Thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: February 4th, 2020
Synopsis: Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next victim.
They picked the wrong girl.
Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. She and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.
Foul Is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.
Obviously the synopsis for Foul Is Fair appealed to me because otherwise I wouldn’t have requested it, but I’m thrilled to say that this clever modernization of Macbeth surpassed my expectations!
You might surmise from the synopsis that this story could trigger some readers. Let me reaffirm that. Trigger warnings I’d include are: Gang rape, substance abuse, physical abuse and of course murder. The actual rape scene is seen through a series of flashbacks. It’s not graphic, but seen through Elle’s hazy memories (she was drugged), and her subsequent injuries, it’s obvious what happened, and it’ll make you want to take revenge yourself against those involved yourself. The murderous and bloody mayhem that ensues at the hands of Elle/Jade and her three friends/coven is not believable in any sense, especially when it’s clear that Elle’s parents and possibly a few other adults know at least some of what’s going on. But believability isn’t really the point of this tale. No, this is about a group of young men who have gotten away with raping countless girls who finally attacked the wrong one. Like Lady Macbeth, Elle isn’t even particularly likable, but I found myself rooting for her all the same.
Another thing I simply have to mention is the way Hannah Capin tells this. In a further nod to Shakespeare, this is almost poetic in style. This might turn off some readers, but I think it adds even more depth to the story. This is a suspense-filled quick read and I finished it in one sitting mainly because there was no way I was going to sleep until I got to the not-so-happy ending.
Foul Is Fair is a bloody, provocative revenge tale that’s perfect for the #MeToo era and lays waste to the adage “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” It doesn’t attempt to teach a life lesson but rather fills that fantasy that so many of us have whenever we read about someone not getting the justice they deserve because of their social circumstances among other things. Think Macbeth meets Kill Bill with a dash of Heathers. Due to the subject matter, violence and language, I’d say this is for ages 16 and up. Otherwise, I cannot recommend this highly enough!