Review by Ivy

Author: Caleb Roehrig

Death Prefers Blondes Cover Image

“You won’t win every fight… but the key to success isn’t dominating every single battle; sometimes it’s retreating – living to fight another day when the odds are better, find your strengths, learn your weaknesses, pick your battles.”

Margo Manning, nicknamed ‘Mad Margo’ by the press, is known for her wild antics as the daughter of a California millionaire. What her paparazzi don’t know is that the real scandals happen at night, when Margo and her team of acrobatic drag queen friends break into museums, vaults, and actual castles to take the prize paintings, jewels, and international treasures that inhabit the famously heavily guarded buildings.

But, as friend and family drama begins to unfold, Margo, naturally, has to plan one last big job that won’t just affect her and team, but could potentially save the world, finally putting a stop to the nefarious schemes of a tycoon villain. Margo’s an expert at stealing other people’s prizes, but can she outrun death while breaking into her own family’s company?

Death Prefers Blondes is a wholly original, action-packed stunt spectacular that delivers much more plot than any other almost-500 page realistic fiction YA novel has ever delivered before. Unless Caleb Roehrig also happens to be a cat burglar by night, I can’t imagine the amount of research he had to put into this book. The detail is meticulous without being inaccessible, enjoyable and educational at the same time.

This book is told in split perspective, and while (as of the ARC), character names are not stated above their section, you can easily tell whose thought process we’re reading, which is very difficult to do. The characters themselves are all completely fleshed out and easy to sympathize with, their dramatic backstories equally depressing and unique.

Overall, I love Caleb Roehrig’s work, and getting to see his writing develop over the years is amazing, this being his third book and his best so far. Death Prefers Blondes knocks the basic idea of a good YA novel out of the park crossing genres and providing a fabulous heist story mixed with the ever-popular themes of found families and reasonable teenage rebellion. Rating: Five Best Friend Cat Burgulars/Five.

For Fans Of: Six of Crows by Leight Bardugo, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, Heist Society by Ally Carter

Favorite Quotes:

 

  • “If these past few weeks have taught me anything, it’s that sooner or later we all run out of time… Safe choices are fine, but if my clock hits zero tomorrow, I don’t want any regrets. I don’t know how long I’ll be in Italy, or what the world will look like when I come back; all I know is that we’re here now, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have what we want.”

 

  • “You shouldn’t doubt yourself, you know. Your father has a habit of making everyone feel like a failure so they’re forever struggling to do better; but you deserve to be proud of yourself – to believe in yourself. Don’t let men or tabloids or even your father’s ghost make you question your greatness.”
  • “Drag wasn’t a disguise or an illusion; it was armor. When he stepped onstage, Axel became someone fierce and untouchable, a force of nature that gave no fucks and couldn’t be bothered. He brought hecklers to their knees, read homophobes until they needed the Da Vinci Code to piece their dignity back together, and faced the worst with a smart remark and a tongue pop. Lisel was both shield and weapon, the only refuge he’d had from these ugly years.”

Buy it here: https://www.bookpeople.com/book/9781250155825