Published: July 5th 2010, Chicken House
Pages: 259 pages, paperback
Acquired: Sent for review by Chicken House
Summary (from Goodreads): They've gotten good grades - but that's not good enough. They've spent hours on community service - but that's not good enough. Finn and Chloe's advisor says that colleges have enough kids with good grades and perfect attendance, so Chloe decides they'll have to attract attention another way.
She and Finn will stage Chloe's disappearance, and then, when CNN is on their doorstep and the nation is riveted, Finn will find and save her. It seems like the perfect plan - until things start to go wrong. Very wrong.
My review: So, when I was applying to university I remember slaving over my personal statement and building up a solid list of extra-curriculars to help me get into the university of my choice. In Accomplice Finn and Chloe are in the process of applying to university but there are no personal statements or sports clubs here, instead they decide to stage Chloe’s kidnap to help them gain a place.
Now, although I really enjoyed Accomplice, this was my first problem with the book. I’m really not sure why either of the girls think surviving a kidnap/surviving a friend’s kidnap is going to help them get a place at university but if I push that gaping plot hole aside, this is a great story.
So, slight rant out of the way let me get onto the positives. Firstly, Finn is a great narrator. At first she does seem a little naïve, as if she’s shocked that Chloe’s friends and family are deeply affected by her kidnap. Though, as the story progresses we see that she’s sensitive to those around her and cares deeply for her family and friends. Although the situation she finds herself in is less than ideal, she does what she can to make the best out of the debacle.
On the other side of things, we have Chloe. Stuck in Finn’s grandmother’s basement she has to remain completely hidden. Chloe’s a complex personality – the whole kidnap thing was her idea and she intends to see it through to the end, whether Finn approves or not. She seems hard at first and initially I didn’t like her – it didn’t seem as though she cared about what her family were going through, it seemed as though all that mattered her was getting attention from a fake kidnap. However, as the story develops and Finn visits Chloe later on in the book, we do see another side of her that is softer than I first thought.
Accomplice isn’t a book that you can walk away from easily and it isn’t a particularly easy to read. It is real, though. While the storyline may be farfetched, the emotions portrayed are realistic and I did believe the characters as I was reading them. While I didn’t exactly like Finn or Chloe, I did enjoy reading about them and seeing how the story developed.
Another slight grumble I have is with the ending of the book. I’m happy with how it ended but the final pages seemed slightly rushed and it would have been nice to see what happened after the final line, though I did quite like making up my own mind about what may have happened to our heroines.
First line: ‘The picture they usually use is one from the Activities spread of the yearbook.’
Read if you liked...: Sara’s Face – Melvin Burgess (for tone rather than content)
Total: 15/20 (B)