Sunday, June 23, 2013

Elegantly Wasted (New Adult): A Review and Teaser

Book Name: Elegantly Wasted
Book Genre: NA
Book release date: August 1, 2012 by Luna Station Press
Second print coming soon

On the eve of her high school graduation, proper socialite Francesca “Frankie” Fairholm rebelled against her elitist and controlling family to pursue the dark lifestyle of a contract killer for the enigmatic Osiris Corporation. Years later, with her training complete, she believes she's doomed to the life of a sociopathic lone gun until a botched hit brings two unlikely allies, her cousins Addison and Katharine. 

Using Katharine’s etiquette school, Elegance, Inc., as a front, the trio weave through Frankie’s dark underworld, carrying out contracts, drinking too much wine, and trying not to get each other killed. 

Trouble follows the team home when the death of the cruel Fairholm matriarch reveals more than they ever wanted to know about their family. As the funeral preparations play out, the trio begin to realize there is much more to their employer than meets the eye and their family connections run deeper than they ever imagined.

First and foremost, hurray for new adult contemporary that isn't formulaic as hell!! I love that Frankie doesn't go to college, get piss drunk in an effort to get over her tragically frat-ified high school virginity thief, fall in love with some dark, mysterious, brooding hunk, and get engaged before she earns her MRS degree. I think those are fun reads, don't get me wrong, but when I found out what New Adult "meant," I imagined something beyond American Pie Presents: Beta House. Vescio blows that out of the water--both literally and figuratively. 

She also accomplishes the not-so-easy task of making a female serial killer a heroine. And a likable one at that. Frankie is just authentic enough for me to suspend my disbelief that a sheltered chick right out of high school could be trained as a contract killer. She's flawed and tangible and funny as hell. And despite the fact that she spends the majority of the book doing VERY bad things, I found myself rooting for her. 

I felt at times like the pace and structure could have been better executed, but I think that's because Vescio works very hard to avoid infodumping and backstory in a tale that needs a lot of background to be told well. She accomplished this through the use of a lot of flashbacks, which for me got a little confusing at first. This sequencing boggle cleared itself up well before the end, however, and once I got to the heart of the story I couldn't put it down. 

The love story is definitely not the focus in Elegantly Wasted, though there are some romantical elements to girlie-sigh over. (Can contract killers girlie-sigh? Hmm...) I, personally, wanted more Spark, and from the teaser for Book 2 at the back, it looks like we'll be seeing more of him in the sequel coming this fall so yay! 

The only other factor I struggled with was a feeling at times that I was drowning in pop culture references, though I suspect that's just as much me as it is the book. I haven't had cable since college (and we won't talk about how long ago that was now) and I'd never heard a Justin Bieber song until 2011 (I worked hard at that .) So I felt like I was on the outside of some inside jokes at times, but not too often. 

Short story long, pick this one up. Here's a teaser to get you started. Frankie, our unlikely heroine, is about to finish her first series of training with her contract killer sensei, Judah. Her last task is no biggie: she's got to kill someone for the first time. 


I swallowed hard and brushed my wet hair from my face. 

Judah watched my every move as I reached down and freed the knife from my purse. With shaky hands I walked over to the unconscious man and knelt down close to him.

"Breathe," Judah reminded me. "Follow through."

One. Two. Three. I felt my arms rise as if I had no control over them. Time seemed to slow down, as did the falling rain. I could hear the sounds of a distant city, smell the wet cobblestone mixed with the street garbage that was discarded in the alley. I took a short breath. 

I aimed for his heart. 

You can buy Elegantly Wasted now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and add it to your TBR list on Goodreads!

And be sure to come back on July 9th for the cover reveal for Book 2: Uncontrollably Wasted!


  1. Hi Dannie!

    Thank you so much for having the Lovely and Lethal blog tour and for such a thorough review of the book! You are amazing. Oh, and I love the quote that you chose from the book! That is such a great one! :)

  2. You rock, Dannie! THANK you for the amazing review! The line "hurray for new adult contemporary that isn't formulaic as hell!" made my whole day haha

  3. Also, have I mentioned that I love your review!! The best part, "First and foremost, hurray for new adult contemporary that isn't formulaic as hell!" Hehehe. Totally agree. It was like a breath of fresh air!

  4. Everything I said is true! I can't wait to read what happens next! :)