Review: South Hills Sidekicks: Confiscated by Leah Spiegel and Meg Summers

South Hills Sidekicks: Confiscated (Book 2)South Hills Sidekicks:  Confiscated by Leah Spiegel and Meg Summers

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 1, 2012)

Investigating is not really Alley’s thing; however it is her best friend Val’s. So when Alley gets an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night from Val explaining that another one of her crazy plans has backfired, Alley springs to action to save her best friend once again. Alley doesn’t understand Val’s fascination with trying to figure out who the next student popping pills is until someone starts a rumor that it was Alley who had been snooping around for details. In a twist Alley never saw coming, she suddenly faces consequences for whoever started the treacherous lie, and this time the possible suspect is out for blood. With the help of her other sidekicks, they discover who is really calling all the shots and to their horror they realize who has really been taking the drugs.

My Review:  Confiscated is book 2 in the South Hills Sidekicks trilogy and leaves off perfectly where book 1, Uninvited left off.  Once again we are treated to the craziness of this awesome group of friends consisting of Val, Alley, Libby and Kayla.  This time, the girls get sucked into investigating suspected drug dealings within the school – as well as outside of the school.  Things become a bit more dangerous in this installment, however there are still tons of laughs and that sizzling chemistry between Shane and Alley steams from the pages!

In Confiscated, Shane has his hands full and nearly overflowing with dealing with these 4 girls – particularly Val.  The things that she gets them into will leave you shaking your head.  It is the relationship between Shane and Alley, however, that will have you flying through pages, hand-over-your-heart, aching for more.  Yes, this is YA and no there are no actual sex scenes of any sort, however the tension created between these two is even better than a sex scene in my opinion!  The way they constantly bounce off one another and get under one another’s skin in every way is fabulous and just pure FUN!

With an excellent combination of romance, suspense, humor and fun, Confiscated is definitely one YA book that I highly recommend!  I love this series – and do want to mention that even though it is part of a series, each could easily be read as a stand-alone.  There is enough background info tidbits thrown in throughout the stories so that a new reader would not be left scratching their head and feeling lost.  As with the first, once I finished this, I was left dying for more and dived right in to book 3!!

Excerpt:

I had woken up to a bleak morning which was typical for the surrounding area of the Burgh, Pittsburgh that is. I spent my first hour running my brindle-colored, eight-month-old boxer, Buddy, or more to the point, he ran me. Though we ran every morning, it seemed liked I could never shed a pound off my 5’2” frame no matter how much I tried. It may have something to do with the Pop-Tarts which I just restocked all by myself from a grocery trip to the nearest Giant Eagle because my dad got paged by Mercy Hospital once again.

I can honestly say I’ve never tried to look my ‘Sunday best’ or ‘stop-him-dead-in-his-tracks’ before when getting ready for school, but today was a different day I reminded myself. Tossing my Old Navy faded jeans and navy blue scarf to the side, I scanned my closet looking for something that complemented my dark, layered hair and blue eyes with specks of gray in them.

I glanced down hesitantly at all of the embellished glittery Jimmy Choos and Christian Louboutin platforms that my best friend Val bought for me in the hopes that I’d finally cave and wear them one day.

“It can’t be that bad, right?” I shrugged at Buddy before leaning down to grab a Tiffany-blue-colored pair. I slid them on one at a time while bracing the nearest wall for support. After a short trial walk where I tripped all over my room, Buddy made a quick exit for the door in what I could only assume was his way of giving me a response.

With some difficulty I tugged a black form-fitted dress, which Val had also given me, down over my hips. The dress probably cost more than what I had saved in my entire college fund because I was kind of like Val’s Goodwill. I got everything that was so ‘yesterday.’

Blowing my hair out of my face, I examined myself in my closet mirror. Just when I went to turn to look at the dress from the side, my ankle gave out in the sky-high heels and I quickly grabbed onto the door for support.

Oh god, what was I doing? No wonder Val was always falling down. Maybe she wasn’t a klutz after all. Maybe it was just because she was wearing these killer heels all the time. I carefully slipped off the shoes before I actually did get hurt and took them with me down the stairs.

I kissed Buddy goodbye on the head and he let out a whine like he did every day, begging me not to go just this one time. When I picked up a nearby tennis ball, his eyes widened and his ears perked up like, what an excellent idea, I love to play ball! I threw the ball down the hallway to his immense pleasure but didn’t have the heart to look back as I quickly grabbed my pale blue North Face backpack with my high heels in hand and left.

Once outside, I glanced up at the gloomy clouds which hovered over the skyline and blocked out enough sunlight to make it literally look like the sun had already set when the day had only just begun. I headed down the stairs to my secondhand hunter green Jeep Wrangler. My dad had bought it for me on the promise that I would keep up with the insurance payments, which fortunately for me were low enough that I could take the money I made from cleaning my grandpa’s steel fabrication office twice a month to pay for it.

I glanced up at the clouds again while wondering if I should grab an umbrella. I had heard a weatherman on WTAE Pittsburgh Channel Four once say that the nearly constant cover of clouds had something to do with lake effect conditions coming off Lake Erie.

I’ve never even been to the lake since it’s a good two hours away which contributed to my skin being pale and sallow compared to all the socialites at school who fake baked. I could literally pick out the few who didn’t tan among the rest of the student body; myself included. No one said no to the wealthy students of Upper East High, not even the weather.

I don’t know why it bothered me. It never seemed to matter before. But today was different, I reminded myself as I took another hesitant look at my arms where I had rubbed in a layer of Jergen’s tanning lotion. I’m not so sure ‘tan’ was the word I would use to describe my skin, but the girls of Jersey Shore would be so proud that I was trying.

As I waited in bumper to bumper traffic on Route 19, I fluffed my hair and puckered my lips in the vanity mirror behind the sun visor before slapping it shut when traffic finally picked up again. Anyone who knew me would think I must have bumped my head. But the truth was, it was the first time someone at school mattered, even if he wasn’t allowed to like me back.

As Upper East High came into view, I thought about how the school had always reminded me of the other outpatient hospitals and doctors’ offices nearby, with its three-story-high windows and matching boxed structure. Though the parking lot reminded me more of a BMW dealership with all of the shiny Beamers in it.

After parking, I propped open the jeep door and proceeded to put on each baby-blue-colored platform high heel. I felt like I was walking on stilts the entire way into school. It’s worth it, I reminded myself as I staggered along.

When I finally entered the school, I didn’t see Kayla or Libby anywhere. I was kind of hoping I would get their seal of approval before the ‘big reveal,’ but I couldn’t find Val’s friends anywhere. In fact, I couldn’t even find Val.

Checking with the clock on the wall, I swore under my breath since my little trek across the parking lot took a whole five minutes. I was going to be late for my first mod if I didn’t hurry; something I literally could not do.

After another long five minutes, I stopped outside my chemistry class and took a deep breath to collect myself. I flattened out my form-fitted black dress and thought, here goes nothing. Rounding the door, I entered the room, just thankful that Mrs. Cotter hadn’t started class yet. Everyone was still talking amongst themselves as I made my way toward the back.

I felt my pulse quicken when my eyes zeroed in on Shane Regacki: the undercover narc on the scene who occasionally liked to flirt with me. When Shane had first arrived at school as a ‘friend’ of Kirsten and then she suddenly disappeared, my best friend Val suspected Shane who was last seen talking to Kirsten that day and then followed us around in his Trailblazer that night.

The police obviously didn’t take us seriously when we confessed to them what we knew about Shane. But that didn’t stop Val from starting her own investigation and following him around until eventually we found ourselves stuck in his attic, a minor setback, and he finally told us what he was really doing at the school.

Shane looked bored out of his mind as he glared down at the table with his taunt arms crossed over his chest in front of him. Val looked like she was drilling him for any details she could get on his new case now that he was back at the school. Val didn’t look like the type of girl who would care about a drug case. She looked more like the kind of girl you’d see at a rich resort sipping fruity drinks or getting a massage at the spa with her model-like physique, poker straight blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. She was dressed in something probably straight off the runways, which looked more like a knitted wire of mesh to anyone else who didn’t know better.

She was the reason everyone else took me seriously at the school. We had been best friends for so long that everyone knew that if you wanted to include Val, you also had to include me. And with Val being Homecoming Queen that meant I was included a lot. Not that I wanted to be, but it wasn’t like anyone had ever asked me in the first place. I was just about to clear my throat when Val did a double take in my direction and suddenly went silent. Her glossy lips formed a perfect circle as her blue eyes widened in surprise.

My heart gave a little leap when Shane’s brown eyes lifted to rest on me. This was it. The whole reason I got dressed up in the first place. Shane Regacki, the undercover narc, was back at the school. He dropped his mouth in surprise, and I thought, oh yeah. That was until he finally uttered the words, “Jesus, Alley, what the hell are you wearing?”

“Karl Lagerfeld,” Val boasted as I stood there blinking in a delayed reaction.

“Whoever she said.” I sighed and took my seat on the other side of him, feeling completely defeated.

“You look hot,” Val emphasized.

“Well, I’m glad someone thinks so,” I mumbled to myself.

“Where’s your jeans?” Shane’s eyebrows pulled together with the question.

“In my closet,” I droned. “And you call yourself a detective.” I whispered only loud enough for him to hear, earning me another bewildered expression.

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