Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely
About: Meet Pity Jones. Actually, her name is Serendipity but everyone calls her Pity. She lives in an America that has been torn apart by a Second Civil War and ravaged by some type of biological weapons. But life is slowly becoming more civilized. And the commune where Pity lives has a definite Wild West flair to it. Before she died, Pity’s mother taught her how to shoot her custom made revolvers – and Pity is a natural. But her tyrannical, abusive father refuses to let Pity do much of anything besides cook and clean. That’s why Pity is plotting to run away with her best friend, Finn, as soon as she turns 17.
When her father announces that he’s selling her to be a breeder to a mining commune, Finn and Pity flee their homes and head east to the big city. But things don’t go as planned, and Pity instead finds herself traveling west to Cessation – a city known for its decadence and lawlessness. Pity is hired to perform as a sharp shooter in the Theatre Vespertine which is similar to Cirque de Soleil only much more sinister. It’s one of the main attractions at Casimir, an oasis of many pleasures where no one is quite what they seem to be. Pity struggles to make sense of everything in her new life while trying to figure who she can trust and who might be out to kill her.
Roben says: The pace may seem a bit slow at first but it picks up speed once Pity arrives in Cessation and begins her sharp-shooter career to pay off her debt to Miss Selene. There’s a bit of everything in this book – a sizzling romance between Pity and the elusive Max; the mystery of who can be trusted and who can’t; and Pity’s struggle with getting beyond her guilt and her fear that her father is going to track her down. Casimir is a bit of a futuristic Las Vegas – there’s gambling, drugs, alcohol, and prostitution. And, being the Wild West, there’s no end to shootouts and ambushes. Nothing’s super explicit – except the violence. You want to make sure you don’t cross the wrong people – it’s just hard to figure out who those people are! The book ends with the possibility of a sequel so we may see more of Pity (and Max?) in the future!