The ShepherdThe Shepherd by Travis Luedke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Skate punks, kleptomaniacs, clairvoyant visions and reincarnation… …THE SHEPHERD is unlike any other Young Adult novel you have ever read. Mike Evans here. Sixteen year old skate punk squatting in a white-trash trailer park with my loser drunk Dad. Seems I lost most of my friends when Dad lost our home in foreclosure. Only Anita stuck by me. Worse, I keep having strange clairvoyant visions of things that always come true. Then I almost ran over Nadia in my Geo. A passing truck finished the job – left a crumpled heap of skin and bone on the road. I fixed her. Me. Now this fourteen year old girl won’t leave me alone. I sorta let her sneak in my window when she needs a place to crash. I have a double life: daytime at school, Anita, skating, and then my nights with Nadia. She’s my secret friend, gives me money and listens to my problems when nobody else will. My world is spinning out of control. Old friends have turned enemy, my grisly visions of death won’t quit, and Anita’s intentions make my head spin. Even with all that, I’ve got bigger stuff to worry about. Nadia’s hiding something.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I’m not really into YA but I enjoyed this book. It was fun and full of suspense.
First of all, I love the cover. It gives an aura of young, feminine strength. Although the protagonist is male, Nadia is the stronger character in the novel. And the story kind of revolves around her too.
2nd, I love the writing style. It was in first person and in a journal format. It’s so young and trendy I didn’t have a hard time with the dialogues. It’s also fast-paced and you’ll never get bored.
I also like the characters. Mike is a typical teenager who loves rock music and skateboarding. But he’s pretty decent compared to the other guys. He works, doesn’t drink, and dreams of going to college. He is also pretty admirable as a person. I also like Nadia. She may be cold-hearted when it comes to protecting Mike but she got this honest attitude and cute sense of humor. And then there’s Anita. The first time Mike described her I already thought she was hot. I also think she’s brilliant and fierce.
Storywise, this is pretty good. It was consistent and intense. I like the plot. The air of mystery surrounding Nadia and Mike kept me glued since the first chapter. I also love the theme of friendship and love. I loved it when Mike’s father made efforts to become better for his son. That was really heartwarming. I also liked the friend-to-lover status between Mike and Anita. Their scenes after the status change were hot and sexy.
Overall, this is a book worth reading. I highly recommend this to all YA fans and to people who want some fun, unique read.

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