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The Lure

The Lure

3.7 3
by Lynne Ewing

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Fifteen-year-old Blaise Montgomery lives in the gritty outskirts of Washington, DC, where a stray bullet can steal a life on the way to school. Drugs and violence are the only way to survive, so Blaise and her friends turn to gangs for safety, money, and love. When Blaise is invited to join Core 9, one of the most infamous crews, she jumps at the chance. Though her


Fifteen-year-old Blaise Montgomery lives in the gritty outskirts of Washington, DC, where a stray bullet can steal a life on the way to school. Drugs and violence are the only way to survive, so Blaise and her friends turn to gangs for safety, money, and love. When Blaise is invited to join Core 9, one of the most infamous crews, she jumps at the chance. Though her best guy friends, Rico and Satch, warn her about the danger, she agrees to be beaten for a minute straight as part of the gang's initiation ritual.

Now Blaise is finally part of a crew. A family.

But things only get more dangerous when she becomes a member of Core 9 and tensions with a rival gang heat up. Trek, the head of Core 9, asks Blaise to be his "lure," the sexy bait he'll use to track down enemy gang members and exact revenge. Rico and Satch tell her it's a death sentence, yet Blaise can't resist the money and unparalleled power. As Trek puts Blaise in increasingly dangerous situations, she begins to see that there's more to lose than she ever realized—including Satch, the one person who has the power to get under her skin. With death lurking around every corner, should Blaise continue to follow the only path she's ever known, or cut and run?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ewing returns to the subject matter of her novels Drive-By and Party Girl—teens pulled into the world of gangs—with the story of 15-year-old Blaise Montgomery. In Blaise’s Washington, D.C. neighborhood, money is tight, drugs are sold openly, guns are everywhere, and gangs offer power and protection. Despite the grandmother who’s desperately trying to save for Blaise’s education, Blaise decides to be jumped into a local gang. Ewing surrounds her heroine with a large cast of friends, potential boyfriends, and threats—first and foremost Trek, the gang leader who sees Blaise’s beauty underneath her baggy clothes and uses her to lure rival gangsters. Unfortunately, as the body count mounts, with Blaise trying to keep her hands and her conscience clean, the improbabilities do, too; Blaise is an odd combination of super-tough and very naïve, especially where Trek is concerned. While the many small plot twists aren’t predictable, the overall trajectory is, especially when Blaise says things like “a tremor of premonition came over me that my future and Trek’s were on an inescapable collision course.” Ages 14–up. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Blaise and her friends do not think any further than surviving high school-literally. Their low-income neighborhood in Washington, DC is controlled by rival gangs. The only way most teens have a chance at making it is to join one of these crews. Blaise is tough and chooses to undergo a brutal hazing ritual to fight her way into Core 9, but Melissa decides to get in through the "rollins" process-a throw of the dice determines how many guys she will have to have sex with to join. Blaise feels powerful at first and enjoys the extra money membership affords, but becomes desperate to escape as she sees Trek, the group's leader, abusing Melissa; witnesses the needless death of an 11-year-old boy; and gets "promoted" to the role of "lure"-bait to track down enemy gang members. Fairly true to the gritty reality of urban organized crime and violence, the ending, however, wraps up too quickly and perfectly, and readers will have to suspend disbelief to completely accept it. Place this fast-paced novel in collections where realistic urban fiction is popular. For fans of Allison van Diepen's Snitch (S & S, 2007) and Greg Takoudes's When We Wuz Famous (Holt, 2013).—Suanne B. Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL
Kirkus Reviews
Gritty realism and airbrushed romance go head to head in this tale of life among Washington, D.C.'s street-wise gangs. Years after her best friend died in a drive-by shooting, Blaise seeks safety and protection by joining Core 9, a gang active in her downtrodden neighborhood. As their rite of passage, Blaise and Ariel opt for a severe beating rather than the gang rape Melissa endures. At the pinnacle of Core 9's hierarchy is Trek, a handsome sadist whose favor is essential for survival. Desired by both Trek and her de facto boyfriend, Rico, virginal Blaise longs for Rico's best friend, Satch. When Trek offers Blaise pay to use her feminine wiles to draw gangbangers out for Trek to kill or maim, Blaise, guided by pure motives a saint would envy, reluctantly agrees. She's embarrassed but thrilled when Melissa's makeover transforms her into a sleek seductress, but she's sickened by the job itself. The girls of Core 9 are lovely; the guys handsome, muscular hotties who sell drugs but largely stick to beer. All, even Trek, are smart and self-aware, their families vicious or victimized. While some characters speak Spanish, none are identified by race or culture; ungrounded in cultural identity, characters feel generic. Skilled storytelling and starkly gripping details of gang life can't paper over the contradictions: This is stylish gangster porn. (Fiction. 14 & up)
“An eye-opening, heart-pounding look at survival on the streets.”
VOYA, August 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 3) - Dianna Geers
Constant recruitment by gang members draws Blaise into the security and belonging that comes with joining. Blaise decides to get jumped into a gang, while her friend chooses to enter by having sex with numerous members of the gang. Scenes immediately pull readers into gang life in the “unseen” part of Washington D.C. Blaise is physically transformed from a rough looking girl with loose, baggy clothes, to someone so alluring, that even her gang members do not recognize her. Trek, the head of her gang, asks Blaise to use her new appeal to get inside the world of rival gangs and set up attacks. As Blaise gets deeper into gang life, her life becomes increasingly more dangerous. The Lure tells an all-too-real story of survival, violence, drugs, and constant danger lurking in many high poverty, crime-ridden areas. Although the overall story has a predictable plot, it is a fast-paced adrenaline-rush. Some may enjoy the pacing enough to overlook some inconsistencies in the story. Blaise is street smart, but randomly throughout her narration includes high level vocabulary words that do not ring true to her character. Not many teens running the streets use words such as “subterfuge,” “emboldened,” or “solar plexus.” Some may also question the authenticity of the grandmother, who is raising Blaise, and the relationship between the two. This modern-day gang story is edgy and raw and will appeal to those who enjoy urban young adult fiction or Lynne Ewing’s previous works, Drive-By (HarperCollins, 1997) and Party Girl (Laurel Leaf, 1999/Voya April 1999). Reviewer: Dianna Geers; Ages 15 to 18.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 11.10(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Bestselling author Lynne Ewing began writing as a way to unwind from her job with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. She is the author of Drive-By, an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age; Party Girl, an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, an Amazon Editor's Choice, and a Teen People recommended read; and the bestselling Daughters of the Moon series, which was also an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. She lives in Washington, DC.

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The Lure 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
Blaise is such a cool name. Like, I am slightly jealous of her name. Anyway, Blaise Montgomery lives just outside of Washington D.C, and it's a hard life. Her grandma works two jobs, and barely spends any money because she tries to put it towards Blaise's college fund. In desperate need of a family and money, Blaise takes up an offer to be beaten into Core 9, the most notorious gang in her town. Her best friends Rico and Satch warn her against it, and they had reason to. A little while after, Trek, the leader of the gang, asks Blaise to dress in provocative clothes and lure other gang members to their impending doom. All the money and power he offers her sways Blaise's decision, and she agrees. Will Blaise regret this decision-and possibly pay with her life?When I opened to the first page, I was a bit wary. I've never read a book like this. At first, the read was very tedious, and I would have to force myself to focus on the book. Then, things started picking up. I liked Blaise as a character, although I couldn't really relate to her. I mean, if someone gave me the chance to make money by becoming a "lure" like Blaise had, I would've gave a very firm "No" and then run for my life. I can say that I didn't like Rico. He was a bit too explosive and impulsive for my cautious, thirteen year old self.The ending hurt me. It was unexpected, but it was expected. It's like a tiny part of your brain was like Hey! This is totally going to happen. And you brush the idea aside. 50 pages later, said thing happens and you get surprised, but not entirely. I hope that made sense. I was trying to describe it without spoiling it. Anyway, the ending was well written, and it made me kind of happy to read such a good ending to such a good book. Recommended to teens 13-17, The Lure has definitely earned a place on my bookshelf.
BookloverGE More than 1 year ago
Realistic down to the cockroaches with nonstop, heart pounding action.  Highly recommended.  Blaise fights back and it's like pushing back the ocean.  She goes up against the neighborhood psychopath Trek who manipulates and controls everyone.  She does this, knowing she will die, in order to save the one person she loves.  Many surprises including two at the end that bring the story together.  I bought one book, then after reading it  bought two more for my classroom.
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) 15-year-old Blaise lives in a bad neighbourhood, where gangs roam the streets, there are battles waged over drugs and territories, and even innocent bystanders get shot if they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Blaise lives with her grandmother who works herself to death every night trying to keep a roof over their heads. Blaise thinks that things would be easier if she joined a gang, and she’s set on joining C9. Will life really be better as a gang member though? Will she survive the beating to get into the gang? And is being a ‘lure’ all she’s really worth? This book started off strong, but I began to lose interest at the 30% mark, and by the 50% mark I felt like I was forcing myself to keep reading. Blaise was an okay character, but I couldn’t help but think that she was stupid to join a gang. Admittedly she didn’t have a lot of money or options, but she was all her grandmother had, and although they didn’t have much, I didn’t think that joining a gang was her best option. Personally I thought she should be getting a part-time job or something, rather than getting involved in gangs and guns. The other characters in this book were all just as stupid as Blaise as well unfortunately. We had her stupid friend who was dating someone from an opposing gang, which was going to get her killed, there was the kid who was selling drugs on someone else’s turf, who was going to get himself killed, and then there was the girl who thought that being gang raped by half the male members of the gang was a good initiation option. Why did any of these kids feel the need to join a gang? Why not stay away from the whole business and try and keep your nose clean? Why not try to earn an honest living? The storyline in this was okay, although the actually ‘becoming a lure’ part didn’t happen until around the 40% mark. The writing in this was okay, and I did appreciate the little details that the author included that made this book feel authentic – like the fact that Blaise had removed the light bulb from her fridge so that ‘no shooter could catch (her) silhouette’. I liked the action and detail at the start of the book, but by the 30% mark I had begun to feel bored, and by the 50% mark I felt like I was forcing myself to keep reading. By the 60% mark I didn’t really want to keep reading at all, and even after taking a break it was really hard to find the motivation to go on. I don’t know why as such, just that I was bored, and the story didn’t hold my interest. Maybe this was because I got sick of the constant stupidity of the characters who just seemed to get themselves into bigger and bigger messes, or maybe I just got sick of the constant threats on people’s lives over nothing. The ending was also a bit of a let-down, as so much was left unanswered. I felt like the book just stopped, and nothing had really been resolved. I couldn’t quite believe that the book stopped where it stopped, but I have to say that I was glad that it was over as I was losing the will to live. I don’t know if this will remain a standalone novel, or whether this will be a series, but if it is a series I won’t be continuing with it. I’ve had enough. 4.5 out of 10.