When a book is promising to be The Breakfast Club meets Breaking Bad, it sets a pretty high bar. I don’t think that is the perfect description, but it isn’t too far from the mark, either. The story centers around a strange alliance formed when four very different individuals unwittingly find themselves involved in more crimes than they can imagine. It’s a bit of a wild ride, but I enjoyed it. Four stars.
“The Breakfast Club” gets a modern, high-stakes reboot in this story of four very different teens and a night that changes them forever.
The Rebel: Once popular, Andi is now a dreadlocked, tattooed wild child.
The Bully: York torments everyone who crosses his path, especially his younger brother.
The Geek: Tired of being bullied, Boston is obsessed with getting into an Ivy League college.
The Pariah: Choosing to be invisible has always worked for Sam . . . until tonight.
When Andi, York, Boston, and Sam find themselves hiding in the woods after a party gets busted by the cops, they hop into the nearest car they see and take off—the first decision of many in a night that will change their lives forever. By the light of day, these four would never be caught dead together, but when their getaway takes a dangerously unpredictable turn, sticking together could be the only way to survive.
With cinematic storytelling and compelling emotional depth, critically acclaimed author Erin Jade Lange takes readers on literary thrill ride.
I think the charm of seeing these socially diverse characters finding connections is a big selling point for this book. They are awful to each other and kind to each other and find comfort in learning that they all aren’t as alone in their isolation and private pain as they believed. The relationship dynamic is a bit predictable, but at the same time readers struggle to decide which characters are trustworthy. The plot moves quickly and, though it has quite a bit of action, there is care taken to develop characters and relationships. I did feel the relationships were a bit superficial, and I wasn’t convinced that they would stand the test of time, but, Hey, if they survive this experience, the bond might just hold. I think some readers will think there is just the right amount of emotional depth in this book, but more discerning critics will point out that this really lacks the emotional impact of The Breakfast Club. What this story maybe lacks in meaningful depth, it makes up for in style. I particularly liked the way the story incorporated a fluid use of present and past to add insight at key moments and to increase suspense throughout. Overall, I enjoyed this quick and fast paced read, and I think my high school students will as well. I think it would be a great book for reluctant readers, and it is going on my classroom library wish list. Language and situations are most appropriate for high school readers.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.