Fake (Crossroads, #1) by Lori Saltis (Review by Katie – #NerdGirlKtLbLy)

Title: Fake (Crossroads, #1) 

Author: Lori Saltis 

Published Date: November 1st 2016

Genre: Fantasy


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Forced to be fake, they fight to get real.
Penny Sparrow is trapped in a lie. She’s a Strowler, a wanderer, forced to live as a Bleater, an ordinary person, for the sake of her family. Rebellion against her fake life leads to more misery as she’s bullied at school and suppressed at home. She makes an ally when she meets Lennon. This ragged street hustler is actually the heir of the Two Dragon Clan and the descendant of a powerful dragon. Murderous relatives have forced him into hiding. The two teens become friends, and perhaps something more, but will the laws of the Crossroads and the demands of a dragon tear them apart?

The World of the Crossroads
The Crossroads series chronicles a secret society of warriors, wanderers, beggars, and assassins. Opposing clans fight for supremacy, some with martial prowess and others with paranormal abilities. Penny is an outcast, shunned for her parents’ deeds. Lennon was born to rule, but murder and deceit put him on a quest for vengeance. Their enemies are powerful and the truth of what happened to their families could tear them apart. Meanwhile, a dragon with his own agenda watches over them all.

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***Katie – #NerdGirlKtLbLy’s Review***
Penny, her younger brother Kai, and her mother Birdie are Irish gypsies. They have lived on the road for quite a while but after both Penny’s and Kai’s fathers have passed away, Birdie gets married to a business man named Bill. Penny doesn’t want to live with Bill anymore. She wants her family to travel again and perform like they do at the clubs and bars. It’s bad enough for her that she’s treated awful at school and has horrible notes written about her and stuck to her locker, but Bill also dictates when they can and can’t go perform. Penny isn’t meant to live her life in a cage, she’s meant to travel the world, live in a car, and do street performances to make money.
Paul’s Chinese-American family is part of the Two Dragon Clan. His father is the true dragon heir, and Paul is training to learn all the special skills required to use when it’s his turn to be the leader. Their Elder is trying to push Paul into a leadership position that everyone knows he’s not yet ready for. After failing the required task, Paul overhears The Elder talking about wanting to overthrow his father. He tries to warn his family but learns that he, his mother, and his cousin are going to be leaving China and will be staying in San Francisco for a while, and his father will join them later. After arriving, Paul is suddenly confronted by betrayal from his family. He tries to tell everyone what happened, but they don’t believe him. He rebels and runs away to try to make it alone on the streets before they can get to him next and decides to call himself Lennon due to the disguise he ends up putting together.
Penny and Lennon’s lives intersect at just the right time. They are both going through some tough stuff and find that talking to one another really helps. There is a strong attraction between them and they make plans to meet up, only for more horrible things to go down.

I loved Penny’s story right from the very beginning. She’s a firecracker. She’s smart, strong, and may want to kick all the other kid’s asses, but she holds herself back for her mother’s sake. Paul’s story took a little longer for me to get into. Once his family got to San Francisco that’s where I started to enjoy it more and I couldn’t stop reading. He’s a teenager who’s never been out on his own before, has no idea where to go, has no real idea how to survive the streets, but knows that he can’t go home no matter what. I loved this story and read this so quickly. As soon as it was over, I knew I had to continue on with the series. I’m totally rooting for Penny and Lennon.


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