perception. She sees herself as a hero because she is taking from criminals, but there is still a very dangerous element to what she is doing.
I found this book to be a quick read, but it was unsettling. As a parent, it made me want to have better for my own child as well as wishing there was more I could for other young people who live in poverty. It is a hard book to swallow when looking at how young she is, but it is well done. This is a hard hitting urban book I think many readers searching for a darker element in their stories will savor.
A big thank you to Blackthorn Tours and the author for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About Cait Moore
Cait Moore, studied commerce and law in Australia and pursued her career in the capital markets in London. Since she was knee high to a kangaroo, she’s harboured a deep love for the written word. Her fervent belief in the “one” has led her to explore in her fiction, what binds two hearts and souls. Hers belongs to her husband, author, Michael J Moore.
Follow her at www.facebook.com/cait.moore.5477 and caitmoorewriting.wixsite.com/website