by Hannah Capin
Published by Wednesday Books
Release Date: February 18, 2020
Genres: Suspense, Thriller, YA
Format Read: ARC
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Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.
They picked the wrong girl.
Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.
Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’m going into this review feeling very conflicted about this book. Based on the synopsis, I was hooked. I The only thing I might love more than a good retelling is a revenge plot. Seems like a recipe for success. But this didn’t quite hit the mark for me. ALSO: SUPER TRIGGER WARNINGS ! the author has a great page that details all of the content that may be a trigger to readers, and it can be found HERE. I think this page is a great resource and should be viewed by everyone prior to reading this book or reviews. (I would love to see this from more authors!) Okay, just wanted to make that very clear from the start.
The way this book is written was hard for me to get past at first, and typically I don’t have an issue with POV’s, prose, or writing styles, but this one was odd for me. Once I was past that and was comfortable with it, I realized VERY quickly that to get through this book I would have to completely suspend my disbelief and try to just accept things, no matter how COMPLETELY UNBELIEVABLE they are. They become so far reaching that it gets TOUGH.
This book is dark, surreal, over the top, sardonic, and violent. It’s easy to say all of that, but it’s hard to express other things that kept me reading, like the strong bonds of female friendships that do shine through. It’s harder to describe the feelings one doesn’t want to admit they have. The author uses so many beautiful words to describe the pain and fear and sometimes it felt like she was describing emotions I didn’t even have a name for, but I could feel what the words were meant to convey.
The other thing that kept me reading was the fact that the content (rape, abuse, suicide, ect…) is all a very real part of our lives, especially for teens, whether in private or in social settings. That left me with the need to see how the story played out and how the author planned to wrap up all of the crazy things that happened. And I did like how it all ended, the ending was good!
This book does have a place in our world right now due to rape culture and the need to not feel like a victim. But at the same time, I wouldn’t want anyone taking away any ideas from this book on how to deal with that kind of trauma. On the other hand, I could see how this book might also get sympathizers who may have been through some of these experiences, and for some people, reading about things we have been through is cathartic and makes you feel not so alone. I am torn on this book, but I think it will be loved by many and hated by just as many, as anything with such controversial and sensitive topics does. But the author did not shy away from her words and goals, and I have respect for that.