Summary: Julia DiVino lives in Brooklyn, New York, attending a school and living in a neighbourhood run by gangs. Against gang affiliation, Julia and her friend Q have managed to stay independent. When Julia meets and falls in love with Eric, though, a chain-reaction sequence of events is initiated that will have her making decisions she never thought possible. Julia’s formerly black and white world is suddenly gray, and it is anyone’s guess whether she will make it out alive.
Number of Pages: 297
Age Range: 15-17
Review: Snitch by Allison van Diepen moves. I sped right through it because it was so engaging and well-paced. The plot twists and characters had me frantically turning the pages to find out what happened, and the ending, though not the happiest in some ways, was believable and satisfying.
But what I loved the most was that though sometimes books that are dramatic and full of action have weak plots and characterization, Snitch didn’t. Instead, it holds its dramatic tension right up until the end of the story, and the suspense at times was incredible. I can’t say too much about it because I don’t want to wreck what van Diepen has worked so hard to create, but suffice it to say it was a very enlightening read on the subject of gangs. Her writing dropped me into a world completely foreign to my own, and helped to increase my understanding of those who were in it.
I know it’s 297 pages long, but I think this is a great reluctant read choice for mid to late teen readers. Julia is a memorable, real character that engages her reader, and van Diepen’s writing will have readers hooked.
“‘All teachers are weird. I don’t get why anybody would spend their days in front of thirty kids who don’t wanna be there.’
‘It’s a power thing. You can’t be the leader of your own country, so you get your own classroom. Mr. Greenwood always says, “You can’t join this nation’s democracy until you’re eighteen. Until then, I’m your dictator.”‘” – Conversation between Eric and Julia from Snitch by Allison van Diepen, page 40
“I didn’t care too much either. It just sucked that my teachers – like Ms. Ivey – were going to hear about it. She’d be thinking that I’d changed so much since joining a gang.
But she really didn’t know anything about me.
Ivey was from the suburbs. She saw the world in black and white. Good and evil. Right and wrong. She didn’t get gray.
I lived in gray.” – Julia from Snitch by Allison van Diepen, page 223
I don’t know what I would have done without my poetry. When you’re laid up and want to cry but don’t want to bust your stomach open, you have to find some way of venting your feelings.” – Julia from Snitch by Allison van Diepen, page 285
“I couldn’t look at him. I loved him like a brother, and I forgave him for what he’d done – but I knew we couldn’t be friends anymore. It was too risky. If any of the Crips found out that we were still in touch, they might use him to get to me or Eric. So I had to disappear.
We’d both made our choices.” – Julia from Snitch by Allison van Diepen, page 295