By: Gretchen McNeil
Don’t Get Mad – Book 1
Available Sept 2014
The 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.
This Blonde’s Review:
They don’t seem to have anything in common and they don’t talk to each other. Their lives only intersect by attending the same school but in no other ways. At least that’s what they want the rest of the school to know. In reality Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot are part of a group called Don’t Get Mad. They created it to get back at the bullies that no one seems to do anything about, the ones in positions of power.
Those same people in the power positions are the ones who want the group publicly known as DGM stopped. They torment students they think are part of the group, trying to bully and threaten them into confessing their part. The principal of the school has even allowed the formation of a group who mission is to take down DGM, claiming that DGM are the bullies who are causing problems. Again, because the ones DGM goes after are the power players, such as a gym teacher who mistreats the out of shape students.
I did enjoy this book but since we were bouncing between all 4 girls I didn’t feel that I really go to know them very well. I got glimpses of what they’re like and impressions about certain parts of their lives. They were great at working together until something terrible happens and a body turns up. Someone they had planned to target for taking advantage of a drunk student was found dead with one of their cards. Since they had no other connection besides the group it was too easy for them to start doubting each other and wondering if one of their own was doing it.
They were receiving mysterious pictures and packages about each other. We assume from the person who really did the crime. What I think is awesome is the part where it wasn’t just about HEY here’s a threat. Or Hey, here’s what i know. Each envelope contained a clue about another girl in the group. Which gave us more insight but also created so much doubt for the others. Some of them gave us motivation for why they would have joined DGM, while others gave more reason to believe they’d betray each other.
I enjoyed this one. At first I wasn’t so sure, but one they started getting the packages and everything got my mysterious with multiple treasure hunts going on at the same time I got more interested. I didn’t want to step away and try to remember who was doing what and what each thing meant. Then end was a bit of a shock to me though. I was really hoping for more info about what was going on, so that we as a reader could have an idea of who could be doing everything. Instead I felt that I was being given a suspect based on the DGM girls’ opinions of what it could be, but I didn’t really feel that. IT could have been but there were a lot of gaps too. I kind of expected a surprise reveal that Ta Da look who you didn’t expect. Except now I have to wait for the next book to find out more. The downside to reading a book that is not a standalone is that I don’t get all of the answers when I want them.
If you enjoy reading books where your characters get led on a fun chase to figure out who they can trust and if the puzzle pieces they have create a picture or more questions, then you’ll enjoy this one.