Then her dad’s murder conviction is overturned. The new evidence seems to come out of nowhere and Nikki’s life becomes a mess when he’s released from prison. Because the dad who comes home is not the dad she remembers. And he’s desperately obsessed with finding out who framed him—and why.
As her dad digs into the seedy underbelly of Vegas, the past threatens everything and Nikki is drawn into his deadly hunt for the truth. But in the city of sin, some sinners will do anything to keep their secrets, and Nikki soon finds herself playing for the biggest gamble ever—her life.
1.) The setting- Vegas isn't the most common setting for YA books, and it was a thrill to read a story so grounded in a very defined city. Beyond Vegas as the setting, even more rare is Vegas from a teenager's perspective. Giles nailed the way even the most famous (or infamous) cities are a normal part of day-to-day life for the people who live there.
2.) The mystery- My favorite mysteries are when they are layered with different angles and sometimes even different/multiple crimes, as is the case in Overturned. While Nikki becomes more and more desperate for answers, she is put in more dangerous situations because of how serious the crimes are and how many people don't want others asking questions. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading trying to unravel all the clues.
3.) Nikki Tate- Nikki is an incredibly strong protagonist. She's ambitious, loyal, and expressive. From the first chapter, I was here for her story. Her relationships with her mom, dad, friends, and love interest are all well-defined, and I think teen readers will especially enjoy her frustration over needing answers but feeling trapped by the limitations around her.
Overall, Lamar Giles delivers a fast-paced thriller rich with strong characters, excellent dialogue, and a mystery that keeps you on your toes.