Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book review: Mafia Girl by Deborah Blumenthal

Summary:

What's in a name? Everything if you have my name." At her exclusive Manhattan high school, seventeen-year-old Gia is the most hated/loved girl in school. Why? Her father doesn't have a boss. He is the boss--the capo di tutti cappi, boss of all bosses. Not that Gia cares. But life gets complicated when she meets a cop she calls "Officer Hottie" and feels a suprising chemistry. Then Vogue magazine wants to feature Gia in a fashion spread about real-life bad girls. On top of this, she's running for class president. Can Gia step out from under her dad's shadow and show everyone there's more to her than "Mafia Girl?


NOTE: I received an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I know this was an advanced reader coy, but it was poorly edited and proofread. It was annoying and took away part of the fun. Still, I am not holding it against the book, in the hope that the finished sold copy would lack the typos.

I liked that the story was funny at times, but was also serious. I felt mostly irritated by the narrator's superior bratty girl voice.

Writing style:
The story was told in first person POV, a.k.a. Gia's voice. In the beginning, it started out okay, but later, as the story progressed, Gia's storytelling became largely irritating. The countless repetitions of 'yada yada yada' unnerved me.

Story line:
During a wild trouble seeking moment, Gia - the daughter of NYC's biggest mafia boss - meets a cop, Michael. Unlike other police officers, he doesn't care who Gia is, he just does his job. While her Dad struggles to stay out of prison, Gia falls hard for Michael and does everything she can to get his attention.

Themes:
-Being the bratty princess daughter of a mafia boss, gave Gia a sort of protection.
-Money isn't everything
-Should children be guilty of their parents' sins?

Characters:
Gia, whose name was difficult for me to remember because it was so rarely mentioned, always said she wasn't spoiled. Yet, all her behavior implied was that she was a brat used to be given whatever she wanted. The example that comes to mind is how she latched onto Michael. She could've had anyone, but a cop was a thrill to her because he was someone she couldn't have.
What I had a hard time understanding was why Gia decided that she was falling for Michael after seeing him just one single time? It sounded like a pure manipulation of the character.

Michael was a rookie cop with a painful background. He was the quietest character I've ever encountered (besides George Martin's Hodor, perhaps). He almost never spoke, leaving all the talking to Gia. It was so incredibly weird, I could hardly make any reason for his behavior. To add to that, being rookie or not, he was a police officer, for crying out loud. Why on earth did he allow himself to be seduced by a minor?

Clive, Gia's best friend, was really there for her no matter what. He covered for her on numerous occasions, although I consider this unwise. He also gave her a place to stay when things got rough in her own house.

Gio, Gia's father... the Don... the mafia boss... was a great father. He had a horrible job and did terrible things, but as a father, he was incredible. Too bad his job cost him his freedom and the closeness of his children. Honestly, I didn't understand why he wouldn't just quit and leave things be.

In conclusion:
What could have been a great book turned out quite mediocre. The characters were given unnatural roles, from which their believability suffered.

My rating is: