Title: The Readymade Thief
Author: Augustus Rose
Published by: Viking
Publication date: 1st August 2017
Genres: New Adult, Thriller, Mystery
I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
“You are too young, I think, to understand yet the nature of desire. You know what it is to want, perhaps even to yearn, but true desire is something else entirely.”
After being betrayed by her family and sent to a juvenile detention center after taking the fall for a friend, seventeen year old Lee Cuddy is on the run and seeks refuge with other runaways in a place called the Crystal Castle with a hidden and sinister agenda. Lee gets out of there pretty quickly but finds that the anonymous society running it believes she’s the answer to an old and powerful secret. Helped by an art loving hacker, Lee hides out in empty aquariums, vacationing peoples’ homes and paroled museums. But the harder she tries to get away, the more caught she gets in the web of the dangerous society who are after her.
I loved the art history undercurrents in this book, especially when they came front and center nearer to the end. The different conspiracies circulating around Duchamp were really interesting and well done. It was the small things I liked best in this book, such as how its title fits into the story and how philosophy, alchemy and the DarkNet were woven into the book.
However, this book really brought my mood down. And I suppose that shows that it’s a book capable of evoking emotion but for me it was just such a disappointment that I couldn’t read it without feeling incredibly depressed. Lee comes across a handful of people who really try to help her out but they all end up getting burned. Practically everyone she meets is subject to an unfortunate fate and it just didn’t sit well with me.
It’s difficult to find suggestions on how this book could have been better. Lee will definitely never be a favorite character of mine but I don’t know if any other personality could have taken on the role she did. After all, her life is seriously messed up. Less murders would have made me happier and I didn’t really see why most of them had to happen, except to make Lee even more empty but was that really necessary? I’m pretty sure she would have been capable of doing all that she did without losing everything.
The imagery in this book is well done and Lee’s feelings of anger and desperation will engulf you. Sadly, the teenage characters aren’t very relatable, all of them in a swirl of anger, drugs or danger. The Readymade Thief is a thriller not for the light hearted (like me it seems), so unless you’re ready to feel really crappy and depressed (or unless you’re really into that), this isn’t a book I would recommend to readers. It does have some great Goodreads reviews so I think I’m in the minority on this one but if thrillers are your thing, I’d suggest checking this out- otherwise, I’d advise you not to bother.