Review: Rebel Bully Geek Pariah
Erin Jade Lange - Rebel Bully Geek PariahExpected publication: February 16, 2016 by Bloomsbury
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
"The Breakfast Club" gets a modern, high-stakes reboot in this story of four very different teens and a night that changes them forever.
The Rebel: Once popular, Andi is now a dreadlocked, tattooed wild child.
The Bully: York torments everyone who crosses his path, especially his younger brother.
The Geek: Tired of being bullied, Boston is obsessed with getting into an Ivy League college.
The Pariah: Choosing to be invisible has always worked for Sam . . . until tonight.
When Andi, York, Boston, and Sam find themselves hiding in the woods after a party gets busted by the cops, they hop into the nearest car they see and take off—the first decision of many in a night that will change their lives forever. By the light of day, these four would never be caught dead together, but when their getaway takes a dangerously unpredictable turn, sticking together could be the only way to survive.
With cinematic storytelling and compelling emotional depth, critically acclaimed author Erin Jade Lange takes readers on literary thrill ride.
~The Breakfast Club is one of my favorite movies. A group of kids, who would've probably never acknowledged one another otherwise, became friends for a day. They danced, smoked pot, confessed their darkest secrets, and cried. A cinematic masterpiece, courtesy of Mr. John Hughes.
Unfortunately, Rebel Bully Geek Pariah doesn't compare.
First, I thought this was going to be a multiple POV story. Given, the blurb. So I was a little deterred to only be introduced to Sam, the Pariah. Not a bad thing, though.
Sam's story is a sad one. Her mother is a struggling drug addict and she has no friends, which is what she prefers. And because of her unfortunate hair situation, the nickname "Worms" has followed her. After losing her job and being forced to sell her violin to a pawnshop, she runs into Andi, the Rebel, a reformed mean girl,[ turned lesbian (hide spoiler)] known for her shoplifting. Sam tells Andi about her woes and Andi suggests she steal it. But when Sam is against the idea, Andi does so, instead, and runs off.
In the chase, Sam follows Andi to a party on the dock. After refusing to return the violin, they discover two boys, York and Boston, the Bully and Geek respectively. They're also brothers. York is hammered. After cops raid the party, they snatch a car and York - who is heavily intoxicated, mind you - is driving. Barely a second later, he runs over a cop, attempting to stop them, and it all goes to hell.
After pulling over, York bursts into tears and Sam is like, "Oh shit. A crier." (Exact quote, btw. I nearly died.) They discover a bag of heroin in the trunk and Boston the Geek, who has bigger cajones than his brother, decides to drive. It's soon learnt they've taken a police cruiser and someone threatens them to return the car over the radio.
This is YA Contemporary, apparently. I think the author was trying to ship Sam and York, but it was too awkward and forced. He seemed more interested in Andi.
The names, Boston and York, bothered me. Not even because they were named that, but because it went unexplained. So much in this book was unexplained. Why Andi left her mean girl clique, the crooked cops storyline, any other information about York or Boston. They seemed boring, anyway. But still. One of the girls asked York where his name came from and he was all, "You know. As in, NEW York." So??? Do your parents like the donuts there? Were you conceived in a Rite-Aid on the corner of Park Avenue? Tell us everything, child. I would've probably had more sympathy if he and his brother were named Tuna and Catfish.
I noticed other reviewers saying Sam's backstory could've used a little more detail, but compared to the others, I think she was well-developed. Andi was interesting. York and Boston were not. Their friendship was so bland. They were always turning on each other and arguing.
The ending was obviously not my favorite. I think they're terrible people. Though I liked Andi and Sam, none of them should be friends. Definitely a read to skip.