I received Accomplice by Valerie Sherrard as a submission from the publisher for the young adult book award.

This novel is borderline high/low with the vocabulary of an upper JR but YA level violence and mature subject matter. The diction is plain and unimaginative but the plot is well thought out.

The narrator’s experiences with drugs feels authentic and her ex-boyfriend’s controlling and abusive behaviour is in keeping with his unchecked addiction.The family and friends who disagree about how to deal with his addiction and crimes is convincing.

Even if you disagree with her choice to give him money for heroin, it’s hard not sympathize with her. Seeing him suffer in withdrawal and doing things he isn’t proud of as he tries to survive homelessness is heartbreaking given their history and she wants to believe him about rehab.

I expected more about the trial and her time in prison based on the title and synopsis but the story of how she was drawn into crime was a lot more compelling.

I don’t think this novel has enough style or oomph to win this award but I will be donating my copy to the Youth Junction and think that it’s a good influence for people who are in that crowd but not addicted themselves.


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