By: Larissa | February 6, 2014 | (32) Comments

Review: Mafia Girl by Deborah BlumenthalMafia Girl by Deborah Blumenthal
Publisher: Albert & Whitman
Release Date: March 1st, 2014
Genres: Drama, Romance, YA
Pages: 256
Source: Received in exchange for review
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"What's in a name? Everything if you have my name."

At her exclusive Manhattan high school, seventeen-year-old Gia is the most hated/loved girl in school. Why? Her father doesn't have a boss. He is the boss--the capo di tutti cappi, boss of all bosses. Not that Gia cares. But life gets complicated when she meets a cop she calls "Officer Hottie" and feels a suprising chemistry. Then Vogue magazine wants to feature Gia in a fashion spread about real-life bad girls. On top of this, she's running for class president.

Can Gia step out from under her dad's shadow and show everyone there's more to her than "Mafia Girl?

I decided to request this book on a limb, as I’m going to Italy during the spring and I thought this book would immerse me in not only Italian culture, but also the internal and external conflicts of the Italian mafia. Yeah, this book definitely didn’t deliver on any of those things. In fact, anything that could make me react negatively towards a book occurred in Mafia Girl.

 First off, the writing in this book seemed amateur. Transitions were done abruptly, run-on sentences ran rampant, over description, random capitalization and lack/misuse of punctuation.  I feel like the editing that happened wasn’t thorough at all, and it says something that a seventeen year old can notice these mistakes. These mistakes weren’t done once or twice either, they literally were on almost every single page. The writing also contained acronyms. Which I may have been okay with if they were contained in text messages. Alas, that wasn’t the case.  The acronyms were said by the main character throughout the book. You get the pleasure of reading WTF, LOL, IMO and the lovely gem yada, yada, yada in normal ‘convo’. The writing also contained an overwhelming amount of Italian and mafia stereotypes. There was about one million references to the ‘Godfather’. Pasta and pizza was constantly eaten. One of the characters was even named Mario.

Oh so Mario is a lawyer in the book, not a plumber chasing after Princess Peach. That makes it SO much better.

If amateur writing wasn’t enough to make you throw your kindle at the wall, then meet Gia, the immature main character of the book. Not only does she make stupid decisions that would even make my 3 year old cousin cover his mouth and yell “BAD!”, Gia also seems to have a fun time basically failing the bechdel test. She apparently does have a female best friend, but she plays a microscopic role in this books. You only get to see her in the first lovely chapter which features the two taking a drunken joyride without their license. Appears to me that some inspiration from Justin Bieber was taken. Since Gia slut shamed so much in this book, I could go on and on about it. Instead I’ll allow to view some quotes (that also display the bad writing), and you can shake your head with me. These are unfortunately word for word from the book.

” Ro and I and Dante and his friend Marco and someone I’ve never met before who they call Little Paulie’s who’s about six five and some skanky girl named Viv with pink hair who’s getting on my nerves because of her gluten-free diet thing, go down to Ro’s basement.”

Alright. Read around two and a half paragraphs after the previous quote then you get to this:

And then like the slut I turn to him and we start making out even though I know that’s the last thing I should be doing because tomorrow he’ll probably steal a diamond ring and ask my father if he can marry me. But I can’t worry about that now so I don’t. I pretend I’m into him and living for the moment, which is one way to justify being a slut.”

Let’s add one more quote that simply had my mind boggled at its utter stupidity and lack of proper punctuation.

“I could get over the skanky people at Morgan who hate me, because most of them are Spoiled, Stuck-up, Bitches who dress in paisley or what have you and wear things like Belgian shoes and have moms with names like Muffy who carry those stupid Nantucket baskets with scrimshaw medallions and talk interminably about going riding in Connecticut on the weekends or watching horse jumping or entering their purebreds at Westminster, or playing golf while the non wasp world are out of work and panhandling. I would love to drop kick most of them so that they would open their recessive gene eyes and get over that rarefied bullshit way of existing.”

Oh, Mario and Luigi? May I borrow your hammers for a bit? I need them to knock the stupidity of this book out.

Mind numbing writing and awful main characters not bad enough for you? Well we also got an insta-love romance with some stalking in Mafia Girl. Remember how Gia and her best friend went for a little drunken joyride?  The officer that caught them and took them to the police station just so happens to be the object of Gia’s affections. Gia declared him “officer hottie” I cringed for the rest of the book whenever he was mentioned. I renamed him Officer Lukewarm. She was in the back of Officer Lukewarm’s patrol car and Gia was already talking about being inexplicably drawn to his “electric green eyes.”

The quote previously mentioned that included slut shaming and Gia making out with somebody even though it was apparently the last thing she should be doing?Yeah during the poorly written make out scene, Gia was fantasizing she was making out with the police officer. This was on page 19 of the book.  Gia then moves on to literally stalking him, getting her friends to help her find where he hangs out. By page 28 we have her lurking in bars for her lover. At first Officer Lukewarm was actually smart and shuts Gia and her craziness down. Normally one doesn’t end up dating the person they arrested, nor  the daughter of the leader of Italian mafia that his precinct has been trying to shut down for years or and neither somebody’s who only 17 meanwhile they’re a fully trained police officer who’s  definitely in his late twenties. Of course Miss Gia fits all of these bills.

Officer Lukewarm, I’d definitely recommend running and possibly moving. As far away as possible from Gia, for your own safety.

Sadly Officer Lukewarm didn’t run or move away. Gia continued to freak out over him and keeps track of the time she’s last seen/stalked the Officer, fourteen hours and thirty seven minutes by page 44. By page 72, Officer Lukewarm has seemed to be warming up to Gia’s stalking charms as she claims that “not being with him” scares her. Instead of getting a restraining order the officer flirts back. All of a sudden this romance doesn’t become so one sided and instead it becomes mutually creepy and even reciprocated by the officer. Gia compared this moment to feel like “being on top of Mt.Vesuvius with smoke and molten lava erupting around us.” It was with that awful metaphor I burst into laughter at 1 AM and got a few questioning looks. From that horrible metaphor on, the romance became even more overpowering and made myself dislike the book even more.

Now onto the mafia part of the book. Oh wait?! There was a mafia part of the book? Oh yeah it was in the summary! And the title of the book. Yeah if you were excepting details about that, you’re going to be disappointed. The book spent much more time showcasing the instantaneous and creepy relationship between Gia and her arresting officer.

For barely mentioning what could have been the best part of this mess of a book.

Overall this is a book that a even seventeen year old  noticed extreme writing problems with it. It focused on a insta-love romance with a side of stalking. It had slut shaming and general hating of females other than the main character. It took the most interesting thing about the plot and tossed it to the side.  It had so many Italian stereotypes that an reviewer of the book could use sarcastic Mario gifs and still could argue its relation to the book.

Shockingly enough I wouldn’t recommend this book.

~Thank you Albert & Whitman for sending me this copy!~

1 Stars
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Larissa was born and still is living in the land of ice, snow and maple syrup. She's 18 years old and really has no idea what to do with her life lately. Larissa's plans are constantly changing--though there’s one thing has remained constant throughout her seventeen years, and that’s reading. It takes her to another world and puts her into impossible situations and that’s why she loves it so much.

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32 Responses to Review: Mafia Girl by Deborah Blumenthal

  1. Emily Mead says:

    Shame it wasn’t good! Books set in countries other than America or England are so appealing to me.

    Nice use of GIFs, though :)
    Emily Mead recently posted…J K Rowling Regrets Ron And Hermione: My ThoughtsMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah I really enjoy reading books set in other countries too! (:
      This one wasn’t set in Italy though, it was just about an Italian family. I believe it was set in Chicago? Haha, it’s funny that I can’t even remember. The setting played such a small role it was hardly even mentioned.

      Thank you! :)

  2. Aimee says:

    This review was hilarious, Larissa! And this book sounds awful. I can already tell that I’ll absolutely hate Gia, the romance, and whatever else this one has to offer. I actually got approved for this one a while back, luckily I didn’t even read it (although my goal this year is to read & review all of the stuff I request). Lovely review! <3
    Aimee recently posted…Mini Review: Fates by Lanie BrossMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked reading this review, I had lots of fun writing it. The book was probably the worst I’ve read this year, honestly. There honestly wasn’t any really positive sides to this book. I have the same goal as you, and because of it I pushed through this book. Something that I probably won’t do again

  3. Melanie says:

    OMG WHAT THE HELL. Those quotes are absolutely horrid, all that slut shaming and this Gia chick is just…I don’t even know anymore. Bleh. Oh and instant love. Gee, what a huge miserable mess.

    Fabulous review rant! And all those gifs! BAHAHA. <33

  4. Tanja says:

    Now this sounds like something I don’t want to have near me. I mean I usually don’t give that much attention to writing as I’m not a native speaker so who am I to judge. But sometimes I notice things and that’s really bad. Anyhow I’d love to see what Italians think of this book they’d probably role their eyes all the time because of the stereotypes. xD Great gifs Larissa! Great review :)
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#81)My Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, I completely understand the language barriers, and the fact that there’s usually a few mistakes in a published book. However when there’s mistakes on nearly every page, there’s a problem for me. You’d think the editing would be better done. Haha, it’d be quite interesting to get an Italian’s perspective on this book. I’m sure it wouldn’t be the best. Thank you! :)

  5. No. Just no. I’ve read another review that basically said the same, so yup, I’ll be skipping this one for sure. But you’re going to Italy?! *quietly jealous* YAY! I hope that’s brilliant for you. :)
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Why People Don’t ReadMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      That’s definitely a good choice on your part. This was honestly the worst book I’ve read this year.

      Yes! For a school trip :) Thank you, and I know it’ll be fantastic

  6. This one is definitely not for me. I’m looking for a little more depth and a little more class in my novels. Thanks for the honest review, Larissa!

  7. Siiri says:

    Italy? TAKE ME WITH YOU, LARISSA!!!!!!!! :) Lol! The editing reminds me of Rule by Jay Crownover back when it was self-pubbed, not own by a big publisher. It was just horrible! I loved the story, luckily lol. I would have give it -1 stars if I had hated it haha. Yeah, I think that LOLs and WTFs are supposed to say in text, fb status or twitter messages. Oh no at the writing. This is just.. yeah. This Gia sounds like a headcase O___O Pffffttt.. I’m sorry, this book is not for me. I love the Super Mario gifs that made me laugh out loud haha.
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Haha I shall try my hardest! 😉 Yikes, if the writing in that book is like Mafia Girl, I’m definitely avoiding it. If you liked it though, maybe there’s something going for it afterall. Yeah acronyms don’t have a place in actual conversations, I think. Gia’s nuts, honestly no other way to put it. Haha, whenever the character Mario was mentioned in the book all I could think about was super Mario. So I went a little gif crazy

  8. I like mafia related books, must be my General Hospital obsession. I almost got this one but once I saw the reviews I decided against it. Luckily!
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Blog Tour Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan!My Profile


    I didn’t even have to read anything past the slut-shaming part. I HATE slut-shaming to the point where I even wrote a blog post about it, and if a book has that in it, then I immediately write it off as a bad book because it’s just so unnecessary and stupid. Also, definitely know what you mean about the writing because it’s so easy for it to affect how you like the book. Fantastic review, Larissa! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…January Monthly RecapMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      UM WHAT!? Girl, we just took our twinning to a whole new level.

      Yeah slut-shaming is quite honestly one of the worst things. There’s really no point in it at all. I’m going to read that post of yours soon! I’m sure it’ll echo many of my views about the topic. The writing really does make or break a book for me, I mean it’s something that’ll always be constant. There’s not usually any sudden improvement at all.

      Thank you! :)

  10. Hehe… I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one, but your review definitely made me giggle. Loving the GIFs. :)
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…Review: Better off Friends by Elizabeth EulbergMy Profile

  11. Candace says:

    Oh no this sounds horrible! Those sentences given as examples definitely show that this book wouldn’t be for me. Sorry you spent so much time reading a book that was pretty awful!
    Candace recently posted…Adult Review: Private Air by Billie BatesMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Honestly it was probably the worst book I’ve read this year. Haha if I prevented at least one person from reading this book,then my suffering was worth it (;

  12. Megan says:

    Yikes! This one sounds like a trainwreck. Clearly “Officer Lukewarm” is an idiot. I think I would make it about 2 chapters into this one before giving up.
    Megan recently posted…Life of a Blogger: If You Could Live Anywhere…My Profile

  13. Melliane says:

    oh that’s sad so many difficult point… well at least now I know it won’t be for me. I didn’t know this one but now I’ll pass. I’m sorry it wasn’t for you, I hope your next book will be better.
    Melliane recently posted…Firespell by Chloe NeillMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah I took one for the team, to prevent any other bloggers from picking this up ;)Thank you, I’ve read one book since this one and it was much better for me

  14. I almost stopped reading after I saw you’re going to Italy, because hello, how EXCITING! Ermygod. I have never been but swear I will go before I die.

    I had actually never heard of this book before. It sounds like it was a painful read, though, between the instalove and terrible writing, I can’t believe you made it through the whole thing! Thanks for taking one for the blogosphere, and for the review. I’ll be sure to avoid this one.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…The Winner’s Curse: reviewMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      It really is a dream come true, Italy has been on my bucket list and now I’m actually going. Quite unbelievable.

      Yeah, I never heard of it either till I made the fateful choice to request it on netgalley. Haha it was definitely a challenge reading it but I took one for the team.

  15. Lily B says:

    The romance in this book was terrible and so were the characters. I cringed since she was so much younger then the cop it was like ahhhh yea… no…just no… plus I had some issues with the plot line but whatever.
    Lily B recently posted…Review: Archetype (Archetype #1) by M.D. WatersMy Profile

  16. Wow, the amateur writing would be tolerable if the rest of the book was good or without the slut shaming. Those quotes really illustrate the terribad book :(
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Bird by Crystal Chan Review – Soaring with grief, sadness and hopeMy Profile

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