Impulsive high school senior Monroe Baker is on probation for a recent crime, but strives to stay out of trouble by working as a flapper at her father's Roaring 20's dinner show theater. When she cuts herself on one of the spent bullets from her father's gangster memorabilia collection, she unwittingly awakens Bonnie Parker's spirit, who begins speaking to Monroe from inside her head. Later that evening, Monroe shows the slugs to Jack, a boy she meets at a party. He unknowingly becomes infected by Clyde, who soon commits a crime using Jack's body. The teens learn that they have less than twenty-four hours to ditch the criminals or they'll share their bodies with the deadly outlaws indefinitely.
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Wanted-Dead or In Love
I'm huge on historicals with a paranormal element. Add a hint of romance and suspense and I'm hooked. WANTED-DEAD or IN LOVE takes a historical couple, Bonnie & Clyde and weaves an unique twist that is equal parts engaging and intriguing.
What worked: I totally loved how Brunner was able to take an infamous crime couple's spirits and jump them into present day. Eighteen-year-old Monroe is fascinated with Bonnie & Clyde. She's also on probation and can't mess up anymore or she'll lose a college scholarship. When her dad buys some slugs taken from the dead bodies of Bonnie & Clyde, she can't resist touching them. Big mistake. Even bigger mistake is when she does go to a party and shows off the slugs to a few people including Jack, who also touches the slugs. Both find themselves unwilling hosts of the infamous couple. Now it's up to Monroe to find a way to get them out before it's too late.
I admit I really loved Clyde. This part of the novel felt authentic with his take on the modern world and even his conflict he felt toward Monroe. He's a real charmer but also Brunner did a great job of showing a part of him that is less violent and even appealing. I mean I could see why Monroe might fall for him.
The setting and also 1920s backdrop worked. The language, sentiments added to this story.
I also loved how Monroe didn't at first fall for Clyde but had it occur gradually. It didn't help that Bonnie kept threatening Monroe either. Bonnie's voice wasn't sympathetic at all but then again I doubt anyone's would be if they were locked in limbo for eighty years and knew that there might be a chance to escape.
What I did have problems with had to be Jack. I didn't care for him at all. He felt self-centered and not appealing. I was with Clyde with the whole 'chicken' references through out the book. I won't give the ending away but let's just say my feelings didn't change.
On the ending, omg, loved the unique twist! Kuddos Brunner! I love when novels do something unexpected and have the reader go, "Ohmigosh! Did that just happen?"
An unique twist on a historical YA with amazing insight into on of the most infamous crime couples of all time. Well-written with a touch of romance and fast paced suspense.