I’d always had a knack for pretending.
Now it was getting harder to remember which part of myself I’d disguised. Which parts were real? And which were fake?

One incident changed seventeen-year-old Aaron Foster’s life from bad to even worse. The incident took place a few weeks into his senior year, a short time after his father’s death. Aaron was speeding around with Hailey, his fourteen-year-old sister, going a bit over the limit and finally ran a light. A few seconds later: siren and a police control. Doesn’t sound sooo bad, does it? Well, the police found a bag of weed in his car and THAT made it bad. Aaron only had one choice: go to jail or turn undercover narc to find the alpha dog, the shot caller at Miami’s palm Hammock High School.

Now, Aaron is forced to turn his social life upside down. Actually, he has never been good at getting close to people, he is rather a loner, obsessed with video games and street magic – someone with no social life, a non-entity. In his new life he has to do these things: make new friends – the right ones; go to parties – the cool ones and report all information to the police.

Aaron indeed manages to get close to the school’s biggest players, makes friends and even falls in love. With a big party planned on Halloween Eve in the Glades, Aaron realizes that he is caught in the crossfire between his new friends, family and the police breathing down his neck.

No matter what he does, he will probably lose a lot…

Narc, written by Crissa-Jean Chappell, is a very emotional but never cheesy novel. Aaron’s situation is entirely believable, you can feel his fear, frustration and confusion. He always tries to do the best he can, doesn’t want to hurt anyone but permanently feels torn between his feelings and his obligations.

As a reader you are put into Aaron’s shoes and you can think what you would do in his situation. From the outside, it’s easy to judge people, but when you are “drifting on the other side, past the gates of social limbo” (as Aaron describes it) everything might be completely different and it’s not so easy anymore to separate the good guys from the bad.

The cover matches the tone of the book perfectly. I shows a double image of a lonely boy on a swing with his hood over his head, as seen from behind. You can see all of his problems in one picture: the loneliness, the need to disguise his personality and the fact that he is forced to live two lives.

I definitely recommend Narc because the story is impressive and the characters are complex and feel real. Five stars.

This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher Flux Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of the book.

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