Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker Review and Giveaway ~ Blog Tour

Smash & Grab
by Amy Christine Parker
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 19th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Fiction


Ocean’s Eleven meets the star-crossed lovers of West Side Story. Grab some popcorn and get ready for an adrenaline-filled heist!

LEXI is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares. After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist.

CHRISTIAN is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful. . . .

Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other.

Told in alternating points of view, this caper is full of romance and fast-paced fun. Hand to fans of Perfect Chemistry, The Conspiracy of Us, and Heist Society.

If there is one thing I look for in a book, it is a good heist executed by intelligent teens. This book takes this up to a whole new level by including two groups of teenage con artists from completely different backgrounds who collide while they are in the middle of completing their most risky crimes yet. Plus, an unlikely star-crossed romance? Sign me up! If there is one thing I can say to describe Smash & Grab overall, it is that this book was a very entertaining, easy-going read that is perfect for anyone who likes YA books with a fun, unique plot.

In the novel, there is an alternating perspective from the two main characters Lexi and Christian who live two very different lifestyles, yet their lives still somehow intertwine. I was worried that this alternation of POVs would break up the story and make the book feel choppy, but this was definitely not the case. This style was done well by the author and maintained a nice flow to the plot. While reading, I could not help thinking I would love to see this book turned into a movie because even on paper, it already felt like a movie, and I could easily visualize each scene. 

The characterization in this book was done very well. These are not just kids who run around doing dangerous things "just because they can" which is a trope I have run into in quite a few YA novels. Each character has its own background story, dreams, and motivations for why they act in certain ways or even why they act out of their natural character at times. I felt very invested in the lives of the two main characters and really sympathized with them, but the side characters did feel a bit distant and I found I did not care as much for them. I enjoyed Christian's Hispanic identity in the book a lot. His character felt the most authentic in that he struggles to help his family and create a better life for himself, but in the process, gets stuck with the wrong people in a dangerous gang. I was really rooting for things to get better for him throughout the novel.

The plot itself was well paced and rarely felt slow or boring. I was especially looking forward to reading about the characters executing their crimes (which are my favorite scenes in these types of novels). I do have to say that a lot of the events in this book at the beginning were predictable and very convenient, but this did not take away much from the story and there were a couple of places (especially at the end) where I was really thrown off guard thinking, "Did that just really happen???!!!" The final heist of the novel had my heart racing. It was both exciting and action-packed. I found myself praying for them to make it out scot-free. There is also a romance between Christian and Lexi which kicks off right from the start with an immediate attraction towards each other upon their first, may I say, unusual encounter. It then builds from there with each person wanting to try and use the other to ensure their cons work out smoothly. Overall, it was cute and I liked their relationship.

Smash & Grab is a wonderful and unique story. It is well written and will keep you hooked until the last page. Also, the inclusion of characters with strong cultural backgrounds was very refreshing.

My Rating:

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AMY CHRISTINE PARKER writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter @amychristinepar.


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