Crimes of the Sarahs
At sixteen, Sarah Trestle has a lot going for her. She's cute, funny, and a terrific alto. She's also great behind the wheel, which is why she drives the getaway car. But Sarah T. doesn't complain; she loves being part of the best clique in Kalamazoo: The Sarahs.
Sarahs Aberdeen, Babbitt, Cody, and Trestle aren't out to hurt anyone--they're simply honing their craft. They start off their summer the usual way: interspersing petty crimes with nature walks, crushes, and volunteer work. Of course, everyone knows that a band of criminals is only as strong as its weakest link. When Sarah T. botches a shoplifting attempt, her fate in The Sarahs is seriously called into question. And she's willing to do just about anything to prove that she's worthy...
Sarah A., Sarah B., Sarah C., and Sarah T. have something in common besides their names: They are a tightly knit clique of high school girls who commit petty-and not so petty-crimes. The four girls are University bound, and their crimes start innocently enough, stealing a bottle of water here and a few bags of chips there. As the story begins, the heists move into a new stage. Sarah A., the "ballsy blonde leader" and a self-professed "thievery guru," wants to steal What Color is Your Parachute. Why would girls with means and bright futures want to steal what they can legitimately afford? As Sarah T. explains, "if an item is smaller than a toaster, Sarah A. prefers utilizing the five-finger discount. It's much more exciting than making a legitimate purchase." But Sarah A. likes to push the limits and constantly ups the ante of what it means to be a dedicated thief. So when she issues a challenge in which everyone must demonstrate their true dedication to the group, Sarah T. must think up a stellar plan to remain a "Sarah."
Deborah Stevenson, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books:
Walking a delicate and effective balance between psychological thriller and realistic social drama, the book sets up its situation credibly; the follower Sarahs are regular girls rather than wounded and vulnerable souls, and it's the situation and the Sarah cachet that keeps them involved as Sarah A. becomes more unstable. Sarah T., a girl so anxious that she wets her pants in crisis moments, provides an interesting lens into the sisterhood, since her omega status makes her the least questioning but perhaps most observant of all of the Sarahs. There's enough cunning deviousness to keep things juicy but also enough genuine affection and sympathy to keep things humane; Sarah A. may have Bad Seed elements, but ultimately she's an unhappy teenager who's luckier with her friends than she realizes. Edgier than most friendship dramas and more authentic than most psychodramas, this will absorb fans of both genres, who will understand both the thrill and the strain of being a Sarah.
Elissa Petruzzi, Romantic Times:
Tracy gives us a break from the same-old clique novel with her entertaining, different - and theft-happy! - Sarahs. Watching Sarah T wrestle with her independence rings true and cringe-worthy in this highly enjoyable story. Four stars.
Jocelyn, Teen Book Review:
Crimes of the Sarahs is a wonderful, funny book about friendship and finding yourself. Kristen Tracy is great at creating believable characters and relationships between them. This is a smart, fun book that readers will really enjoy. I could hardly put it down, and Iíll definitely be reading Kristenís first book, Lost It.
Crimes of the Sarahs, estrella estrella estrella estrella ½.
Crimes of the Sarahs was released in paperback in March 2008 by Simon Pulse.
Recommended for ages 14 and up, grades 9 and up.