Get Even

By Gretchen McNeil

Source: Received from the publisher at BEA

Series: Don’t Get Mad #1

Received from the publisher at BEA, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: September 16, 2014

Published by Balzer & Bray

My Rating: three-half-stars

Get Even

Cover image and summary from Goodreads:

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process.

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

I was very excited to read this book. I’m a big Pretty Little Liars fan, and this sounded like a similar read: murdery, mystery, secrets, revenge. Yes please!

The story was really fun, and intriguing. I love trying to solve the mystery in a book like this. Gretchen McNeil knows how to tell a story: she had me on the edge of my seat, reading as quickly as I could!

However, I never felt as though I knew the characters or that they had distinct personalities. I couldn’t help but compare the book to the PLL series and characters, and after so many books, I feel as though I know the PLL girls so well, whereas in Get Even, although I learned things about each girl’s life, I didn’t feel that I knew the girls as people. I was intrigued by their home lives and families and definitely want to know more. That’s where I’m glad this is a series, because I hope with time, I’ll get that feeling of connection to Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot, and will be invested in their stories and what happens to them.

There were a couple of things that bothered me. One was that Kitty’s relationship seemed to move really quickly, in the sense of having one kiss/date and then suddenly being a couple. It almost seemed too easy, which has me worried that things will take a turn for the worse in the next book! The other thing – and this really got to me – was that I wanted to know more about DGM’s formation. I felt that the reader got a brief backstory as to how and why the group formed, and that was all. It seems to me like a lot more time should have been spent detailing that background information, because it’s so important. Also, the girls are not friends and so I was so curious about their dynamic and how they could all have agreed to trust each other and work together as DGM. Again, I’m really hoping for more on that in the next book.

Spoiler: The killer’s identity was not revealed at the end of this book. I realize that might upset some people, but I went into this knowing it was a series, and with the PLL comparison on the back of the ARC, I certainly wasn’t expecting that information to be revealed. I think keeping the mystery going is fun, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading book two! End of spoiler.

If you’re a fan of stories about mystery and revenge, and especially if you’re a fan of the Pretty Little Liars series, I recommend reading Get Even!

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