This is a spoiler-free review.
Very Bad People by Kit Frick
Expected publication April 5th 2022 by Margaret K. McElderry Books.
In this dark academia young adult thriller for fans of The Female of the Species and People Like Us, a teen girl’s search for answers about her mother’s mysterious death leads to a powerful secret society at her new boarding school—and a dangerous game of revenge that will leave her forever changed.
Six years ago, Calliope Bolan’s mother drove the family van into a lake with her three daughters inside. The girls escaped, but their mother drowned, and the truth behind the “accident” remains a mystery Calliope is determined to solve. Now sixteen, she transfers to Tipton Academy, the same elite boarding school her mother once attended. Tipton promises a peek into the past and a host of new opportunities—including a coveted invitation to join Haunt and Rail, an exclusive secret society that looms over campus like a legend.
Calliope accepts, stepping into the exhilarating world of the “ghosts,” a society of revolutionaries fighting for social justice. But when Haunt and Rail commits to exposing a dangerous person on campus, it becomes clear that some ghosts define justice differently than others.
As the society’s tactics escalate, Calliope uncovers a possible link between Haunt and Rail and her mother’s deadly crash. Now, she must question what lengths the society might go to in order to see a victory—and if the secret behind her mother’s death could be buried here at Tipton.
Click for Content Warnings:
death, murder, mentions of sexual assault and underage porn
Thank you to Turn the Page Tours and the publisher, Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing/Margaret K. McElderry Books, for sending me an ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own.
Today is both my stop on the blog tour promoting Very Bad People by Kit Frick as well as its book birthday! 🎉 Let me tell you about how much I enjoyed this dark academia YA thriller from its first page to its last~ 🥁🥁💥
“I came back to Tipton ready to open my eyes to the real story, messy and imperfect, and that’s exactly what I got.”
Look, if you’re familiar at all with my blog, then you know that YA thrillers are my guilty pleasure. And one set at a boarding school? With a secret society? 😙👌 Perfection.
Very Bad People was absolutely that dark academia YA thriller. Boasting of long-buried family affairs, mysterious deaths, and elusive groups, Very Bad People advertised a lot within its pages. And believe me, it delivered.
Above all else, this book was just so much fun to read! The pace had the perfect momentum leading up to the nail-biting conclusion. Calliope’s hunt for the truth and all the Haunt and Rail escapades were perfectly balanced, revealing just enough of both to keep the wheels turning and my anticipation rising.
And the plot twists! What is a mystery/thriller without a couple of good surprises thrown in? For its part, I loved the unexpected turns in this novel took. They teetered the line between totally believable and absolutely baffling to the perfect degree – something not all books in this genre can master. I did find the final reveal ~a little~ underwhelming, not because of the scale of it, but because it just sort of happened to the protagonist.
But that ending?! It couldn’t have been better. The perfect, open-ended conclusion to this wild ride.
Overall, I found Very Bad People almost impossible to put down. Despite it being packed to the brim with secrets, mysteries, and of course, murder, I just whizzed right through it, because I couldn’t bear to stop reading it for too long!
About the Author
Kit Frick is the author of B&N YA Book Club pick and Thriller Award finalist I Killed Zoe Spanos as well as the young adult thrillers See All the Stars, All Eyes on Us, and Very Bad People, and the poetry collection A Small Rising Up in the Lungs.
Readers interested in signing up for a monthly newsletter including book news and giveaways should visit her website at kitfrick.com. Kit doesn’t accept GR friend requests but you can still follow her here for updates or connect with her on Twitter and Instagram, where she is most active.
~ Check out the rest of the tour schedule here! ~
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