Crook Haven by J.J. Arcanjo

Gabriel is a talented pickpocket, only taking what he needs to help his Grandma who has raised him in the absence of his parents. He is devoted to her and though he steals, it is only ever enough to feed her or help her when work becomes too tough.

One afternoon, he steals a wallet with a card inside that reads, “You’re Good. I’m Better”.

He is being given an opportunity to succeed, something he has never had before. It is too good to pass up and he leaves his Grandma to attend Crookhaven. Classes named Forgery, Crimtastics and Deception fill his schedule while the kitchen feeds his belly. As someone who never knew regular meals, this is something he doesn’t take for granted and he fills quickly.

Gabe has an eidetic memory, never forgetting any small detail and this, in his opinion, is a horrible ability though it does aid him in beating his classmates in “The Break-In”. While he enjoys his day to day life, he is also searching for answers…ones he has never asked for before. Gabriel wants to learn about who his parents are. He is warned from his search a few times as the answers may not be what he is hoping.

When the discovery is made, Gabriel is reeling with shock!

This is an exceptional book, filled with bold characters talented in the arts of deception, forgery and parkour- though they only use these talents to right the world. Gabriel is hungry in more ways than one but he will learn some drastic information over the course of his first year at Crookhaven.

Prepare yourselves for the most unique boarding school out there!

I loved Gabriel and his hunger, but also his kindness. Penelope for her determination and the Okoro twins for their skills and bickering and Amira for her quiet yet determined abilities.

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