Release date: August 30, 2016
Eric Connelly is crumbling under the weight of his dad’s expectations. He can’t seem to live up to the “Connelly Man” standards—but when he meets the mysterious, free-spirited Jordan Grant, his dad’s rules seem so much less important than they used to.
Jordan and Eric—now “E”—join up with two of the most popular girls in school to combat their rich-kid boredom by cruising their beachside hometown of Capilano. But as Jordan seduces E further into this depraved life, the group starts to kill time in more nefarious ways.
It’s Jordan who escalates the pack’s dares from mostly harmless jaunts like joyrides in boosted cars and Bling Ring–style luxury shoplifting sprees into more violent activities. Eric is intoxicated . . . swept up in the pack’s activities, even as Paige and Haley start to have reservations about what they’ve been doing. When Jordan starts talking big—can E help him build a bomb, he wonders?—E must decide if he’s too far down the rabbit hole to back out now.
Firstly I would like to start by saying that I loved the storytelling style. Normally I am not fond of writing styles that are too simplistic, but this novel is pretty good. The narration is very meta, delivered full of snark, and tells the story of Eric Connelly, the son of a Senator in an affluent town, who has been brought up in a very strict household, devoid of fun and being told that he has to live to fulfill everyone’s expectations, especially his father’s. But when he meets bad boy extraordinaire, Jordan, all that goes flying out the window, because he has a crush on him and the rational side of his brain disappears. All his repressed desires come out, and with Jordan’s bad influence, they go out on a vigilante spree to ‘fix the town’. Naturally, neither I nor the author has to state that it doesn’t end well.
The story doesn’t surprise you, primarily because the author tells you in an FAQ chapter (yeah, it has a unique style) early on how it is going to end. But it does take you on a wild ride trying to figure out how the events happen. The book, though appearing to be voluminous in page count, is actually not that long considering the ‘chapters’ are pretty short, some of them just one line. The POV stays mostly on Eric, but wanders off occasionally to present other sides of the story. And the central point comes to that it is very easy to get swept up in peer pressure, or I don’t know, a psychopath’s wild schemes, and fall off that slippery slope into doing crazy stuff. Is it original? No, but the way it is told definitely overcomes that. I found myself laughing and being shocked throughout the book; it was a very entertaining read. Now, I got to go add the author’s other book to my TBR!
Received a free galley from HarperTeen, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.