Published by Macmillan on August 5th 2014
Number of Pages: 384
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Mythology, Paranormal, Urban, Young Adult
Purchase: At Amazon
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.
In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly... bad things are happening. It's a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil's bargains, she isn't sure who—or what--she can trust. Not even her own mind...
I was given this ARC by a friend as a gift. Some things may have changed in the final version.
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
I was expecting something slightly different than what I got. I was thinking Edie was going to get some kind of magical powers that she was using to take her revenge. But that wasn’t quite what happened. She made a deal with a boy she’d never met before, after he stopped her from trying to kill herself. In exchange for 3 favors from her, she would then owe his unnamed employer 3 favors in the future.
She was skeptical, and smart enough to ask a number of questions before agreeing. But the first thing she wished for? To be beautiful. Granted, as part of that wish she asked not to lose any of her smarts. And for the beauty not to wear off. But beauty seemed to be a major theme of this book. I didn’t notice it a lot while reading, I was too interested in what was going on. The creepy immortals Edie was coming into contact with, how she would take her revenge, etc.
But looking back, there was a huge emphasis on how being pretty made the world better. There was also an insta-love element in Kian. Though Edie did spend a good deal of the book mistrusting him, even if she did waffle back and forth about it. And stalker over-tones that were mentioned in the book. So you might not want to read this because of all that.
A lot of the secondary characters seemed to take a backseat to the central plot. They weren’t always well fleshed out, and several died quickly enough I never got a sense of their personality at all. I am most likely in the minority on this one, but I did actually like Kian. Despite the insta-love, despite his not being able to tell a lot about himself or the Game because of his boss. There was just something about him that made me like him. I liked Edie too, she was smart as you’d expect the daughter of scientists to be. And even though her first wish was for beauty, I could sort of see how she’d jump to that.
I did enjoy reading the story. I wanted to know what other favors Edie was going to request. It was fun trying to figure out who the immortals were before it was obvious. And I totally knew what she’d do with one of her favors for before it happened.
This is a first in a series, and while a lot of things were wrapped up by the end of the book, there was still a lot left that I want to know about. Since I do really like this author, I’ll most likely try book 2 as well. But if the same themes are still hugely prevalent in that book, I won’t bother with any more in this series.