The Ready-Made Thief

12 CDs. 14:26 hrs. Books on Tape. Aug. 2017. ISBN 9781524777777. $45. digital download. F
Struggling with both actual and psychological abandonment, a troubled teenage girl turns to shoplifting, brokering stolen items, and eventually selling drugs in order to gain acceptance with popular Edie and her followers. Everything unravels when a mysterious man dressed in old-fashioned clothing insists that Lee looks familiar and invites her to a clandestine party. Betrayed by her few friends and family, Lee is soon thrust into a world of secret societies and urban exploration. This unfocused novel includes drugs, theft, unwanted pregnancy, homelessness, juvenile detention, and myriad other problems without truly dealing with most of the issues. Though talented reader Emily Rankin imbues the protagonists' thoughts with intelligence and insight, this portrayal contrasts sharply with Lee's tendency to be easily swayed, unwillingness to learn from mistakes, and general remorselessness for her illegal behaviors. The emphasis on detailed descriptions of artworks requires that most listeners find illustrations of these pieces in order to visualize their importance to the story.
VERDICT Libraries with a need for art history or secret society audiobook fiction may find an audience for this work, but it is a supplementary purchase for most collections.

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