Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-Olivia Twist was born an orphan. At the doctor's behest, she was raised as a boy and lived her life on the street disguised as such under the tutelage of Jack, the Artful Dodger, who was none the wiser of his mate Ollie's true identity. Now, at 18 years old, Olivia Brownlow has taken the name of her adoptive uncle, whom she met in a heist gone awry. Leaving her past behind, except for a gang of street-dwelling orphans whom she aids, Olivia takes a spot in London's high society and is on the brink of engagement to the rich bachelor Max Grimwig. However, when she meets Jack MacCarron, who is none other than her childhood mentor-the Artful Dodger-with his own new name and benefactor, Olivia's plan to marry well is derailed and their shared past proves irresistible to both of them. Yet when Olivia's orphans are threatened by a turf war with the nefarious Monks, she feels cornered into the only means available to save them. With many twists and turns, some less-than-plausible and many slightly too-tidy, Langdon of "Doon" series fame serves up a delightful, action-packed historical tale. Perhaps most enjoyable for those familiar with Oliver Twist in its original literature and Broadway musical forms, this title is nonetheless a compelling, gender-flipped romp through Dickensian London. VERDICT An additional purchase where historical fiction or romance are popular.-Brittany Drehobl, Morton Grove Public Library, IL © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Vivacious and lovely, 18-year-old Olivia Brownlow is a highly eligible young woman in London's 1859 society. Before her long-lost uncle took her in, she grew up disguised as a boy named Oliver, who became a street rat in a gang run by the Artful Dodger. Olivia can't forget her origins, and while snooping around during a formal dinner, she comes upon another sneak the eye-catching gentleman named Jack MacCarron, who was also about to lift jewels from their owners. Olivia recognizes Jack as the Artful Dodger but keeps her identity from him. Though it's love at first sight, the two wrestle with their unsuitable affection and unsavory pasts. Toss in Olivia's impending engagement to a friend for whom she feels only platonic love, and a powder keg of a romantic triangle develops. The story's breathlessly paced, quick-witted adventures offer more twists than a Shakespearean comedy of errors, as assumptions, secrets, etiquette, competition, and sexual tension create one ridiculous situation after another. Written in language tailored to the setting, the occasional modern turns of phrases feel as if one's corset briefly has been relaxed. This clever retelling of Dickens' Oliver Twist is perfect for readers who love romance, adventure, historical settings, and heroines who can kick butt in formal gowns.--Fredriksen, Jeanne Copyright 2017 Booklist