#cjsreads has been on a roll this month with debut novels, Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love, was one of the most original as it followed a woman who leads a gang working with a cartel in South Central.
Keep reading for the synopsis of this book and to find out what we thought!
Synopsis from Goodreads
The Crenshaw Six are a small but up-and-coming gang in South Central LA who have recently been drawn into an escalating war between rival drug cartels. To outsiders, the Crenshaw Six appear to be led by a man named Garcia . . . but what no one has figured out is that the gang’s real leader (and secret weapon) is Garcia’s girlfriend, a brilliant young woman named Lola.
Lola has mastered playing the role of submissive girlfriend, and in the man’s world she inhabits she is consistently underestimated. But in truth she is much, much smarter–and in many ways tougher and more ruthless–than any of the men around her, and as the gang is increasingly sucked into a world of high-stakes betrayal and brutal violence, her skills and leadership become their only hope of survival.
An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman who combines the genius and ferocity of Lisbeth Salander with the ruthless ambition of Walter White. Lola marks the debut of a hugely exciting new thriller writer, and of a singular, magnificent character unlike anyone else in fiction.
WHAT CHANDRA THOUGHT
Into the first few chapters, I wasn’t sure if this was the book for me. But the more I read, the further I was sucked into the gang life of The Crenshaw Six. Inside Lola’s head for the entire ride, we see her piece together puzzles, make tough decisions to keep the law of her world running smoothly and take a young child under her wing. As a rare woman leader in that type of life, she can no longer continue to rule from the shadows but may have to go further than she thought she was capable of to make her voice heard.
A truly remarkable debut novel. Melissa Scrivner Love knows how to write. By the end of the book I was rooting for Lola and couldn’t stop turning the pages to see what would come up next. There were some truly amazing scenes that I could visualize clearly in my head and I felt my face actually cringe. There is no big bang of an ending and there was no need for one. I’m left wanting, thinking, so now what? I’m need to know what is next for these characters.. and if an author can do that, I think she’s done a pretty damn good job with her story. Debut novel win!
Huge thanks to Crown Publishing for this copy in return for my honest review.
I give this book 4/5 stars!
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Lola, the debut by Melissa Scrivner Love, is not a novel that I would have picked out on my own. I am not usually drawn to books with cartels or gangs, but I am glad I took a chance on this one. It actually ended up being a pretty entertaining read.
The novel follows a gang, the Crenshaw Six, which operates in South Central. Seemingly at the head, a young man named Garcia leads the Crenshaw Six through their deals with drug cartels and other gangs. However, underneath it all and at the crux of the gang is its true leader, Lola.
In all honestly, the character of Lola made this book for me, I believe that if any other character had been central, I probably wouldn’t have made it past the first five chapters. She is strong willed and, frankly, kind of scary. She definitely plays with the big boys and isn’t afraid to make sacrifices for the good of those around her. I love Love just shattered gender stereotypes with this character, especially in her build up and the introduction of Lola. This was literary brilliance.My one complaint was the amount of characters. There were so many main characters and secondary characters; I found myself getting mixed up and confusing their relationships. I had to go back several times to read and reread. I think it almost would have been helpful to have some sort of gang “family tree” to show who everyone was and how everyone fit together. This amount of confusion made parts of the novel drag on.
My one complaint was the amount of characters. There were so many main characters and secondary characters; I found myself getting mixed up and confusing their relationships. I had to go back several times to read and reread. I think it almost would have been helpful to have some sort of gang “family tree” to show who everyone was and how everyone fit together. This amount of confusion made parts of the novel drag on.
That being said, I applaud Love at her ability in creating a character such as Lola and I feel that this one screams to be turned into a television show. It was sort of the perfect blend of Sons of Anarchy and Narcos.
I gave it 3.5/5 stars.
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HUGE THANK YOU TO TO CROWN PUBLISHING AND THE AUTHOR FOR THESE ADVANCED COPIES IN RETURN FOR OUR HONEST REVIEWS.