Monday, October 10, 2011

Awesome Book Reviews: GETTING CAUGHT by Mandy Hubbard and Cyn Balog

Sometimes in war, there are no winners…

Peyton Brentwood is pretty, popular, and Harvard-bound. Or so she hopes. Her only distraction from AP classes and entrance exams is the prank war with her ex-best friend, Jess Hill. Peyton is used to getting what she wants, and she’s not about to let a loser like Jess gain the upper hand.

For Jess, the prank war is an outlet, a way to get revenge on the best friend who left her behind. As if Peyton has the guts to do what it takes to win. Please. There is no way in hell Jess is going to lose this one, even if she has to hit Peyton where it hurts.

These two girls are about to discover it’s best to keep your friends close… and your enemies closer.

Review: I loved this book. There. I said it. 

Peyton and Jess are two of the most three-dimensional characters I have ever seen in contemporary YA. Their voices just pop right out of the page. Peyton is all about The Plan: get into Harvard.  Jess, on the other hand, isn't as hell-bent on college as Peyton. She's the oddball who dyes her hair a different color in the blink of an eye, while Peyton is prim and proper. But despite their blatant differences, both girls have one thing in common: they're hurt. And they choose to hide that pain through mean-spirited pranks. 

Honestly, it was really hard to pick a side. Does Peyton deserve to win the prank war? Or does Jess? Sometimes, I did prefer one girl over the other. But it's not so simple. Because both girls are hurt, I could understand both perspectives. There's no clear victim and victimizer. Just a whole lot of gray area. This is what really made me fall for Hubbard and Balog's book--the characters genuinely felt like teen girls who used to be BFFs, but aren't anymore. The authors channel their characters' frustration and lack of communication effortlessly. And they wrote it in a way that feels appropriate for the target audience, but adult readers can appreciate the heart behind it, too. 

Also, THE PRANKS. Some were hilarious. Others had me going, "Please don't do it, please don't do it, PLEASE DON'T DO IT." Yeah. I may have gasped a few times... And even though some pranks are just plain evil, the book never strays into After School Special territory. Of course, readers will identify what's right and what's wrong with what Peyton and Jess are doing, but the story's about their struggles as ex-BFFs and high school students. 

All in all, Getting Caught is a book to be devoured in one sitting, but it'll stay with you long after you read that last (and ridiculously awesome) page. 

Don't forget to buy the Kindle edition of Getting Caught over at Amazon! And a HUGE thanks to the lovely Mandy Hubbard for letting me read it! 


  1. I love reading about pranks. :) I was always too timid to do any myself, so the chance to participate in the excitement vicariously is always a plus. :) Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. This sounds like a great book. I'll have to add it to my (ever growing) list :)


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