Tuesday, June 3, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: 100 Proof Stud by A. J. Lapes



Sometimes life smacks you right in the kisser with a whole lot of ohhhh craaaaap.

Just ask Darcy Walker.

100 Proof Stud picks up four months after No Brainer’s cliffhanger ending, and Darcy discovers the aftermath pales in comparison to the crisis her heart is in. All of a sudden it’s raining men, and this teenage heroine’s personal life turns her inside out.

Before she can sort out her feelings, she chases a spray-painting vandal and stumbles upon a case of identity theft right in her own backyard. Darcy jumps into the fray headfirst to prove she can hang with the big boys. But it’s not just to hang…nope, she’s chasing reward money. Tapping her band of misfit brothers for help, she turns Valley upside down trying to unearth the criminals. Problem is, the cloak and dagger goes high-octane, and she raises the bar on “crazy” in the process. Bullets ring out…dead bodies appear…and Darcy rubs shoulders with the ultimate sociopath. In the midst of murder and mayhem, will she finally follow her heart or build a fortress of lies around it? Will she even get the chance?


Reading "100 Proof Stud" is like having a fear of heights and getting in the roller-coaster car anyway.  It's a white-knuckle, half terrifying/half thrilling ride.  Once your hair settles back onto your head and you realize you are at a full stop, still breathing and heart still beating, a hint of a smile appears on your lips.  You might need help to a nearby bench until your knees work properly again, but eventually you will say "Let's do it again."

Frankly, "100 Proof Stud" is probably not the kind of book I would normally have chosen to read.  I'm *ahem* middle-aged and don't have much patience for the antics and attitudes of some young adults.  But they say 'with age comes wisdom' and I've learned that I'm not always right in my first impressions.  Go figure.  "Stud" is definitely quirky.  But if I would have passed it by because of that, it would have been my loss.  I will be reading all of Darcy's other adventures at some point.

Darcy Walker, the 16-year old main character, also serves as narrator.  Reading about her antics and adventures is sometimes like reading a whole other language - but let's face it, she's a teenager.  If we are not experiencing those days for ourselves at the moment, we probably remember them.  A young adult of that age is not necessarily the most logical animal in the zoo.  Who else would buy a book on the migratory patterns of the cuckoo to get the free hot dog that comes with it?

In the space of a few months, Darcy is injured in two separate vehicle 'incidents'.  They have to be called that because in the first one, the car in which she was riding was intentionally struck.  In the second occurrence she absent-mindedly steps out in front of a car.  Of course, the first time she may have been a target, and the driver of the (other) vehicle was intentionally trying to harm her.  In the second, the driver of the vehicle was a handsome young man, and she worries at least as much about her awkwardness as her injuries.

Darcy is just plain crazy ... the good kind.  She gets in over her head at least a couple of times a day.  Some of those over-the-heads are harder to come back from than others.  But she's also the kind of crazy that hides her boss's keys so he'll have to sleep in the store and not try to drive home drunk.  The world needs more of that kind of crazy, so I guess we need more Darcy.  Luckily, I don't think we have long to wait.



A. J. Lape’s Darcy Walker Series broke into the Top 50 books in Teens Literature & Fiction within 36 hours of its release. It has spent numerous weeks in the Top 100 in Mystery Series and Teens, Mysteries & Thrillers Categories as well as being one of the Top Rated in its genre. A self-proclaimed neurotic and troublemaker at heart, a perfect day for A. J. consists of writing, watching her kids play sports, drinking Coke, then lounging in her pajamas by 8PM.

She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two feministic daughters, an ADD dog, a spoiled hamster, and an unapologetic and unrepentant addiction to Coca-Cola, with a lifelong love affair with bacon.  She studied English, Journalism, and Political Science at Morehead State University and left the business world when her daughters were born.  Her love for suspense and a good story was born from watching Mystery Science Theater with her sister during childhood.  That and any B movie with comedic undertones they could get their hands on.

When she’s not riding that razor-thin line between creativity and insanity, she  likes to read, watch too much cable TV, or cheer like a banshee at her daughters’ sporting events. She’s a huge hometown sports fan and loves to watch the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds whenever she can.

A. J. loves to connect with fans!  If you would like to receive emails of upcoming releases, please sign up for her distribution list by visiting her homepage at http://www.ajlape.com and clicking the “contact” tab.


(Disclaimer:  I received an e-copy of this book from the author and publisher via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was offered, requested or received.)


  1. From the cover to the description, I can feel that the spirit of the novel and No Brainer is "spunky." I love spunky!

    1. That's good to know Stephanie. This is my first Lapes book, but it won't be my last.

  2. Replies
    1. You're welcome, A.J. Looking forward to my next read from you!