Author: Natalie C. Anderson.
In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.
With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller. (Published summary)
The first sentence was what pulled me in, and Tina’s whole thief mentality remained interesting, but… I don’t know. The story just never clicked for me. I remained only half-interested. I don’t know why.
Sexual Content: “It might make my life easier if I lived at the warehouse with them, but then someone would probably wriggle in beside me in the middle of the night and next thing you know I’m like Sheika on the sidewalk with her toddlers, begging for change.” Mention of prostitutes; character passes them on street-corners multiple times, also referred to as ‘night women’. / ” ‘And what’ll we do while we wait?’ Ketchup snickers and makes a dirty hand gesture. ” / “They were lovers, you know. My mom and your dad.” / Character pretends she’s boy’s ‘loose lady friend’ to get into his house. / “Normally, girls don’t do the whole Goonda boot-camp thing. They get sent out to the corner in a short skirt.” / “Told me the fare […] assured me there were other ways if I didn’t have the money. He gazed in unvarnished disappointment at my thighs when I pulled out my cash.” / Two instances of kissing. / Woman recounts, briefly, her experience being kidnapped by rebels/soldiers and repeatedly raped.
Language: 7 d***, 5 derogatory terms, 4 scatological terms, 2 hell, 2 bloody
Violence: Video of woman being shot. Two boys fistfight. One character falls down and cuts herself on a piece of broken glass. Brief hand-to-hand struggle. Man tries to rape a girl – she breaks his nose, he grabs her throat, she knees him in the groin and knocks him out with a rock. Two people are shot dead.
Other: The main character is a thief. (She’s also heavily tattooed and in a gang, if you’re wondering what sort of example she sets.)