Sep 8, 2014

ARC Review--Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

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.

I received this ARC from a blogging friend for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

Gretchen McNeil's Get Even is the first in her duology Don't Get Mad. I recently picked up Gretchen's books earlier this year and was eating them up! Now most of you know, I'm a paranormal reader and while 2/3 of her previous books had paranormal elements, they all had a nice "thriller" sense to them. And while I may be a big chicken with thriller movies, I love a good thriller read! And Gretchen McNeil provides excellent thrilling reads for fans!

This story is pretty different from her previous ones, in that we have more than one narrator. It's still third person, but multiple third person from our four members of Don't Get Mad (DGM). Kitty, Margot, Olivia, and Bree are all completely different teenagers from different circles, yet one school project joined them together to stand up for the little man. Their group puts bullying to shame and it's their goal to publicly humiliate bullies and get a sense of justice for the victims. We see their work in progress in the first chapter. They keep their "club" a secret for obvious reasons. It's highly known at school that DGM means trouble.

It's not long before the girls are working towards a new "case" even though it goes against their rules, and sure enough something bad happens. Their intended target is murdered. The school falls to chaos with the news. Teachers are pointing the finger at DGM, but the girls are innocent, not that they can say. But the weird doesn't stop there. Someone knows about them. For someone is sending each of the girls mysterious notes and pictures that will try to tear the members of DGM apart!

I was surprised by how easy this was to follow along with. When I saw that there were four main characters, I'll admit, I was a bit hesitant that I would be scrambling to keep up, because the plot sounded so intense with a murder mystery along side a secret organization. But it wasn't all that hard. You see each of our heroines all come from different social circles at school and they all have their own lives and problems to deal with. It's only with their group DGM where they find anything to connect themselves to one another.

Bree is your resident rebel at a school of Catholic students, Olivia is the drama over-achiever, Kitty is the athlete over-achiever, and Margot is the smart one. Yet all of them have issues that they are trying to deal with. And I thought the issues Gretchen assigned to them were all very real. These are issues that teens deal with in high school and I applaud how she handled them in a realistic way, yet wasn't overly preachy or showy. Like saying "here's my character with eating disorders". She exhibited the mantra: Show, Don't Tell, very well here! Kudos, Gretchen!

The mystery buildup was very good too! Sadly with the duology, there's no answers here. And I was wondering how Gretchen would wrap it up. And I have to say, I wasn't expecting the twist! I will say, a bit begrudgingly, that the cliffhanger isn't too killer. It won't leave you screaming in agony like some cliffhangers have been known to do--believe me, I've screamed quite a few times in the past! But it's still an ending that leaves you wanting to know what happens next asap! And since I read this as an ARC, my torture begins over 3 months earlier! I feel the agony rising already!

And I must say that I enjoyed each of the girls' romance exploits. Margot's touched my heart a bit, since she had her own self-doubt issues, but of course another character's "theories" had me wondering something. It seems Margot has gotten more than one boy's attention! There's drama between Kitty and Olivia and one boy as they both are in love with him. And then there's Bree who has her own crush on a rock star, while she remains to be a bit clueless as to who's crushing on her. But as I said, I enjoyed these romantic interludes for they were all pretty sweet!

Bree is definitely my favorite character. Perhaps because she's the "rebel". She doesn't conform to any social role really. She's just Bree. She's got a nice snarky attitude that I adore in my heroines. And of course she played a huge role with the mini-cliffhanger, so I am left reeling with what will happen next in this duology! Gretchen McNeil is an author you cannot pass up! Buy her books today!!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Get Even releases September 16, 2014


  1. This sounds really good, Jessica! Honestly you had me at the first sentence!
    Glad you enjoyed this read!
    Have a great week!

  2. That was nice of your blogging friend! I really like McNeil as well (although I haven't read 3:59 yet, gotta find that one)! This mystery sounds really good, I hope it all wraps up nicely in the second book!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

  3. Great review Jessica, very in depth. I've liked this premise since I heard about it, kids from different backgrounds striking back against bullies- and since I liked TEN, I've been curious about this one. Looking forward to it, and it's nice that she handles high school issues in a good way.

  4. Gretchen McNeil. Must check her books. Wow this sounds amazing.

    Great review:)

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

  5. The mystery build up sounds great. This hasn't been on my radar but glad you enjoyed


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