Title: Rebel Bully Geek Pariah
Author: Erin Jade Lange
Hardcover: 320 pages
Source: Goodreads Giveaways
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
“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 a free copy of this book from the publisher through Goodreads Giveaways. This is an honest review.*
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
This book was a rollercoaster! It started off strong and didn’t let go until the very end. Through each of the character’s stories, you get a whole lot to deal with: addiction, guilt over the past, abandonment issues, etc. They all have their demons, and, boy, are their demons large and scary. While this book is action-packed, I found it largely character-driven, with each character facing their issues during their journey and trying to find peace within themselves. The plot itself is pretty crazy and not realistic, but for me, it wasn’t so much about what was actually happening as it was about what the characters were going through.
It was a fast read for me, especially since there are a bunch of surprises and turns that stack atop one another. This book is different than what I thought it was going to be, but it turned out it was different for the better. It’s hard to give specifics without ruining the twists, but suffice to say, this Rebel Bully Geek Pariah kept me on my toes and I just kept turning the pages to see what would happen next.
I think the comparison to The Breakfast Club is a bit difficult, since that movie is so much quieter than this book. In the sense that you get to scratch the surface of these different characters and they get to respect each other’s struggles, the comparison is apt. In every other sense, it really is nothing like The Breakfast Club. Despite that, I would recommend it if you’re willing to put reality aside for a bit and just tag along for the ride. I can see reluctant readers being super into this because of how much suspense there is and how fast-paced the action is.
As Alyssa mentions above, this book starts off quick and just kind of keeps going. For this reason I think that students who are reluctant readers would really benefit from this book. I often have students who complain that the books we read take too long to get going or that they get bored before the action starts and therefore don’t really read the book and this book definitely does not have that problem.
I also agree that The Breakfast Club comparison really is not a particularly apt one and to be honest for me this was a little disappointing. Once I stopped framing it that way though, I was able to get into the book quite easily and also found it to be quite the page turner. While a lot of the plot points were rather over the top, I found it to come across as pretty authentic and believable in the sense that teenagers put in these over the top situations would react this way.
I am still not sure if I found any of the characters overly likable, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. They all had pretty glaring flaws and redeeming qualities which is what drove the story as much as any of the action going on throughout the book, but I did get a sense that I was supposed to like the characters (or at least be rooting for them) more than I was at times throughout the book. That being said, this is definitely a recommend for reluctant readers and a fun, quick read for other people.