Monday, May 30, 2011

Book Review: Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt

Summary: When seventeen-year-old Shannon's father loses his job, she must find a way to earn money for college. A lot of money. Shannon finds a job at a Casino working as a waitress (for which she has to use a fake ID and birth certificate to snag). A couple of days into the job, Shannon gets a mysterious invitation from an even more mysterious guy to join an secret poker society called Aces Up. At first, Shannon is skeptical of joining, but once she tries it out, she starts raking in the money. But between working, gambling, and going to school, Shannon's grades are slipping while her lies and sneaking around has grown and grown. Shannon must decide if the money from illegal gambling is worth the hurt on her family, friends, and chances of going to her dream college. 

Review: With summer finally here, Aces Up is the perfect book to lay outside under the sun and read. It is a quick, charming read that really draws you in. Though it's not as good as Lauren Barnholdt's other books, the story line is unique to other books I've read, but it is very similar to the movie 21. Aside from that, I really liked Shannon and felt for her when things didn't end up going her way during the book. Her relationship with Cole was kind of weird, but I loved her fragile relationship with Max and how it wasn't even close to perfect, which many readers can relate to. Though the whole being-amazing-and-winning-tons-of-money blackjack was kind of hard to truly believe, Barnholdt made it up with the lovable characters and cute story. Aces Up was a pretty good read, but if I had to choose between Barnholdt's other books, I would say choose one of her other books first before picking this one up.


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