Cover Image: Foul is Fair

Foul is Fair

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"[I can] still taste his fear when he knew ... that all his power was gone. That all his power was mine."

Inspired by Shakespeare's Macbeth, Foul is Fair is a dark, lushly written retelling from Lady Macbeth's point of view. After Elle is gang raped at a party, she re-brands herself as Jade and infiltrates a new school to take revenge on the seemingly untouchable St. Andrews Prep boys who chose exactly the wrong girl to attack. With help from her trusty coven, and a beguiled lover named Mack, Jade weaves an intricate plan to take down everyone involved in her rape, starting with the group's king: Duncan. Come through revenge fantasy!
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3.5 Stars

Well, Holy Sh&t!  Talk about the Ultimate Vengeance is Mine Storyline!

When Elle (nka Jade) goes to a St. Andrews Party with her friends Jenny, Summer and Mads, things go horribly, horribly wrong.  None of the girls is the same after.  Especially “Jade,” who takes on a completely different persona and who seeks the ultimate revenge on the boys who harmed her.  Of course her “coven” is all in.  

Jade’s plan of attack:  Infiltrate their school and take revenge.  Not just any revenge.  We’re talking about a Murderous Rampage, and by gosh Jade gets others to do her dirty work.  Talk about Brilliant, in a Sick and Twisted Kind of Way!

“Foul is Fair” includes sexual assault, violence, blood, drinking and drugs.  This is not your typical Young Adult novel!  For me, it started out really strong and I was all in until around the 70% mark where it started to get both redundant and just plain over the top.  I am in the minority here as most others liked this novel from beginning to end, thus I would go into this with an open mind (being aware of the disclaimers).

This was a buddy read with Kaceey.  (Thanks for sticking with me Kaceey!)

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Hannah Capin for the arc. 

Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 4.5.20.
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The tone of this book is everything a sixteen year old version of me would have wanted. It was a bit much for the twenty-four version of me, but since it fit the subject (and the original material the book is based on) I didn't mind it. It read almost mystical, which was the point.
I had to take a break from reading around the middle, because it got a little bit much, so I would definitely advise paying attention to the trigger warnings ( before picking it up.
I liked some of the characters, especially the main character's friends, but although I can empathize with Jade's trauma and her way of coping (it's The revenge fantasy, and it reads exactly like it) I didn't really like her personality.
Overall I still enjoyed it, even though I loved The Dead Queens Club, the author's debut novel, way more. 3.5 stars.
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I loved this book! 
Ok, first TW- sexual assault, extreme violence, gore

This is a modern, feminist retelling of a Macbeth and it’s the book that I didn’t know that I was waiting for! Was it dark? Yep! Was it uncomfortable at times? Uh huh. Was it outrageous? Oh yeah! Did I love every minute of it?! You bet!! You definitely have to suspend belief a bit while reading this, or you’ll spend the whole time going “ Seriously? These are 16 year olds.” But do so and enjoy!
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This novel was a lot. It’s heartbreaking, angry, funny, horrifying and many other things in between. I’ve never had a reading experience like Foul is Fair. And I don’t think I’ll have one like it again.

The prose and style of Foul is Fair is so brutal. It felt like every single word was dripping with anger. Poetic at times, and others incredibly descriptive. The pacing was just perfect for me, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page.

Jade is the perfect anti-hero, who brings all our revenge fantasies to life. She takes it all into her own hands knowing these awful privileged boys would never get comeuppance for the awful thing they did to her.

The rape scene is off-page, but that doesn’t make it any less upsetting. I think having it off-page was a really good choice for this book because you learn with Jade the secrets she doesn’t even know.

I loved the sisterhood. Jade’s friends were so supportive of her but also questioned her when they were concerned about her. With such a harsh book like this I was worried there would be no support system, but there was.

I read another MacBeth retelling a few years ago and it left me wanting. I studied MacBeth in school so I feel like I know it in and out. And Fair is Foul really satisfied me as a retelling. The way Capin managed to include all the major plot points but in a modern way was incredibly satisfying for me. I loved how Jade manipulated every situation, she really did feel like Lady MacBeth. And her descent into madness was done SO WELL. My eyes were glued to the page, I couldn’t wait to see how Capin would deal with each plot point.

I think I have Capin’s The Dead Queen’s Club sitting on my kindle and I plan to get to it soon after reading this because I honestly just loved it. I was left reeling the minute I finished and just lay in bed like “whoa”. This book isn’t going to be for everyone. It’s harsh, violent and vengeful, but in the best way. If you are angry as a woman about the way the world acts towards women then this book is for you.
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Foul is Fair has a stellar premise—a wild, vicious YA retelling of Macbeth, set at a Los Angeles prep school. Unfortunately, the writing here (a bit choppy) just didn't sing for me, which made it difficult to stick this one out.
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When Jade and her friends crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party, and the popular boys pick Jade as their next target, she’ll do anything to get revenge. Even if that means transferring to St. Andrew’s Prep and plotting to destroy each of the boys one by one.
Foul is Fair is a fascinating re-telling of Macbeth, although it could be a little ridiculous at times. Jade is a strong and sometimes psychotic main character, but really interesting to read about. It’s a dark and disturbing book, and very thrilling and a quick-read!
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When I first came across this book I was so intrigued and though I am thankful to have gotten my hands on an advanced copy, this was not my favorite. The book as a whole is very intense the whole way through with dark talking points through out. However, I felt that it was hard to read the writing. I found myself rereading several pages/paragraphs and I put this book down more times than I could count.
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I don't really know what I was getting myself into with this one, I think this is another example where this book just wasn't for me. I'm not fond of books that take the sexual assault angle and I wasn't really prepared for it. I also was not a huge fan of the writing. Sentences were cut short and felt choppy and the dialogue was very stilted and just didn't seem natural. There were many elements to this story that I just couldn't wrap my mind around either: like the fact that sixteen year old girls were behind multiple murders, in under a week? This is why I'm not a big fiction reader, because it never seems realistic to me. At least with fantasy I know it's not real.
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I really wanted to like this book. A modern telling of MacBeth. I was excited. 
I wasn't able to finish the book. Reason being is content. 
Trigger warning: rape, sexual abuse , violence, gore.
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This was probably the most twisted and dark book I’ve read all year. I honestly don’t even know what to think. A young adult book loosely based on McBeth, what a wild ride! Sinister and disturbing. A book full of unlikable characters doing despicable things and yet you can’t turn the pages fast enough. Cannot wait to see what’s in store for us next from this crazy author.
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A modern retelling of Macbeth? Uh, yes please!

At times, the writing felt disjointed and confusing. I found myself reading a few scenes a few times in order to really grasp what was going on. To be completely fair, though, I feel like this added to the creepiness (I'm not sure if that's the word I'm really looking for here) of the book and I really enjoyed it.

Was this retelling of Macbeth a little outrageous? Yeah, absolutely. But I loved it. It was violent and dark and powerful in ways that are a little more relatable than the classic Macbeth.
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This was a really powerful story, but there was something about the tone that just didn't quite work for me. Definitely worth a read, but probably won't be one I read again.
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A badass tale of revenge that left me feeling empowered and ready to fight the patriarchy to the death! Come on female empowerment!
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Thank you Wednesday Books, St. Martins Press and Hannah Capin for an advanced copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Foul is Fair 
By: Hannah Capin 

Note: This book contains possible triggers and sensitive material. Please visit for a more detailed description. 

*REVIEW* ☆☆☆☆☆
First, note that Foul is Fair is a feminist retelling of Macbeth, and it's serious girl power all the way. Second, understand that this story requires a definite suspension of disbelief, and, as such, it's not for everyone. I know some readers like stories grounded in nothing but truth and reality, but you won't find that here-not completely, anyway. No-this is a tale of vengeance for each and every girl who has ever been drugged, duped, used or tossed aside like a worthless nothing. If a guy has ever made you feel small, this one is for you. 

"Are we the villians?"
"No," I say. "We're fate."

Foul is Fair is a story of revenge, of karma, of fate giving the wicked exactly what they deserve. Does seeking revenge for a horrible wrong a villian make? In this story, Jade is an avenging angel with black wings and righteousness on her side. Those whom she seeks deserve everything they will get for the acts committed against Jade. I am not going into detail because I don't want to give anything away. In the overall picture, Jade and her "coven", three best friends, devise a step by step plan to right this atrocity and carry out said plan with exacting perfection. Female bonds and the power of women is forefront here. It's refreshing to read about a group of girls who believe in and will literally do anything for each other. Jade is a larger than life character. She is wild, determined, cunning, devious and strong. Jade is also a little on the crazy fearless side, but her flippant, unconventional out of the box personality and thought processes make her an authentic individual. Jade is very in your face jumping off the page. Her anger is a tangible force; her need for revenge is genuine and relatable. I believe every word she says. Despite her viscous nature, Jade is now one of my favorite characters ever. Jenny, Summer and Mads also have big  personalities and make non conformist lifestyle choices which suit them well. High school dynamics and social hierarchies are depicted so accurately throughout  the entire story, lending a feeling of authenticity that gave me flash backs to my own high school days. I love the writing style because it's different from most things I've read. The pace has a feeling of urgency. The dialogue is conversational, subtle, normal-but ripe with meaning. The method by which the girls first reveal themselves to the guys is an eerie tableaux written with powerful simplicity, and I loved it. This story is brutal, and I do mean, in all seriousness, BRUTAL. Expect bad language, graphic scenes, violence, etc. I was utterly speechless and disbelieving, but secretly glad in an almost giddy way, numerous times. I kept thinking this or that wouldn't or couldn't possibly happen, then it actually did, and wow! Hannah Capin pushed the boundaries of young adult way out there with this one, and I'm so glad she did because it's brilliant. Even so, this story is, sadly, centered around an exaggerated version of something horrible that happens to girls and women every day. I think it's time for this type of story. The content could not be more important, timely and relevant for every female. The general idea and portrayal of such astounding girl power is a positive thing. I am not, however, condoning violence of any kind, rather I am suggesting a push toward standing up and standing strong together in a man's world. There are numerous important lessons regarding sexual assault, bullying, drinking, partying, peer pressure, etc. to take away from this book. I love this story for so many reasons, and I hope other readers, especially girls, find it as enlightening as I did. You are not alone. You are not powerless. You are, probably, not a villain, either. Right?
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Foul is Fair by Hanna Capin is a hooking Macbeth inspired story of blood and revenge that will leave you at the edge of your seat! There are definitely a lot of content warnings that can be found on Capin's website:

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I was so unsure of the ending ad how Capin was going to formulate something that I will accept because I have grown so interested in the characters! However, she proved me wrong and I was just in awe after finishing this book.
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this book made me feel like I could rip into a boy's chest, pull out his still beating heart, and grind it into dust beneath my boot. it also made me very sad.

I've never quite understood what the appeal of claws is, but I do now.

The story itself was compelling -- whether that's because I have complicated feelings about sexual assault plots that makes me pay really close attention (well...), or because it's a Macbeth adaptation (a not-insignificant part of my interest), or just because it was well done (which it was).

SPEAKING OF MACBETH. I delighted in the transfer of Macbeth from Shakespeare to contemporary. Foul is Fair is a book all it's own (see: my use of adaptation, not retelling) with more depth and twists than the source material. The names might be one of my favorite little details? I mean, how clever is it to twist Banquo into Banks? And making them LAX bros?? incredible.


The prose honestly wasn't my favorite (my favorite would be idk normal prose or Stiefvater). It was a little choppy, but that did add a lot of atmosphere to the story and it didn't take away any of my ability to really dive in.

The imagery was amazing. I always love books that play like movies in my mind. To me, it's a sign of great flow and storytelling, and Foul is Fair played all the way through.

That ending made me gasp! I'm intimidated! And sad, kinda!

Overall I highly recommend, but only if you're ready to feel like you have claws.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.
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There are so many things I loved about this but I think the one thing that stands out the most to me was how fantastic the writing was. I was hooked!This one is an unforgettable story for many factors. It is supposed to be the retelling of Shakespeare's Lady MacBeth but I haven't read that book, so I don't know how faithful it is to it. This story  features the issue of a bullying mentality often found among students.I had some questions through the story that I felt the author didn't explain them and this is my only issue!
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Everyone loves a good revenge story, and this is definitely a story of revenge. I do have some mixed feelings about this story. While it is a dark reality that we live in that girls are assaulted at parties and no one ever deserves to find themselves in that position, this is decidedly a dark path that one girl walks down. 15 year old Elle finds herself the victim of a brazen sexual assault at a party. Refusing to become a victim Elle, and her coven of friends begin a targeted revenge campaign meant to eliminate every boy who had a hand in Elle’s rape. Going through a physical transformation, Elle enrolls at St. Andrews and begins her campaign of manipulation. With the help of her friends, each boy is slowly eliminated. There is a poetic quality to the writing that is a little different from the typical narrative.   In general this story is a little unsettling, as Elle seems to spiral and lose herself with each successive killing. This seems to be a first novel in an ongoing storyline, and I am intrigued enough with it to pursue the story into future novels. Review posted to Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Amazon.
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I am going to break out of my norm just a little here because it is hard to stay out of first-person when I do not like a novel.

My first issue with the novel is the aesthetic. I was not thrilled with this cover at all. I felt like it was sloppy and did not fit the tone or plotline at all. The color choice is a little off-putting, and I’m sorry, but what is her chin on? This is probably my least professional review ever, and I apologize for that, but this cover, it really bothers me.

Then there is the plot. Once I read the plotline, I was instantly drawn in. I love historical retellings, and I love revenge stories, they are (usually) gritty and tension driven. However, honestly, once I started reading, I was almost immediately put off because I could not connect to the main characters.

Yes, this is supposed to be a retelling of Macbeth from the female perspective and Jade is the Queen while her best friends are the three witches. Nevertheless, the writing style it lost me. It is everything terrible about an unreliable narrator because Jade tells the story in a jarring and slightly unbelievable. It seems unrealistic, how accommodating everyone is, how easy it is for her to tell her parents and her friends, and then start at a new school. Yes, it is significant that she does not allow herself to be a victim. However, instead of coming out of the situation in an empowering way or gets her revenge in an empowering way, she just comes off as cruel and unrelatable. Yes, something unimaginably horrible was done to her, but she lets herself drown in that pain.

The character dynamics, again, they just were not believable. Starting at the new school, makes Mack fall in love with her instantly, gets involved with the in-crowd in a snap? Sorry, but as much as this is fiction, the reader should not have to suspend belief that much.

I wanted to like this book, the premise was everything I usually love, but it comes down to the writing, to the tone of the story, both of which are off-putting. It was a struggle to read this novel, and honestly, it almost made it to the DNF pile.
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