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Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil


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.

My thoughts

I’m actually surprised how much I enjoyed reading this book. I loved reading Gretchen McNeil’s previous books, but this was going to be different, especially with me not being into Contemporary anymore. Gretchen McNeil surprised me with this one though and I think if I had known what kind of story this was going to be before I started reading, I would have enjoyed it even more.

This story starts with your typical high school setting clichés galore. During the first few pages I actually thought this might be a book that I won’t even finish. Once I got behind the introduction of all the characters, which felt like ticking off a checklist of your typical YA cliché characters, and the murder happened, I suddenly realized what this reminded me of and I was hooked.

Reading Get Even made me feel nostalgic. It reminded me so much of these teen slasher movies like “Scream” and “I know what you did last summer” that I wanted to watch all these movies again right after I finished the book. I didn’t even mind the clichés anymore because those are part of these movies and without them it wouldn’t be the same. When you expect to be entertained like with those movies and don’t take it too seriously, Get Even makes a great read.

There were a few other things that bothered me a bit besides the clichés.
On the one hand I absolutely loved the whole revenge club idea. That people step in to do something about bullies is great and I loved that this book shows that this kind of revenge might not always be the best way to go about it. On the other hand I thought it was a bit over the top that it worked out so well. These girls randomly got together but combined they have the perfect skill set to do this. Some of the girl’s skill were a bit exaggerated in my opinion but just like the clichés, it didn’t bother me too much.
Another thing was that there are quite a few Star Wars references in here. I LOVE Star Wars and what I love even more is spotting references in books to other books and movies. The thing is, every single time a character quotes something from Star Wars, it’s explicitly mentioned that it is from Star Wars. Even after you learned that two of the characters quote it all the time. I get that it is done so that everyone get’s these quotes but it also takes away some of the fun of spotting these yourself.

Get Even might lack in some departments, but it’s a pretty good thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved reading about glues on who the killer might be, trying to find out who he is by myself. I tend to not like teen thrillers a lot, but Gretchen McNeil did a great job. If you enjoy watching teen slasher movies, definitely check it out. It’s worth the read.

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  • I’m not big one contemporary books myself, but this one does sound interesting. I’ll have to check it out. I’ve read some other YA who-done-it murder mysteries and enjoyed them nicely. So if this is in that vein, then I think I may like it.

    They really feel the need to repetitively tell you were the quotations were from? I thought that was the whole point of making allusions, to see if people get them or not. Like little easter eggs in books.

    • Right!? I love when I spot them in books and can be like “OH, I KNOW THAT QUOTE!” Isn’t fun at all when you’re told what they are from.

May 18, 2015