Early ARC Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Posted June 9, 2014 by Bee in Reviews / 12 Comments

Early ARC Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Get Even

by Gretchen McNeil
Series: Don't Get Mad #1
Published on September 16th 2014
by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

he Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process.

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.

I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

2 Stars

It’s never good when you let out a sigh of relief after finishing a book. Relief that you’ve managed to finish it, finally. Not good. Unfortunately I did when I turned the last page in this one. I expected a lot and the story was good but the lack of character development ruined it for me.

Get Even is about 4 girls who on the outside don’t even seem to know each other, they don’t seem to have anything in common. But Margot, Kitty, Olivia and Bree share one big secret: they’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, an organization that takes revenge on bullies. When their new target is found dead in his room with a blood-soaked DGM-card in his hand, the girls realize they’re secret is not so secret for everyone. Someone knows and wants revenge on them.

According to the blurb this is The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars. And I can see the PLL elements in it! And I like that! The story itself is great, it really is. I love PLL, so I was very excited for this book. There’s just one thing missing. Character development. All these characters are cardboard cutouts. They’re not original, they don’t learn from their mistakes and in the end they’re just still the same people they were when the book started. Result? I didn’t give a damn about them! All 4 of those girls had a past that could’ve given them so much depth but aside from quickly mentioning it for the sake of the story, it’s not used at all! A great story alone is not enough for me! I need great characters that I can relate to, connect with, root for, etc.

There was a cliffhanger, but I didn’t care who the killer was so I didn’t care about the cliffhanger either. I’m not banging my head against the wall out of frustration because I need to know what happens next. Nothing of that. I’m just writing this review. It’s like the author just listed the names on one side of a paper, a few character traits on the other side and just linked characters with those traits and that’s it. As as a result I didn’t care about the romances that were developing. To be completely honest I even think the romances were unnecessary. No character development = no feels. And what is a book without feels?

Like I said, I did like the story. The whole idea is great and it did remind me a lot of Pretty Little Liars. I liked the whole idea behind the organization Don’t Get Mad. “Don’t get mad, get even.” I like that and I think I would’ve rooted for that organization if I were at that school because I know how mean bullies can be. That’s why I think this is such a waste! It could’ve been so awesome, but it wasn’t.

While Get Even has a great premise, it lacks great characters that go with this surprisingly original story. I don’t know if I’m going to continue with this series yet. I do hope you guys give it a shot because this could all just be me and you could love this book for all I know. So try it and let me know what you think afterwards!


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12 responses to “Early ARC Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

  1. This one sounds like it had SO MUCH POTENTIAL but fell flat *pats your back*
    I was actually looking forward to this one because i was intrigued by the synopsis but it kind of sucks that you didn’t like the execution of the story in general. Seems like a waste.
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

    Lily recently posted: What I Thought Was True: Review

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