Friday, August 20, 2010

LIFTED ~ Wendy Toliver

Being bad never felt so good. Poppy Browne never stole anything in her life before moving to Pleasant Acres and meeting Mary Jane and Whitney. But when Poppy walks out of the mall with her two new friends and her first pair of stolen jeans, she's hooked.
Before long, Poppy is lifting whenever she gets the urge--it's never about the merchandise, it's always about the thrill. But when her secret gets out, Poppy's clique turns on each other. As she watches her life collapse around her, Poppy must decide where her loyalties lie...and how far she'll go to protect herself.

When I interviewed Wendy Toliver, this is what she said about writing Lifted:
I really wanted to challenge myself. I felt like I had a very powerful story within me and wanted to try my hand at writing it. It wasn't easy, and you wouldn't believe how many drafts I wrote to get it to the final stage. But it was worth it for me, and although it is a very different type of book from my first two, which are romantic comedies, I hope my readers come along for the ride.

And she rose up to that.

Shoplifting is a seldom explored subject in YA fiction, which is why I was extremely curious about Lifted. And once I picked up Lifted, it was hard to put it down.  It was addictive, like Poppy's shoplifting habit and I breezed through this book. I say 'breezed through' because inspite of tackling  an criminal addiction, the book doesn't bear your down. Both light and dark elements thread in and out and make Lifted a very enjoyable read.

Three particular things that worked for Lifted:
--Poppy ~ Smart, flawed and easily likable. Girl with the good grades and the nose-stud and a sense of humour which asserts itself especially in moments of crisis. The girl in the middle of it all.
-- The Shoplifting Sequences ~ Oh, man. I loved these. They were my favourite parts from the book. And my only regret is there wasn't more of them. Toliver does a great job of portraying the way an addiction catches up to you. It's never for the the goods, always for the rush. And with lifting, Poppy goes through the sequence of emotions every addict experiences - first, excitement, then depression.
-- David ~ The quirky, smart, preacher's son who made the non-shoplifting parts exceptionally delicious.

Wendy Toliver scores with other things too. Like:
--Mary Jane and Whitney ~ The popular girls, who step out of the popular girl cliches gradually as the book progresses.
-- Poppy's mother ~ Perhaps, overbearing in some respects, but a very real parent. Which was refreshing after continuously reading about absent parents.
-- Calvary High ~ The Baptist School setting? Pretty original. And the background score of 'Amazing Grace' which seems to play out over the school speakers every time Poppy faces a moment of crisis? Win. 
-- The way it ended.

A very cool protagonist.
Some well-drawn out characters.
A fast paced plot.
An unique premise.
I thoroughly enjoyed Lifted.

Have you read Lifted? Or any other book that deals with shoplifting?

9 comments:

  1. i love your reviews. they always make me want to go out and buy the book :) (or re-read the ones i've read)

    this sounds awesome and a great premise and i love the way youve talked about the characters.

    plus, the covers really cool too.

    *off to track it down*

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  2. it seems like a very cool book with a unique concept! i also love your reviews :)

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  3. Nomes ~ Ditto for you :) And I hope you track it down.

    Bailey ~ Glad you like them =D And I thought the concept was very unique, too.

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  4. What an awesome review. I love the idea of reading a book about addiction that doesn't involve alcohol or drugs. I was sort of addicted to day trading for awhile and I know exactly what that feels like - will have to write about that someday. I'll have to pick this one up. Thanks for the review!

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  5. Bee
    Forgive me for leaving a comment here — wasn't getting through on your email. I love that you are interested in DN. For some reason (totally surprising me) the galleys for the book disappeared quite quickly, even after Egmont generously printed more. I have just a handful of "real" books myself and they've been promised to a few teachers and some giveaways, which I will alert you to. I'm also going to see if by chance there is one more copy of an ARC around the house. You can never know, the way my shelves keep falling and reshuffling!

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  6. Bee
    Forgive me for leaving a comment here — wasn't getting through on your email. I love that you are interested in DN. For some reason (totally surprising me) the galleys for the book disappeared quite quickly, even after Egmont generously printed more. I have just a handful of "real" books myself and they've been promised to a few teachers and some giveaways, which I will alert you to. I'm also going to see if by chance there is one more copy of an ARC around the house. You can never know, the way my shelves keep falling and reshuffling!

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  7. Wow what a unique premise. I am definitely going to have to pick this novel up, it has me very intrigued! As for other novels based around it I have say that I haven't heard of any, but this one sounds like it's worth reading!

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  8. Angie ~ Day trading? Ooh. It's fun to read addiction books which don't deal with the traditional addictions. Maybe there should be a book about a non-compromising bookaholic? :P

    Jen ~ Yeah, I bet shoplifting books are rare. I haven't read any besides this either.

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  9. I haven't read about shoplifting before. I'll have to look this up.

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