Dynamic Duo! – Grade A Stupid & No Brainer by A.J. Lape

Synopsis:

Fifteen years ago, Darcy Walker’s parents thought it was a good idea to give her a unique name: Darcy, meaning “dark walker.” Whether that was a stroke of genius or stroke of stupid, they definitely nailed the irony. She lacks direction, her grades stink despite a high IQ, she’s boringly average–although flirting admirers claim otherwise–and God help her, she’s infatuated with a bad-boy.

A bad-boy that her hottie best friend, Dylan, wishes would get acquainted with his fist.

And, oh yeah, there’s that tattoo that was a royally stupid idea.

With her life spiraling out of control, everything changes when she skips class and finds a dead body…in fact, it gets worse. It jump starts Darcy’s inner-verb, and her brain hardwired for action gets caught up in a situation she can’t let go.

Set in the fictional Cincinnati town of Valley, Ohio, Darcy falls into a world of threats, violence, and gangland exploits chasing down every clue to finger the murderer. When a fellow misfit is fingered for the crime, Darcy goes from zero-to-sixty trying to clear his name–constructing aliases, breaking the law, everything that makes perfect sense to her but reeks of Grade A Stupid to everyone else.

Trouble is…will she live to see 16?

**Contains no sex, drugs, or explicit language. Some violence.

Review:

Darcy Walker is a 15 year old girl who is anything but the typical teenager.  Yes, she likes boys and music and hates school, but she tends to want to do more than just sit idle.  She wants to live life and have adventures, no matter how stupid or dangerous they are. Trouble always seems to find her even if she is not looking for it.

She lives with her father Murphy and her little sister, Marjorie.  Murphy is a reformed fastard, Darcyspeak for a guy who likes to love them and leave them.  Marjorie loves to be nude and/or run around in her underwear.  Darcy’s best friend is Dylan Taylor, a good looking, smooth talking, flirtatious guy she has known and loved since she was 6.  Their relationship is complicated and they act more like boyfriend & girlfriend at times than best friends.  It is a source of confusion for Darcy.

In Grade A Stupid, Darcy happens upon a mutilated body in a dumpster near school, while ditching class.  She decides that she must know who killed this man and why.  She suspects some hoodlums that attend her school, but she needs proof.  To get that proof, she’s not above impersonating people to get police reports, conducting stakeouts and even communicating what she knows to one of the suspects himself – someone that calls her cell phone at all hours of the day & night with a Darth Vader-like voice disguiser.  Even though she is afraid, she can’t see an innocent person arrested for something that he did not do. She just has to prove it to everyone else.

I love Darcy Walker!! I love her gumption, her chutzpah, her nerve, her outlook on like and her Darcyspeak.  This book made me laugh out loud so many times while I was reading it that I lost count.  I was completely engrossed in this book and found myself wanting to yell at Darcy during her antics like you would at a movie.  She is a very smart kid and she tends to act more like an adult than a teenager, but she doesn’t always use that smarts or maturity wisely.  I really, really loved this book and was talking about it constantly to friends and family.  I would love to see Darcy Walker on the big screen. I think it could be a HUGE hit.  This book does not have sex in it, does not have many curse words and is just a great all around read.  I highly, highly, highly recommend this book to everyone.

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FINALNoBrainerCover

Synopsis:

Two weeks before junior year, Darcy hops a plane to Orlando for a little R&R with her best friend Dylan and his family. Fresh off the heels of solving three murders in Valley, you’d think she’d sit back and enjoy the vacation capital of the world … maybe if you’re a noun. Darcy Walker, however, is nothing but verb.

Before her feet hit the Orlando soil, she’s meddling in the disappearance of a five-year-old boy who vanished six months earlier.

With authorities still no closer to solving the case, Darcy is shanghaied by her impulsivity and runs headlong into that proverbial burning building, convinced she can bring him home.

She travels down a road that not only follows this missing child but branches off into the corrupt and sinister world of mob activity when she tampers in a case on which Dylan’s detective grandfather is working.

After a near disastrous midnight meeting in a warehouse and a date with a mechanical bull, Darcy realizes she might’ve bitten off more than she can chew. Add the boiling flirtationship with her best friend and the appearance of his romantic rival, and she is in over her head.

Will she survive a life of flirting with death too easily? Or will her flirtationship with Dylan become the actual death of her instead?

For a girl with a habit of finding dead bodies, No Brainer gives Darcy Walker more of the same…surprising twists and turns…and running for her life.

Review:

No Brainer pretty much picks up right where Grade A Stupid left off.  Darcy Walker completes school and is going on vacation with Dylan Taylor and his family to Orlando.  She does some research on the happenings of Orlando and sees an article about a 5 year old boy named Cisco Medina that has gone missing. Cisco has been missing for about 4 months and there have been no leads.  Darcy decides that she is going to find Cisco while she is in Florida.  She has 2 weeks to do it and she can’t let the Taylors know what she’s doing.

She’s back at the hijinx of impersonating people, breaking and entering, consorting with suspicious people, etc.  To make matters worse, Dylan’s grandfather is a police officer and is working on a case that involves the mob.  While she is trying to help him with his case, she is secretly trying to get his help with hers.  There is no shortage of Darcy getting into trouble with the Taylors and the Federal government (after breaking into the FBI database).  She also has unwanted attention from the Taylors neighbor’s son, Kyd Knoblecker (soft k).  Then, there’s Dylan’s weird behavior that makes her question his feelings for her as well as her feelings for  him.  Life is so complicated.

If you’ve read Grade A Stupid, then I don’t have to tell you that No Brainer is an awesome  book as well.  I was still laughing out loud and shaking my head at the dumb things that Darcy would do.  I can not stress to everyone enough that these books are so worth the read.  A.J. Lape has a lifelong stalker now and I will be anxiously, albeit impatiently, awaiting the next Darcy Walker book!

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