Girl on Point by Cheryl Guerriero
(Red Adept Publishing – May 2, 2017)
Girl on Point is a very powerful and original debut novel set in the suburbs and inner city neighborhoods in New Jersey. It tackles the incredibly difficult topics of teenage gang violence, drugs, and death from a quite unique perspective – that of a teenage girl trying to avenge the death of her sister by infiltrating the gang that killed her.
Alex’s grief is so raw and her attempts to come to terms with Jenny’s death and the gang members who killed her are so strikingly written, as are her parents’ struggles to cope in the aftermath of the murder. Once Ally begins working her way into the world of the Black Diamonds, the novel reads very quickly and I got sucked into the story. The ending was NOT what I saw coming at all, and Guerriero wrapped things up with skill.
I asked the author about how authentic the gang portrayal is given that I have zero experience with this, and she said that she researched this thoroughly with former gang members and a detective, which definitely lends authenticity to the story.
From a school librarian’s perspective, due to graphic violence, drugs, language and sex I would recommend this as a upper HS read, and possibly even as an adult novel appealing to mature teens.
Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review – all opinions are my own.