Julia DiVino is a smart girl living in a ghetto neighborhood in Brooklyn. Italian and Puerto Rican, shes been living with just her dad since her mother passed away. Two major gangs, the Bloods and the Crips run Sheepshead High School, but Julia is way too smart to get involved in any of that. Julia and her girlfriends made a promise to each other way back in junior high that they would never join gangs. Life was so much easier without the drama and troubles that joining a gang inevitably brought. With Julias plans to be a writer and go to college, she has such a bright future, and she wont do anything to put that future in jeopardy.
Enter Eric ValientÃ©. Rhymes with caliente, the Spanish word for hot. And Eric is just that. When Eric shows up at school, the new handsome senior transferred from Detroit, all of the girls have their eyes on him. So Julia is surprised when Eric seems interested in her, a girl that many call cute, but few would deem sexy. Julias no dummy when it comes to love, shes had her heart broken before, and she knows to keep her guard up with Eric. Anyone with his swagger and good looks is sure to be a player. But as Julia starts talking to Eric and getting to know him, she decides that he deserves a second chance. He came to Brooklyn to start over, and he is seriously interested in Julia!
It seems like Julias life is perfect right now. With a sweet and attractive new boyfriend and all her girlfriends by her side, Julia is in heaven. So when one day, Eric announces that hes joined the local chapter of the Crips, Julia is shocked. How could he do something so drastic without first telling her, especially when he knows how much she hates the gangbanger lifestyle? Theres more to Erics past than he has told Julia, and because he wasnt straight with her, Julia ends their relationship, even though she still loves him. Having a boyfriend who is in a gang would go against everything she has always believed.
One night, at a party, when Julia makes a spontaneous decision that saves Erics life, she unknowingly becomes a Crip by association. When her girlfriends abandon her and she gets jumped, Julia is forced to rethink her whole life. Joining a gang means unconditional support and safety in numbers, but if she joins, shell never be able to get out.
Van Diepen is brilliant in weaving this complex story and writing with such an authentic voice. No doubt her experience teaching in Brooklyn contributes to her crafting a realistic story and in capturing Julias inner struggles beautifully. Van Diepen disproves the theory that only bad kids join gangs. There are so many reasons that people make the decisions they do and something as simple as being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be lifechanging. Van Diepens writing will have readers empathizing with Julia and the difficulties she faces.
When I first picked up Snitch, I knew it would probably be good, but I
was still pleasantly surprised by much I enjoyed it. Its not exactly
the type of novel I tend to read, but Im really glad I did. Ive also
read Raven by the author, but if I had to decide which was better, I
would say Snitch. Allison van Diepen knows how to get to the heart of
an issue and explore it in ways that you might not have thought about
In Snitch, Julia DiVino attends South Bay High School, a
school run by several gangs and where joining one is easier than
staying out. Julia has managed so far to stay out of profile by not
offending anyone and would never dream of joining a gang, even though a
couple of her friends are in one. Its a hard line to walk but
everything changes the day she meets Eric Valiente, a new student who
has transferred to their school with a mysterious past. Soon enough,
the lines are blurred and Julia finds herself falling for him.
Friendships will be tested and sides will have to be taken... but will
Julia even make it out alive?
The details in Snitch are so
unlike what my life is like, but Im sure there are people who will be
able to relate to some of the situations. I wouldnt necessarily
recommend this novel to younger teens because there is some heavier
subject matter than most teen books, but thats up to your discretion.
Snitch is a page-turner and once I began, I found it hard to put down
until I was finished.
This book was very good. It took place in Brooklyn in a public high school. The main character Julia,is an honor student, always goes to class, but when she gets caught up with the new kid, Eric Valiente, things get mixed up. Julia has always been one to stay out of the gang activity, which was a smart idea, but when her bf, Eric joins the crips, she gets involved too, by warning him he would get jumped the the rival gang. The girl gang Real Live B****** gets word of this, and the next day at school, bust in Julia's face, and beat her up. Eric and Julia stick together, and he's so sweet, but when the Crips find out he's a narc, they plan to cut him, but Julia gets in the way and ends up getting stabbed. This book is rather violent, so I recommend older teens reading this, but it's so good.