Finley Jayne reviews: Seven Deadlies by Gigi Levangie

September 22nd, 2014 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 35 Comments

22nd Sep

Finley Jayne

Caffeinated is being taken over by other bloggers and today we have Sara @ Finley Jayne’s Going to the Library. Grab a mocha latte and check out her review of Seven Deadlies. Finley Jayne’s Going to the Library is a unique blog featuring a wide variety of books and discussions!  Enjoy Sara’s review, I know she has me curious about Seven Deadlies. Thanks Sara for sharing with us today….


Guest Review

Finley Jayne reviews: Seven Deadlies by Gigi Levangie
Seven Deadlies
by Gigi Levangie
Genres: Anthologies, Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star

New York Times bestselling author Gigi Levangie Grazer returns with Seven Deadlies, a witty and wildly different novel set amid the sinful reaches of Beverly Hills, narrated by a captivating, gimlet-eyed Mexican-American heroine. Perry Gonzalez is not like the other kids in her Beverly Hills high school—a full-blooded Latina on a scholarship, living in a tiny apartment with her mother, she doesn’t have much in common with the spoiled, privileged kids who are chauffeured to school every morning. But Perry is a budding young writer with her sights set on Bennington—and her seven deadly stories are her ticket to the Ivory Tower. To pay her way, Perry’s been babysitting (correction: teenage-sitting) and tutoring the neighborhood kids, and she has seen the dark side of adolescence: lust for the “Judas Brothers” that leads to electrocution at a private birthday party concert; wrath that inspires new and perverse family bonds; and greed, in a young Bernie Madoff acolyte who conceives of a copycat Ponzi scheme involving his own grandmother.

I’m so excited to share a review here today on one of my favorite book blogs, the Caffeinated Book Reviewer! Kimberly has written over 800 reviews on her blog, and choosing a book to read and review was a bit of a challenge! But I finally found one that neither of us had read before, and it ended up being a quite a memorable choice!

Seven Deadlies is a series of seven short stories narrated by Perry Gonzales, the 14 year old protagonist, who shares her experiences with ‘teen sitting’ in the rich neighborhoods of Hollywood. The first thing about this book that stood out to me is that while it’s not labeled a YA book, and I found it in my library’s general fiction section, it’s most definitely a YA story.

The writing, narration and short stories all have a younger feel to them. It has lots of references to teen pop culture (Justin Bieber, the Jonas Brothers etc), and the cast of characters are 13-14 years old. I think this is one of the reasons why this book has gotten such low ratings-people were expecting an adult book and instead got something that’s more of a middle school story. Since I just picked it off of the library shelf, and had no pre-conceived ideas about the book, this didn’t bother me. But I can see how this would be a turn off to others who were expecting an adult fiction story.

Each story gives a Hollywood example of one of the Seven Deadly Sins. We start with Lust and work our way through the list, with over the top stories of children who were bad. The pretty, rich girl who always changed her appearance because of Envy, until her own family didn’t recognize her and she was chased off by the family dogs. The boy who represented Sloth, and spontaneously combusted after spending his whole life playing video games. Each story is crazier than the previous one and readers are led on a wild and often humorous ride through an otherwise serious topic.

I really enjoyed Perry and her narrative voice. She’s practical, smart and endearing. She has a heart for the kids she watches and tries to help them, even as they seem determined to destroy themselves. Her interactions with her mother are also great and these moments were the highlights of the book.

We’re brought through the Seven Deadly Sins and it seems like the book is finished. But then there’s an epilogue of sorts, which changes the entire book. While this part has been ripped apart by other reviewers, I actually really liked it. The twist makes readers think about the story in a different light, and it may have not been such a lighthearted telling of the Seven Deadly Sins, after all.

I liked Seven Deadlies and gave it a rating of 3 stars. Levangie was a new to me author, and I look forward to exploring her other books!

About Sara & Finley Jayne’s Going to the Library

Finley Jayne’s Going to the LibraryI urge you to head on over to Finely Jayne’s Going to the Library and get to know Sara and her blog. She is on a budget and gets most of her books from the library. I love how eclectic her tastes are and she often has fascinating discussions and ideas to share.  Sara weaves in her love of  baking, health and blogging tips. New to the blogging world and an aspiring writer Sara is always ready to chat about her passions.


Let’s give Sara a Caffeinated welcome, let her know what you think of Seven Deadlies…

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

35 Responses to “Finley Jayne reviews: Seven Deadlies by Gigi Levangie”

  1. Ginny

    Hi Finley! Great review. This sounds like a quirky book and I’m intrigued by the seven deadly sins being featured. Plus I love a good twist at the end of a book that makes you think. I may have to pick this one up for an in between read. It sounds like you can read one story at a time for those time challenged moments of our life. 🙂

  2. laura thomas

    I like short reads and this sounds like an interesting premise. I’ve been reading about the ending and now my curiousity is purring. I wonder what’s in that epilogue?

  3. Tyler H Jolley

    Thanks for the review, Finely! As a YA/MG author having my book misclassified is my biggest nightmare. I’m glad you liked it despite the mislabel!

  4. kara-karina

    Lovely review, Finley! While I don’t think I’ll pick this book anytime soon because I don’t usually read MG, but I have to admit the cover is wonderful and would tempt me 🙂

  5. Lauren

    Looking at that cover and reading the synopsis I would expect an older book too. I’m glad the epilogue worked for you better than others, I’m so curious to read this and see how it changes the stories! Lovely review Sara!

  6. Candace

    While I think people should always consider reading outside of their norm, I think it’s automatic that if we pick up something not in YA or MG that we’re going to expect an ADULT read and easily be disappointed. So labeling and shelving correctly is pretty important. I hadn’t heard of this book before but I have to admit that I’m a bit intrigued, it sounds very different!

  7. Lark

    This is an interesting premise and the twist epilogue has me really wondering! I haven’t come across it before. I’ll second Rita’s comment – it’s fun to stumble across books in the library and take a chance on them, especially when they turn out to be different than you expected but still enjoyable. I’m not sure if I’ll look for it, given that it’s not really my type of book and I’m swamped with reading right now – every publisher and their brother just decided to grant my ARC requests and now I’m swimming in them, including a bunch I’d given up on. But you know, if my TBR list wasn’t so full, I think I’d be tempted, just to find out what that twist ending is about!

  8. Mary

    Judging by the cover alone, I would never have guessed that this was a YA (middle grade??). Or dark. Were they going for an old-school creepy vibe but just missed the mark? Lovely review! *waves at Finley*

  9. Braine Talk Supe

    I loved this one, it’s odd and dark for YA but that’s how I like my reads anyway. The ending is odd, I still don’t know what is what and like you said, I think that head-fluck is what changed the book for a lot of readers. It is a big WTF!!!!!

  10. Braine Talk Supe

    I loved this one, it’s odd and dark for YA but that’s how I like my reads anyway. The ending is odd, I still don’t know what is what and like you said, I think that head-fluck is what changed the book for a lot of readers. It is a big WTF!!!!!

  11. Felicia the Geeky Blogger

    Great review! I am not usually a fan of shorts but it does sound like overall this worked for you 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I read your comment where it wasn’t in the YA area–that seems oddly shelved but good for you adjusting!

  12. Nick

    That’s interesting that these short stories feature the seven deadly sins. I’m curious about the epilogue!
    Great review! 🙂

  13. Rita

    Hi Finley or Sara, if you prefer Finley Jayne for professional purposes, that’s fine! I like how you took a chance on a random book, discovered it was a totally different genre and had a twist ending and still thought it was a decent 3 star read. I never heard of it, but it sounds like an interesting read for the right audience.
    Thanks for reviewing it so thoroughly, and highlighting it for those of us who never heard of it!

  14. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Hi Sara…I’ve been calling you Finley, too; which do you prefer? I also use a pen name (online and on the books I write; it’s the one you see here! And that’s all I’m saying…LOL).

    Seriously, though, great review. I have this book on my shelf, but haven’t read it yet. I’m not a YA fan…but your review makes it sound enjoyable. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Carmel

    Shorts aren’t really my thing, except if they are part of an anthology because I feel like you get more bang for your buck. I hate it when a book is misshelved, so thanks for bringing the true age of the characters to my attention. It’s good to have accurate expectations going in, especially where YA is concerned. I already follow Finley—no worries there!

    • Finley Jayne

      It did throw me for a bit, when I realized I was reading a YA/middle school type of book, and it was from the general section at my library (the spine didn’t have a YA sticker on it either). But, after I did a mental adjustment I enjoyed the story 🙂

  16. Melliane

    It sounds nice, I didn’t know this one I confess but it could be interesting between 2 books to have something like that. thanks for the discovery.

  17. Trish

    Oopphhs Sara, I’ve been calling you Finley as I thought that was your name! I haven’t heard of this book before but it sounds interesting, especially that twist!