“If you’re going to be a thief, the first thing you need to know is that you don’t exist.”
In a Nutshell: We follow Tina (aka Tiny Girl), an orphaned girl from Congo, who runs around with a gang of thieves. As one of the heists takes her back to the place where her mother was murdered, we soon find out that theft is not the only thing on her mind. Hell-bent on getting dirt on her mother’s murderer, she soon finds out more than what she asked for.
Read this if… you enjoy reading about a female protagonist, with a talent for theft and a splash of vengeance on the side, a whole lot of fast-paced action and mystery and just a teeny tiny drop of romance. More than the revenge, I think this was a beautiful story of appreciation, love, friendship and inner peace.
I was surprised by how much I loved this novel! It was a very easy read as the writing style really works for me. I loved the “rules” at the start of every chapter as Tina tries to enumerate the rules she lives by, which not only describes how to be a thief, but mainly to understand her personality.
The pacing was like a rollercoaster ride. There were dull, quiet moments and then there were those quick heart-stomping ones. And the whole mystery on the events leading to her mother’s death really kept me glued to the story. It wasn’t really comparable to the Sherlock Holmes-type of mystery wherein you have a lot of suspects, but it still serves its purpose. We get bits of revelation as we go through the story and not just a big blast at the end. And I appreciated that. The romance is also so subtle that you won’t even notice it’s there, but I really enjoyed it that way. It was barely there, but you can still feel it’s presence and I think that was really well written.
But amongst all that, what I liked most are the characters. I’m sure everyone would point out the diversity or characters showcased here. But more than the color and the ethnicity of the characters, I rather enjoyed the personality of these characters. The main protagonist’s characterization is rich and well-rounded and I love conflicted characters like her. The effects her past and the thirst for revenge makes her an enjoyable character to follow. And because the romance took a back seat, the story was able to focus more on how Tina is as a friend, as a daughter, as a sister, and most especially as a person. The supporting characters are also likable and fun to read.
Plus, the bittersweet ending is the cherry on top. I love it!