Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Get EvenGet Even by Gretchen McNeil
Series: Don't Get Mad #1
Published by: Balzer & Bray on September 16, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Drama
Pages: 320
Source: Edelweiss
Book Details
Rating: ★½

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.

Well that was disappointing.

Get Even actually starts off with potential. Actually, it started off confusing with four different girls that I kept getting mixed up… but the potential did slowly weave itself in. But after about the halfway point, things went downhill. And by the ending, they tanked completely.

Even though Get Even isn’t that long (320 pages) it felt long. I think it’s because we kept being strung along with suspicions but no real clues. Who’s the murderer? I don’t know. The girls kept sitting around thinking, “Who is it?” and making suspect lists, but really no one had no idea who it was. I felt like I was being strung along but never really given any real clues. This made the book feel long and boring after a while.

And on top of that, Get Even is just incredibly unbelievable. There’s this high school, then a kid from that high school gets murdered OUTSIDE of school, so naturally the principal of that high school practically takes over the murder investigation.

“The authorities have no leads at this time. They’ve failed, which means it’s up to us to find [the] killer.”

He rounds up the school bullies and tells them, “Catch DGM and do whatever it takes to force a confession.”

“One year of free tuition,” Coach Creed said. “To whoever can force our suspect to confess to his involvement with DGM.”

He condones violence in order to get that confession. He allows the sports coach to use class time to instruct the students on how to find and catch DGM.

“I want you around campus during class, before class, after class. All the time, got it?”
“Got it!” Rex said.
“And I want lists of students who have been exhibiting any kind of suspicious behavior,” Coach Creed continued. “Nervous tics, unexcused absences, isolationist tendencies. Work in groups. I want a comprehensive suspect list by the end of the period.”

I mean, really? Since when is a school allowed to run a murder investigation? And then the coach starts throwing around DEATH THREATS to the students and no one does anything about it.

“By the authority of Bishop DuMaine Preparatory School […] I demand that you cease and desist this illegal gathering and submit yourselves for punishment.”
“We’re exercising our First Amendment right to free speech!”
“There are no rights at this school”

“I’ll fucking kill you!” Coach Creed screamed. “I’ll do it! I swear to God!”

It was all just so much drama. Unbelievable drama with teachers/authority figures getting involved, normal high school drama, stupid bullies… I don’t know. I just felt like I was too old for this or something. It was just stupid drama that I really don’t like to be part of.

But the worst part by far was the ending. Get Even is a perfect example of a book that should have been a standalone. This book didn’t even have a cliffhanger; it was cut off before the story even got there! View Spoiler »

The ending just made me feel like, “What was the point of that?” There was no resolution whatsoever, and there wasn’t even anything to get me excited about the second book. I was actually about to give Get Even three stars until the ending. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. Three stars felt like a fair rating. But then when it ended with no ending at all—just cut off in the—

The Verdict


Photo of Ashley
I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

Don't miss my next post!

Sign up to get my blog posts sent directly to your inbox (plus exclusive store discounts!).

You might like these


    1. Yeah I was excited too because I loved her book Ten. I think it was just too ridiculous for me and I couldn’t get past how unbelievable it was.

  1. I love both pretty little liars and the breakfast club, so based on the blurb, I got so excited… until I read you review! Such a bummer that you didn’t enjoy it. As someone who is currently in high school, I think the quotes you gave are SO inaccurate about portraying real teachers and principals. No way would a teacher get away with saying things like that, and or conducting a murder investigation. Heck, my teachers have to be wary of saying things that are even slightly politically incorrect nowadays. Anyway, I hope your next read is much better! 🙂

    1. Exactly! I don’t mind having unbelievable plot elements in paranormal or fantasy books, but it doesn’t feel right in contemporaries, you know?

  2. Oh wow, I was actually really excited about this! The cover was so pretty, and I’ve read Ten by Gretchen McNeil and enjoyed it… Wow, I honestly thought this was going to be good :l I guess I’ll stay away or get it from the library if I’m that desperate. Definitely not buying the hardback now…

    Tori @ Bookish Affairs recently posted: Life of a Blogger: Fitness
  3. Aww sorry you didn’t like it! ): I’ll probably get it anyway because I like reading McNeil’s books around Halloween time!

    Thanks for your honesty though!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

Recent Posts

    Random Posts