Monday, February 15, 2016

ARC Review: Rebel Bully Geek Pariah by Erin Jade Lange

Title: Rebel Bully Geek Pariah
Written by: Erin Jade Lange
Published: February 16, 2016 by Bloomsbury
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: "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 received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

You know those expectations vs. reality posts that you see around the internet? Every once and while you read a book that exemplifies that. It's always nice when a book is nothing like what you expect it to be and then it turns out to be much more of your kind of read. That is what happened with Rebel Bully Geek Pariah.

Lately I have been wanting to try more contemporary reads, and this seemed like one that I would like so I decided to give it a try. I went into it thinking it was going to be about unlikely friendships and relationships created through a shared struggle but it wasn't really that at all. Yes, there were elements of that with the characters (more on them later) having to work together but that wasn't the focus of the plot. I'm not really sure if this is a case of the synopsis being misleading or the book being much more unique than I thought. But I know one thing for sure, the comparison to The Breakfast Club was a loose comparison at best. It gave me a very particular impression and that's not the book I found. And yes, that was a part of this story but really only a very minor part.

The actual plot of this book was more of a mystery or thriller. Imagine my surprise when the book took that turn of events. After things go from bad to worse for the main character she goes on the lam and had to escape from people who are up to no good with those unlikely companions in tow. It had much more of a I Know What You Did Last Summer, Pretty Little Liars vibe to it which I really liked. Now I can see some readers being very annoyed at that but I loved it. There was tons of action, a solvable mystery, and a climax that had me on the edge of my seat. I love a good YA mystery so I was pleasantly surprised by this unexpected turn of events. And there were many turns in this book. It absolutely made for an interesting and complex book that was incredibly readable.

The characters too were interesting and complex. This is actually probably another example of how the reality of this book broke with my expectations. It's really easy with these kinds of books to make the characters into caricatures. They weren't total cliches which was nice. Yes, the rebel was rebellious with her tattoos and petty theft, but she was also surprisingly kind and supportive. The bully was a bit of bully, treating others especially his brother with no respect, but he was actually caring and funny. Even the geek was more than meets the eyes as nerdy and awkward guy who corrects people's grammar but is actually kind of a jerk. As for the pariah, I totally sympathized with Sam and her past struggles which made her a great main character for this book. She was trying to make a better life for herself and I wanted that for her. Throughout the book we slowly learn about the characters and what led them to be the way they are. There was a lot of before and after flashbacks as well as story time reveals where the characters would bare their soul and confess their secrets. It was a little schmaltzy at times and didn't always work for me but I did like the relationships and how they developed throughout the book. In general I did find the characters to be complex and likeable. They could been cliche tropes but they weren't. It wasn't what I expected and that was nice.

On the whole, I really liked Rebel Bully Geek Pariah. I was very different from what I expected, it was much better. It had a great plot full of action, and complex characters that I liked getting to know throughout the book. When I was done reading I was left so satisfied with what I had just read.

I give Rebel Bully Geek Pariah by Erin Jade Lange 8.5 out of 10 stars


Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy/Borrow. This is definitely a book I would recommend to fans of mysteries or anyone looking for something a little different. If you are going into this book expecting a Breakfast Club type story you will probably be disappointed. But don't let the slightly misleading synopsis keep you from reading it. It really is an excellent YA mystery with complex characters and an engaging plot.

Have you read Rebel Bully Geek Pariah? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

6 comments:

  1. Great review! I added it to my list. I have been enjoying mysteries lately, so I think I'll like this one.

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    1. Thanks! I always love mysteries and this was a good one. I hope you like it too!

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  2. Okay, now I'm much more interested in this book that I was before! I want to read more YA thrillers and I love me a good mystery!
    Great review Cassi!

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    1. Yeah, girl! I love a good thriller. This is on the lighter side for thrillers but it's a good mystery. And if you want any recommendations for thrillers and mysteries, you know where to find me.

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