14 March 2013

Book Review: Robin in the Hood by Diane J. Reed

Title: Robin in the Hood
Author: Diane J. Reed
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Published: October 14th 2012 by Bandits Ranch
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

“Is it any wonder I became a bank robber?” said Robin. 
But she never dreamed she’d fall in love…

15-year-old Robin McArthur thinks she has it all figured out when it comes to bilking her wealthy dad for guilt money as a substitute for his genuine affection. Until one day he suffers a stroke, and she learns the brutal truth.

They’re broke.

And everyone from bankers to bookies has come to collect.

His only saving grace is what he reveals to Robin in between drools: He truly does love her, in spite of all his mistakes.

Panicked and desperate, Robin figures she has two choices. Either surrender to the pestering caseworker and live in a skanky foster home, or take a chance and sneak her dad out of the hospital to make a run for it. Little does she know that stealing a car and hitting the road means that before the day is through, she will rob her first bank.

Now an outlaw, Robin finds a backwoods trailer park to hide her dad from authorities. There, she encounters Creek, a local bad boy who also commits crimes to provide for their motley neighbors. Realizing she could use Creek’s help, Robin proposes an ingenious plan—they should team up to rob banks together. But when their partnership leads to a romance that turns Robin’s world upside down, she soon begins to discover that people are more precious than pocketbooks, and real love means opening your heart to the kinds of treasures money can’t buy…

Right from the first 4 pages of the book, I was seriously hooked! Robin is simply one of the wittiest and funniest main characters ever. Robin 'says it like she sees it' as Diane would put it. And it's true! I was so tempted to highlight some of her lines but I didn't want to mark my book. My OCD would not be able to handle that! But just a little sample of how awesome Robin's mind is:

It all started back in March when my dad, Royle McArthur - a partner at the prestigious law firm of Tweedle, Beckman & Arthur - suffered a stroke in his office with half a line of coke on his desk, an unfinished high ball on the filing cabinet, and a burning cigarette still glowing in his ashtray. Yep, Dad pretty much hit the trifecta for crummy health habits...
There are plenty more of witty/funny Robin lines but I didn't mark them. I guess I'd have to re-read the book again to find it. It's okay though because this book is super fun! I loved Robin's personality simply because she has spunk and she's fearless. Even if a lot of crappy things happened, she still went with it and got herself and her dad through it. One thing I didn't like about her however was her lack of control which totally blew their cover during one of their, er um, projects (don't know what to call it). I get that she's fifteen and fifteen year olds can be dramatic like that (no offense. Seriously though, I've been there) but come on! Get your act together, Robin. I still loved her till the end though because she was able to overcome her being a spoiled brat and she truly made an effort to help the people of Turtle Shores.

Then we have Creek, who's totally tough and gorgeous. He has this bad boy thing going on but as the story progressed it came as a bit of a surprise seeing how mushy he really is. You can tell he has a big heart, yes, because he wants to help them so bad that he's risking his life. What I didn't see coming was how he expressed his love for Robin - he's so passionate! I totally didn't anticipate that. To some extent I liked it but I couldn't bring myself to like it totally because I felt like it was all insta love.

It kind of irked me at first because it was another case of insta love and they barely even had time to get to know each other because they were robbing ATMs and banks early on. But somehow I found it natural when they were getting cozy with each other during rare light moments where they could sleep or just chill. It's just that.... Creek was so in love with her and I had a hard time understanding why he loved her so deeply like that. I get how Robin could possibly fall in love so easily. She only felt genuinely cared for and loved when she arrived at Turtle Shores so I guess it could only be her natural reaction. Creek on the one hand... I don't know. I didn't like the intense mushy stuff but I did love their chemistry when they had their light moments. I'm still torn. *sigh*

Can I just say: I want to live in Turtle Shores. Like, seriously! It's one of the coziest and nicest fictional places to live in. I like how Diane described everything so vividly! Their cool trailers, the lanterns at night, the stillness of the lake, Granny's gypsy trailer things, even Lorraine's delicious cooking (my mouth got all watery just reading how great her cooking smelled). It was so easy to get into the story because the descriptions were great. I could definitely imagine the quirky trailer park and its quirkier residents. I loved everything about Turtle Shores - especially its residents!

Oh the residents of Turtle Shores. I had so much fun reading Robin in the Hood because of the variety of characters. Granny, Brandi and Lorraine were all lovable characters but I enjoyed the TNT Twins and the Colonel the most! They were mostly in the background but you can just feel the life they contribute to the story. I tend to pay way too much attention to minor characters, I know. I just love it when authors also consider them and are able to give them importance without necessarily giving them the spotlight. Am I even making sense?! I mean, the Colonel and the TNT Twins would only be present when there's danger afoot! But every time they're there, it's so much fun with all the explosions and crazy traps. Wee~

And how could I forget? The robberies - the thing that made me interested to review this book. I was curious to see how they were going to pull it off. I don't want to give any spoilers but let's just say Robin and Creek are tough.... and very creative. I really liked how they were able to pull off their robberies, even if things didn't always go exactly as planned.

I'm rating this 4.5 over 5. Half star ratings aren't normal for me but I decided to use it in this one. It was only the intense insta love angle that kept me from rating it a full 5-star review, to be honest. But I had a great time reading Robin in the Hood. Diane is a great storyteller; her wit and attention to detail made this book very enjoyable for me.

If there's one word that can describe this book perfectly, it's magical. From the start till the end, everything was magical and magic came in different forms. This is the type of book that I'll want to re-read especially on bad, I've-had-enough types of days. It's light, entertaining, and simply magical. ;-)


Diane ended the book with a cliffhanger. It still bugs me out. I want to know more!!!

My Rating

(Refer to rating system)

***I received a copy of this book for review***
This review is based solely on my opinion.
About the author
Diane J. Reed

I write novels that are infused with enchantment, where characters dare to break through boundaries and believe in true love. I have a soft spot for artisans & outlaws of the heart, those of us who burn brightly to live each day as a gift--because it is! I'd love to hear from you, so feel free to visit my website or message me on facebook or twitter to share the whispers of your spirit. 

1 comment:

  1. A CLIFFHANGER! I love and hate endings with cliffhangers. But it sounds like this is a good cliffhanger? :)

    I'm not a huge fan of insta-love, but sometimes, if the story is great, the insta-love isn't too distracting, right? I think I may check this out - I saw it a couple months ago, but never bought it. It sounds kind of cute! :D

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!