Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Title:  Get Even
Author:  Gretchen McNeil
Series:  Don’t Get Mad #1
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date:  September 16, 2014
Pages:  389
Format/Source:  ARC/From Publisher, via BEA
Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Mystery, Contemporary

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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

*Warning:  While I really don’t like spoilers, I really felt like some things needed to be said, so there are some slight spoilers in this review. They have been marked accordingly.*

Where to Begin?

I read Ten by Gretchen McNeil a couple of years ago and LOVED it.  I loved the suspense, the mystery, the confusion as to who might be the killer.  I went so far as to make a “Who’s the Killer?” list in my notes where I tallied up all the different reasons to suspect each character.  And with Get Even, I decided to make another “Who’s the Killer?” list and had just as much fun with it this time. Actually, most of my notes are made up of theories as to who the killer might be.

*Spoiler Alert*  So you can imagine my frustration when I got to the end of the book and the killer’s identity wasn’t revealed.  I know this is a series, so the killer will eventually be revealed, but it seemed like this book was leading up to that reveal!  Also, I kind of felt like there wasn’t really any closure to the book at all.  There was like a pause, but no closure for anything that went on in this story.  So I can accept the fact that this story doesn’t reveal the killer until the final book in the series, but only if each book has its own closure, and that just wasn’t the case here.  *End Spoiler*

I also had an issue with one of the characters.  She seemed very complex and non-stereotypical at first, and then later on she started being a complete stereotype!  It was very annoying and made me feel like that character was really inconsistent.  There were also some scenes that seemed like they were over the top with conflict and details (like all that stuff about the play that we find out within about 5 pages in Chapter 11), while others seemed to not be fleshed out enough.

But overall I really did enjoy Get Even.  I loved the Star Wars and Harry Potter references (100,000 bonus points), and I liked a lot of the characters.  And like I said earlier, I loved playing the detective and trying to figure out just who the killer was.  I’m definitely going to have to read the rest of the series!

Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ HarperCollins 
You may also enjoy:  Ten │ Pivot Point

Disclaimer:  I received this ARC from the publisher, via Book Expo America, in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.


  1. Brandi Kosiner

    September 19, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Despite the issues with resolution sounds like worthwhile book to pick up

  2. Midnyte Reader

    September 20, 2014 at 5:05 am

    If it wasn't Gretchen McNeil, I may not have picked up this book given what you said. But I have faith in her writing and story telling so I'll probably still read this.

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