Publications Date: March 22, 2011
Summary from Goodread:
Nickel is a survivor. He has to be. For as long as he can remember, his life has hinged on the flip of a coin. Or, rather, the scribble of a social worker’s pen. He’s been through the system, even had a good dad for a few years, until he was gone, too. But Nickel remembers everything he taught him, and since the day he escaped from foster-care hell, he’s put that knowledge to good use. Just twelve years old, he makes a steady living by selling marijuana to high schoolers, blackmailing pedophiles he ferrets out online, and working as a private investigator. When a beautiful girl named Arrow hires him to find her little sister Shelby, Nickel figures at best the kid’s a runaway; at worst, some perv’s gotten a hold of her. He scours the internet and the streets of Arrow’s suburban neighborhood, and what he finds there is as ugly a truth as he’s ever seen. For beyond the manicured lawns, Nickel discovers children for sale, and adults with souls black as the devil. And people like that aren’t about to let some kid ruin their game. This edgy thriller introduces a canny, precocious anti-hero, the likes of which young-adult readers have never seen.
My Two Cents:
Nickel Plated was truly an unexpected good read. Obviously I am always skeptical when trying out a new author, but Aric Davis shows that a new kid on the block can still bring it. It brings an original plot featuring a kid who's had to grow up way before his time. Instead of feeling sorry for Nickel he makes us readers root for him all the way.
Nickel grew up bouncing from foster homes until finally he decided he'd had enough and escaped. He took what little money he had and tried to make a life for himself. Using his talents that he learned from his late "Dad" he becomes private investigator...and also a marijuana plant grower. He lives alone and takes care of himself. Most times his situation seemed so unrealistic but I still wanted to believe it was true.
Arrow approached him to help her find her little sister Shelby. Nickel can't help but be smitten by Arrow which gives him the drive he needs to find her sister. This novel takes us on a thrill ride with Arrow and Nickel as they race against time to find her sister before it's too late. I enjoyed reading this and rooted for Nickel and Arrow the whole way because....well he wants her so bad. Nickel does so many good deeds throughout the book but doesn't want the credit for any of it. In the beginning Nickel has these "rules" but Arrow slowly chips away at them. This is one of those books you have to give a chance to see that it is a treasure.