City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson Genre: YA, Thriller Published January 24th 2017 G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
City of Saints and Thieves is a refreshing YA thriller. Set in Kenya, the story revolves around Tina. A character unlike any I have met in YA before, Tina is a refugee from Congo who escaped with her mother when she was very little. Her mother got a job as a maid for the Greyhill family, a wealthy member of the “Ring,” the wealthy part of Sangui City. Five years ago, after having Mr. Greyhill’s illegitimate daughter, Tina’s sister Kiki, Tina’s mother is murdered. Shot in the head. Now, Tina seeks revenge against her mother’s murderer—Mr Greyhill.
Tina is now a thief, a member of the Goondas gang. She lives on a rooftop, and survives in the shadows. She is planning her biggest break-in of all, a mansion in the Ring, where she will avenge her mother. Her plan is simple. Dirt. Money. Blood. But as things unravel, Tina learns that her mother had many secrets, and revenge is not as easy as she thinks.
City of Saints and Thieves takes the reader from the streets of Kenya to deep in the Congo on a page-turning adventure. With a unique cast of characters, vivid details, and a protagonist ready to kill for answers, this novel is both pleasurable and interesting. I found myself learning about the Congo and the women who have survived the terrors of war, while cheering on Tina. While there are some romantic elements that didn’t needed to be there, and the plot dragged a little at the end, the writing is engaging enough to forgive these slight imperfections. If you’re looking for a YA thriller in a unique setting, City of Saints and Thieves will not disappoint.