Don't Get Caught

336p. ebook available. Sourcebooks/Fire. Apr. 2016. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781492630142.
Gr 8 Up—Max Cobb flies under the radar—until a prank sets him and several classmates up to take the fall for the high school's legendary Chaos Club. In a quest to prove he's more than ordinary, Max, with his motley crew, decides to take down the club and the school's disliked disciplinarian. But when their slippery slope of vengeance and insensitive pranking enters illegal territory with little to no thought of the consequences, Max is forced to consider that his crew might be worse than their perceived rivals. Crude humor, insecurities, and family expectations ring true in this realistic tale. Actions by the school's administration and teachers strain credulity for the sake of plot. The obvious but not incorrect message that people are more than what they're pigeonholed as is ironically promoted among a cast of archetypes—the exception being fallible yet empathetic and likable Max, whom readers will root for. A baddie's vaguely cartoonish reveal in the final twist may not surprise readers.
VERDICT Pop culture references, short chapters, and laugh-out-loud narrative moments make this an additional purchase for reluctant readers or fans of films like The Perfect Score.

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