{Review} Crux by Julie Reece

I’m honored to be part of Julie Reece’s blog tour for her newly released Young Adult novel, Crux. Congrats, girl!

What a dream to read. I laughed.  I cried.  I clutched my kindle, wishing I could read faster, frustrated when I couldn’t get to the end fast enough. 

And I gave it a big fat, well earned, five cupcakes!

Let’s start off with the nitty gritty, courtesy of Goodreads:

Crux, by Julie Reece

Release Date:  July 9, 2012

Publisher:  J. Taylor Publishing

Back of the Book

She should have run. Now, she’ll have to fight.

Eighteen year old Birdie may be homeless, but she’s surviving, that is until a mysterious guy throws money in the air like a crazy game show host, and she grabs some with the idea she’ll be able to buy dinner that night.

In that singular moment, unassuming Birdie becomes the girl in everyone’s viewfinder. Thugs want to kill her. Money-guy wants to recruit her. The very hot, very rich, and very out of her league Grey Mathews wants to save her.

Birdie, though, wants nothing to do with any of them, until she realizes fate didn’t bring them all together.

Her heritage did.

Now, with only twenty-one days left, she’s got to decide whether to follow in the footsteps of those before her or risk her life for people she’s only just met.



Isn’t this cover amazing?  I loved having this image of Birdie in my mind’s eye as I read, and I could totally see this cover girl throughout the story, surviving through what the author put her through.  Whatever artist created this is incredible.  I bow to you, whoever you are.  Your talent is mind-blowing.

What I loved about the book:

In one word:  Birdie.  Her character is so simple, yet so complex it just about blew my mind.  She’s hilarious and wounded deeply, a survivor I couldn’t help but pull for.  As an author, I’m always looking for what works and what doesn’t, and the characters and world Ms. Reece creates are colorful and believable, working to paint a complex tapestry for me to admire and even learn a thing or two from.

I’ve read scarce few present tense books that I enjoyed.  It has to be spot on, and this one is, and how.  I was IN the story as I was reading, right there with Birdie.

There are subtle lines throughout the book like these that are extremely creative and awe-inspiring:

“Uh hmm. That’s why you be sittin’ here in someone else’s piss? Girl, you gonna have to come up with somethin’ better than that.” Shondra shakes her head. She looks younger than me, but, like, a hundred years old, too. I can’t explain the quick bond between us, but I like her, and I don’t like many people. “They’s places you can go. Some churches, a day shelter on Ethel Street, Hosea House on Donnelly Avenue, and the Guthrie Shelter, but you ain’t got no kids, right?”
She scoots closer on her butt cheeks until our shoulders touch. “Then you can’t go there. You stick with Shondra, honey. I’ll help you.”
Seeing as how Shondra is sitting in the same pee I am, I don’t know what she thinks she can do for me, but at least I’m not alone.

That simple line, that Shondra is sitting in the same pee struck me when I read it.  Simple, vivid, tells a story within the story in only a few words. Birdie’s “voice” is just perfect.

Here’s another bit that makes me love Birdie in all her blunt glory:

My trip to the corner market was fun. When you’re homeless, you don’t dream of Perrier, or the surf and turf special at the local steakhouse that you pay for with plastic from your new Coach purse. You dream of bologna and cheese sandwiches, bottled water, and a grocery bag to keep your crap in.

This is a wonderful story that young adult fans everywhere are going to gobble up and rave about.

About the Author:

Julie Reece (biography courtesy of J. Taylor Publishing)

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.

I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!

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Purchase links:


Barnes & Noble.com