Author: Gretchen McNeil
Genre: Young Adult | Mystery
Series: Don’t Get Mad
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Read: June 02, 2014
ARC provided by the Publisher via Edelweiss
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Follows the secretive exploits of four high school juniors – Kitty, Olivia, Margot and Bree – at an exclusive Catholic prep school.
To all outward appearances, the girls barely know each other. At best, they don’t move in the same social circles; at worst, they’re overtly hostile.
Margot Mejia – academically ranked number two in her class, Margot is a focused overachiever bound for the Ivy League.
Kitty Wei – captain of the California state and national champion varsity girls’ volleyball team, she’s been recruited by a dozen colleges and has dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal.
Olivia Hayes – popular star of the drama program, she’s been voted “most eligible bachelorette” two years running in the high school yearbook and has an almost lethal combination of beauty and charm.
Bree Deringer – outcast, misfit and the kind of girl you don’t want to meet in a dark alley, the stop sign red-haired punk is a constant thorn in the side of teachers and school administrators alike.
Different goals, different friends, different lives, but the girls share a secret no one would ever guess. They are members of Don’t Get Mad, a society specializing in seeking revenge for fellow students who have been silently victimized by their peers. Each girl has her own reason for joining the group, her own set of demons to assuage by evening the score for someone else. And though school administration is desperate to find out who is behind the DGM “events”, the girls have managed to keep their secret well hidden.
That is until one of their targets – a douchebag senior who took advantage of a drunk underclassman during a house party, videotaped it on his phone, and posted it on YouTube – turns up dead, and DGM is implicated in the murder.
Now the girls don’t know who to trust, and as their tenuous alliance begins to crumble, the secrets they’ve hidden for so long might be their ultimate undoing.
This is the third book I have read written by Gretchen McNeil. Ten which I loved so much. 3:59 which I thought in general was nice, but I didn’t like that much (I’m not a sci-fi gal.) And now this one. I guess it fell somewhere in the middle because there were some parts I really liked about this book, while at times, not so much.
I liked how the story started, with four girls who wanted to stand up for their schoolmates that being unfairly treated. It was amazing what they could do to get even with the bullies and I wish there were more scenes where they took justice in their own hands.
The ending, albeit touching and sweet, was a bit of a letdown, for it left too many unanswered questions. Beware the cliffhanger!
The story was told from 4 POVs – Kitty, Olivia, Bree and Margot. I liked that all four of them had different personalities made this book interesting. Unfortunately, I can’t say any of them stood out. As much as I liked these girls, they seemed forgettable.
Aside from these main characters, there were so many other characters in this book. It was so hard, especially at first, to keep track with all the names. I had to take notes so that I wouldn’t confuse one character with another. There were Rex, John, Ed, Shane, Donté, Christopher, Amber, Peanut, Jazebel, Tyler, Mika, Theo… Some characters had active roles in the story, while some were just there or being mentioned. I still don’t think it was that necessary to smother the readers with so many characters.
For those who have read Pretty Little Liars series and Burn for Burn series will find this book a little disappointing. Because the resemblances were too obvious to ignore, it is easy to just say this book was lack of originality.
The mystery alone wasn’t what I had expected, especially with that ending. It wasn’t so bad, though it felt like it should have been so much better. I think it was because there were so many characters that by the end of the book, it felt like I didn’t get the whole story, just a glimpse of their lives and what they were going through.
Normally I would say the pace was too slow, but with these many characters, I was kind of glad that it wasn’t any faster. With this pace, it was not too much of a struggle to keep up with story.
Overall I think it was a nice and interesting book, though not that original. To some extent, I enjoyed the mystery. It wasn’t as suspenseful as I hope, but it wasn’t too shabby either.
I’m not going to say the ending makes me looking forward to the sequel. However, I do want to know what is going to happen next. I hope by then I still remember who is who.
Those who like mystery with some rehearings to build up the suspense might enjoy reading this book would probably enjoy reading this book. There weren’t as many misleading clues as in Pretty Little Liars, so it didn’t make this book very frustrating.