Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano

5 Smoke captivated me stars!

Holding Smoke

This book had such a unique concept that I haven’t seen in many YA books.  Yes there is a young man who is down on his luck, well probably out of luck since his in a juvenile detention center. However it whispers in some elements that aren’t in all YA books.  It has suspense and intrigue without a lot of romance or plot holes.  This book follows John “Smoke” Conlan throughout his time in the Y (which is a detention center/jail).  Smoke is convicted of killing two people.  However he only killed the one… intrigued yet?  Due to a situation that left him dead for 6 minutes he now has the ability to go corporeal.  Smoke uses this to his advantage in prison.  He sets up a system where he finds out information for people in the jail about people outside of jail.  Every night he can he goes out and finds out what other gang members are up to and how peoples families are doing. Whenever he chooses to do these he senses he is loosing a little more time… the threads leading back to his body are weaker and breaking.

I can’t believe this author is not more popular she has written other books.  Her writing is so well put together and the plot was fantastic!  All of her books on Goodreads average 4 stars or more… yet I don’t see her being blogged about?!?

I really enjoyed Smoke’s character, how in the center he is just living day by day.  Then on one fateful evening someone notices him… when no one else can.  After he runs into this person his normal prison life seems to turn upside down.  He has been telling everyone for years he didn’t kill his teacher, now he has people who believe him and the web of lies are starting to unravel. Even though this book was only supposed to revolve around Smoke I really enjoyed the side characters.  You get to see that not all of humanity is lost in some of the deeds he does for others.  Whether or not he is telling himself these deeds are to have one over on certain people or get something in trade for the most part he is a good guy. The plot twists and turns throughout the story were really good… when you thought it was going one way and it went another.  Also the ending while not fairy tale was really good.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy of this book for my honest review.  Also thank you to Hyperion for finding this wonderful author!!

Goodreads link here.

book blurb…

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Hyperion
Original Title Holding Smoke
ISBN 1484725972 (ISBN13: 9781484725979)
John “Smoke” Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn’t the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke’s new home and the only one he believes he deserves.

But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they’re asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn’t care that the “threads” that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help him clear his name.

Now Smoke is on a journey to redemption he never thought possible. With Pink’s help, Smoke may be able to reveal the true killer, but the closer they get to the truth, the more deadly their search becomes. The web of lies, deceit, and corruption that put Smoke behind bars is more tangled than they could have ever imagined. With both of their lives on the line, Smoke will have to decide how much he’s willing to risk, and if he can envision a future worth fighting for


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