A one-word text message: That's all Michal "Mike" Garcia needs to gather a crowd. Mike is a seventeen-year-old bookie, and Sanctuary is where she takes bets for anyone at Carson City High with enough cash. Her only rule: Never participate, never place a bet for herself.
Then Josh Ellison moves to town. He pushes Mike to live her life, to feel a rush of something—play the game, he urges, stop being a spectator.
So Mike breaks her one rule. She places a bet, feels the rush.
In an act of desperation, she and Josh—who has a sordid past of his own—concoct a plan: The pair will steal from Carson City's elite to pay back Mike's debt. Then they'll give the rest of their haul to those who need it most. How can burglary be wrong if they are making things right?
Wanted will thrust readers into the gritty underbelly of Carson City, where worth is determined by a score, power is derived from threat, and the greatest feat is surviving it all.
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.50(d)|
|Age Range:||14 Years|
About the Author
Heidi Ayarbe grew up in Nevada and has lived all over the world. She now makes her home in Colombia with her husband and daughter. She is also the author of Compulsion, Compromised, and Freeze Frame.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What I loved most about this book is the great plot line. I have yet to read an interesting plot line about a teen who is a bookie and gambles. This alone is intriguing. Let me tell you that I don't know much about gambling. I mean, I don;t know much about running a book. You taking bets, collecting, etc. Ms. Ayarbe, made it is for the reader to fall in the plot really fast as well as understand it. The reader wasn't confused and instead I found myself really enjoying it. The love interest in the book really felt good. You know, the type of good where you are crossing the line, the adrenaline rush of it? Michal was so used to doing everything in the book. Not getting involve in gambling, just playing the game on the sidelines. Once she gets into the game of gambling and looove, she is lost. I really love that she did take the chance. What really excites me about the book is the rush of being wanted. To figure out how to get the money in time. I really loved stepping into the shoes of Michal and running for my life. The ending was amazing. I never expected that. Wanted is a quick consuming plot line that drive the reader to keep reading. There is so much drama mixed with the rush of betting and winning. Winner Winner Chicken dinner! Wanted is excellent
What I love about Heidi Ayarbe's writing is that she delves into the human psyche in her books. She poses a question to the readers and explores it. Wanted is a brilliantly crafted novel delving into the psyche of a girl who breaks the rules once and loses. If I were in Mike's position, I would want to stay on the sidelines. She lives in a bad neighborhood and wants to get out of there; she can't afford any major losses. Being a bookie with a close following, she makes a fair amount of safe money. She doesn't need to take any risks. But then a new guy comes to town, throwing off her game and setting into motion Mike's demise. The tone of the novel is somber. Mike has no delusions about the world around she. She knows that she makes money off people who want to feel the rush of betting, that she creates winners and losers through her deals, and she doesn't baby the losers. She's aware of the dangers surrounding those that she loves, and much of her everyday life is spent worrying of them. She has known innocence, and she yearns for her childhood days when her friend Moch was close to her and not involved with gangs. Mike's world is bleak. It is important in setting up the context for the plot. As the novel progresses, Ayarbe takes us furhter into Mike's psyche. Even as Josh pulls her deeper into the romance of a modern-day Bonnie-Clyde romance with a Robin Hood twist (that was supposed to make stealing from the rich okay), tragedy strikes and the world moves on. The immensity of Mike's situation is not enough for events to force Mike to question the morality of her actions. There's more to the story. Scattered over the course of the novel are six word phrases from Mike's Creative Writing assignments that describe what's going on in her life at the moment. Many reflect the bleakness of her life. I was seriously about to cry when I finished this novel. Mike has always been a fairly good girl with a promising future. The only illicit dealing she has done before meeting Josh is playing bookie and encouraging her peers to gamble. Her situation is the perfect example of how one mistake can cost you everything. I admire Mike's self sacrifice for those she cares about. While she makes mistakes, she puts her all into fixing them and making life better for those she cares about. I recommend this for readers looking for a real, gritty contemporary read with a modern Bonnie-Clyde-Robin Hood twist.
4.5 stars. I was so excited to read Wanted once I heard about its release. Heidi Ayarbe is one of my favorite writers and she really impressed me with her previous books, Freeze Frame and Compromised. This one didn't fail to impress me, either. Her writing is superb and filled with honest realism. It isn't a happy feel good story because unfortunately, life isn't always upbeat and positive. There are a lot of things I admire about this novel and one of them is the topic of illegal immigration. So far, I haven't read another YA novel that deals with this very important issue. It's an issue that I'm very close to because my family is an immigrant family, too. I was born here but my parents came from Chile. I feel like Heidi really focuses on the tensions from both sides of the problem: the privileged, mostly white, rich citizens of Carson City and the undocumented, poor, Hispanic people that live there. While there is a romantic connection between Michal and Josh, it does not overtake the plot of the story. Their relationship is important to the plot but it doesn't become the main focus of the book. At least that's the way I see it. In my eyes, that's a good thing because I feel like a lot of YA books have a good plot but are overshadowed by the romance aspect. I won't give any major plot points away, but I have to say that I was surprised by the end of the novel when certain characters change. Some characters don't really change but our perception of them is certainly altered. In any great book, there is always some sort of conflict, and there is plenty of that in Wanted. I think Michal has an inner conflict with herself as well. It's clear that her consciousness eventually wakes up inside of her, and the meaning of right and wrong is lost along the way. Wanted is unlike any of the other young adult books out there, and that's a good thing. It does not have a happy ending, but I was not expecting that from this novel. It explores themes and topics that might be controversial to some but which are very important and thought provoking. I recommend this novel to anyone who loves a compelling story.
One thing I loved about the previous book I read by Heidi Ayarbe is how real the whole thing feels. While you are reading, you think that this could happen to anyone and anywhere. I was curious how a female teenage bookie might fit into this theory. From beginning to end I just had a hard time wrapping my mind around the bookie part of the story. I guess I just don't see it in the high school setting. Is this something new? Is it common? I guess maybe it's a new kind of rush for teenagers, but it just seemed weird. It wasn't even the fact that a female ran it. It was literally just the bookie part. And that it was right under everybody's noses. How the hell did nobody pick up on that fact? No one thought "Hey...isn't it a little weird that this group of kids is all together when none of them normally hang out?" I would have thought that. Aside from all that, I really like Michal. She's interesting to me because she honestly thinks she nobody. When obviously she's chosen to facilitate an activity that more than just gets her noticed. It really causes her unwanted attention. I think she thinks that because she's a spectator, that it makes her less than those who participate. Which is interesting when Josh shows up. Josh is bound and determined to make her feel something. I think he wants her to see herself a little more like those around her see her. I also really enjoyed the portrayal of the gangs in the area. I really felt the intensity of the situation. It was threatening and realistic. I also liked how Michal and Josh push the envelope. I don't agree with the way the went about their escapades. After all, two wrongs never make a right. But, I really agreed with the overall message. The ending floored me. It wasn't at all what I was expecting. I closed the book with unanswered questions. I also drew some similarities with a high profile case in Florida at the moment. I wondered though, if it was just timing. Overall and interesting read that I had a little bit of hard time filtering out. It won't stop me from reading her next book though!