Cover Image: Foul is Fair

Foul is Fair

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

2.5 stars
Definitely an interesting ride considering its a Shakespeare retelling of Macbeth. Because of this reason, I think the writing is all too choppy and it’s almost like reading a play... but its supposed to be a book.. so you don’t really get to immerse yourself in the writing as much.

I do think I would’ve dnf’d this if I stopped at the 10% mark, but because I pushed through to 50% last night, it made reading this and finishing it all the quicker. Like I said in my update, this is STUPID quick to read and the chapters move quickly. I think the idea was definitely there, but the writing style was not it for me.

I did get more and more invested in our characters, but not remotely enough to like any of them
Was this review helpful?
Warning this book has claws.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 

Utterly unflinching and vicious Foul is Fair, was an excellent ride. 

This is wicked revenge, and its glorious. 

I'd read anything Hannah Capin writes going forward.
Was this review helpful?
Foul is Fair was a loose retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth. What happened was at times unbelievable and terrible and evil and yet, there were redeeming qualities and a good story in there, such that I couldn't put it down! This revenge fantasy definitely shows that all is fair in love and war, and Elle has decided this is war!
Was this review helpful?
What a beauty of a book, this book screams and rages it's message for all to hear. It's not a book to be taken lightly, anyone interested in reading really must make themselves aware of all the trigger and content warnings because this is a dark novel.
A story of revenge that isn't for the light hearted.
Was this review helpful?
First of all, I want to be clear that this book has a huge list of trigger warnings. The author provides a full list.

With that being said, I felt this was an amazing book. It was stylistically, a really interesting book. The way it's written is very raw and present, and almost flow of consciousness.

This book has everything I love in a book. A trans main character, women who unleash righteous vengeance, and most of all men who don’t get away with their crime.
I remember finishing this book and feeling so many emotions that it was finished. I wasn’t quite sure how it would end, and I felt like I was right there with the characters, anxiously waiting for each of their plans to unfold. I was rooting for them the whole time. 
You should, provided the book and it’s triggers is something you can handle, read this book. It’s powerful and punchy in all the best ways. It digs in like little thorns and you keep turning it over in your mind even months after you read it.
Was this review helpful?
[Thank you, Wednesday Books, for granting me this e-ARC.]

Confession: I, shamefully, haven’t finished a book in months. Lately in lockdown the days blur together, always meaning to read but never doing it so this review comes late-late. (Also, I’m uncultured and never saw/read Macbeth—I recognize some things from popular culture but I honest to god realized this was a retelling when the witches popped out and I went “oh, just like Macbeth!” and my friend had to spell it out.) But: the curse is now broken and I’m mad at myself for dragging my feet. I’d read the author mention writing Foul is Fair was like therapy. For me, it was everything I could’ve dreamed of and more. 

While first starting out it didn’t catch me that much—I was having a hard time, still having a lot of anger and an unwillingness to open “the rape book”. I read on and off through February and got %60 in until today when it finished it, and that last %40 was how the book jumped from a meh 3-star to a 4-star to at the end, a 5-star. We were on a straight road and thought I knew what’s up but then it swerved the fuck off and put me on a mountain road. The descriptions can sometimes be read as juvenile, but this is Jade’s inner POV and she’s sixteen and whatever she thinks or says there’s four sets of teeth behind it. She’s not a girl for empty words unless they serve her interests. Her girls are whole people on their own and I don’t know if they actually have magic powers or not but they’d more than kill for each other and that’s beautiful.

The ending: you know when an ending isn’t like you wanted of rushed and disappoints you? This is not that. It stood on my expectations and launched itself into space through sheer force of will. It gleamed brighter than Doja Cat in Say So. It felt like I was thirsty and downed a glass of ice-cold water even though I forgot to actually drink reading it. 

Stick with it.
Was this review helpful?
I loved reading this book! Mix Kill Bill with Macbeth and you get Foul is Fair. It is a story of revenge, and it is served really well in the story. The author has an amazing style of writing and I loved how Elle gets even with those who wronged her. Overall, this was a great book to read, and I enjoyed it a lot!
Was this review helpful?
This book was well written and enjoyable enough, but I'm more into realism and fantasy isn't something I generally go for. So I didn't particularly enjoy this book but I know that's because of my own personal tastes. I have recommended this to quite a few people who I know would enjoy it as there are tons of people who do enjoy this type of book, but I am just not one of them.
Was this review helpful?
⁣The writing in Foul is Fair is very atmospheric and gave the story a poetic feel. It was a little difficult to get into at first, but I hit my stride around 20% of the way through and from then on it was smooth sailing and I was immersed in the story. It was melodramatic, but in an way, despite the darkness of the story. And trust me, the story was pretty dark! ⁣⁣
The main character was absolutely fascinating and I loved reading from her point of view. Seeing her revenge was incredibly satisfying and I loved seeing what she’d do next at every twist. ⁣⁣
My one complaint is that it did feel a little campy for me at times, but it wasn’t too major and I’m sure a lot of people will enjoy this aspect of the book. Also, I mentioned before that this book was dark - definitely check out the content warnings in the beginning and on the author’s website before reading if you are concerned. ⁣⁣
Overall, it was a very interesting story, and one I think the YA audience will enjoy very much.
Was this review helpful?
One of my favorite reads so far this year! I've gone around recommending it to just about everyone I know.
Was this review helpful?
If Cruel Summer was your favorite Lover song, this book is for you. Capin’s writing is truly devastating, so prepare to have your physical or virtual highlighter run dry and your hands to sting from turning the pages too quickly. Violent, vengeful, and heavy in a way that will weigh on your mind in the best way long after you’ve finished, FOUL IS FAIR is a masterpiece that demands your attention.
Was this review helpful?
Foul is Fair is the feminist revenge story of my dreams. Dark, brutal, and cathartic. Before you go any further – there are serious trigger and content warnings – the author has put them on her website and I suggest you please read those first, if you need to, and stay safe my friends and fellow survivors.

Jade was excited to celebrate turning sixteen with her best friends, they crashed a neighboring prep school party…the boys there picked the wrong girl.

For me, as a survivor, I found this book very cathartic, and as Jade struggles to heal, she is not a victim, she also realizes these boys have hurt too many and their time is over. She will ruin them no matter the cost.

Golden boys beware.

This book is unapologetic and I loved every page. It was a whirlwind of revenge all bundled up neatly with the most lyrical prose and imagery. I can predict that the narrative style might not be for everyone, but listening to the audiobook made it sound like a well crafted song, it was so perfectly read and timed. I could feel the emotions and the depth and the narrator was perfect for these words. It was truly a listening experience and I really want everyone to read this book.

Foul is Fair was full of delicious prose that I could taste and I love that it’s a Macbeth retelling but it also felt a little like Heathers meets Jawbreaker too, yet set more modern and so much more bloody. The body count is more like a Tarantino film. If you read and loved other revenge books like The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis and Sadie by Courtney Summers, than I want you to read Foul is Fair, but know in advance this book makes no apologies for murdering those who are complicit in hurting girls.
Was this review helpful?
After a traumatic event, Jade and her friends plot revenge against everyone responsible. Jade transfers to St. Andrews in order to complete her plans. 
Foul Is Fair has nice prose and an interesting plot. Jade and Mads have a strong relationship. Though they weren’t shown much, I liked the portrayal of the girls’ parents. 

Though I like the book, I found the pacing rushed. It would’ve been a smoother read if Jade’s plan took months as opposed to a week.

Additionally, for a book centered on women’s power, the narrative is often derisive of other girls besides Jade and her friends. Jade views other girls at St. Andrews as passive and vapid “flock girls” and “starlings.” Jenny and Summer lacked depth, and Summer seemed more antagonistic then supportive of Jade. 

I don’t think I’ll read this novel again, but it was an enjoyable read.
Was this review helpful?
This was a full ride and I couldn't even finish it. 

I originally got this book as an ARC because it did sound interesting especially being inspired by the BARD himself. I attempted to read it before February and failed. Then I saw there was an audiobook so I attempted that way as well but this book is just not for me. 

I could not get into the characters or the story as I was listening to it. I didn't care about the main girls because they all seem pretty horrible as female characters go and the way the words translated from the page to an audio format just did not work for me.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book. I love retellings of any sort  and Macbeth is one of my favorite Shakespearean plays. The fact that the POV is from Lady Macbeth makes it extra fascinating. I always wanted to know more from her side of things. I really recommend this!
Was this review helpful?
I had higher hopes for this one since it is a Macbeth retelling but something about the writing style wasn't for me. It felt like a book I would maybe enjoy more if I read a second time to get more in the flow of the writing. I enjoyed the general plot and revenge is always a good thing to read about.
Was this review helpful?
Foul is Fair was such a whirlwind of a book! I loved the killer female revenge aspect of the entire thing! I was so impressed that these girls were willing to go to such lengths to take revenge for their friend who was raped, but it really did make me wonder why none of their parents were ever concerned by how absent they all are from their homes.
Was this review helpful?
The first thing I want to talk about in this book review is the trigger warnings that need to be included in this book if they haven't been already.

Rape, Sexual Assault, Abuse, Violence, and Murder.

The main focus of this book was getting revenge for rape at a party in the next town over. Our main character, Elle is set on making them pay. While I give the author props for writing about such a difficult topic I have to say that the way it went down in this book wasn't a good way. I'm actually concerned about the idea's that it might give younger children that read this book. As adults, we know how to handle topics like this and know what we should and shouldn't do. Planing to murder people for sexual assault isn't the right way. Elle had the ability to do things the correct way and go to the police with the evidence but she was too stuck on this crazy idea that she wants to destroy every single one of them. She doesn't handle anything the right or correct way and it really bothered me.

This book was supposed to a retelling of Macbeth but I haven't read that play and I couldn't see how it was a retelling of it.

The character's in this book were very flat and all of them, I mean all of them need some serious counseling and I'm not just talking about Elle. Her friends that go along with her crazy ideas and even encourage her into continuing her plan need some serious help. What on earth makes them act on their rage like this. I know this book was a work of fiction but damn if it's not distributing. I didn't really like any of the characters in this book. I didn't understand their actions or their reasoning behind what they did. I feel like the author wanted this book to be a very girl power kind of book but I wish it could have been done without the murder. The only characters that I thought that the author did really well was Elle's father and mother, I liked that they were very supportive and that Elle felt comfortable to tell them that it actually happened. I just wish so badly that the parents would have done more to stop the crazy madness that unfolded by their daughters doing.

If your looking for a realistic contemporary this book is not for you. I had so many issues while reading this book. While this book is set in our world it definitely doesn't go buy today's rules or standards in society. Elle was just able to change schools at the drop of a hat. She didn't even have to wait or anything. She even went to this new school with a totally different name which we all know would never be able to happen. She's not under any witness protection or anything so there would be no way for her to go buy a different name. I really didn't like how it seemed like no one at this new school was actually doing what they were supposed to be doing. There's like no school work ever. I also really disliked how the main character's relationship happened in like a day and they were already head over heels in love with each other. With that being said this book was a very quick read, I finished it in just a few hours.

This book definitely has some mean girl vibes if you're looking for that in a book but I took a chance of reading this book while I have previously dnf another book by this author. Personally, I believe that this book just wasn't for me and that if you like retellings of Macbeth and truly a book that's more fiction than reality this book would be for you. It's got some raging girl power but with the trigger warnings this book is not for everyone and I wouldn't recommend it for a younger audience.
Was this review helpful?
The author kindly lists trigger warnings for her work so I’ll link to that at the end, but the entire story hinges on something that I need to talk about so I’m starting with one trigger warning for date rape. That’s what happens to Elle when she goes out partying for her sixteenth birthday to a boy’s prep school party. Afterwards she tells her friends, her parents (withholding who the boys were), and transfers to the school the boys attend. Why? Revenge. All planned out. Every boy involved in her assault is going to die and her group of popular girlfriends, her coven, is going to help, along with one boy from the school she’s going to force to help. It isn’t going to be easy, but her mind is made up and these boys need to pay, and the school’s rape culture needs to come to an end at any cost.

This felt like a melodrama war cry meets Lady Macbeth meets Heathers and should be “fun” for fans of revenge fantasies that want to think of nothing more than revenge. It gets bloody!
Was this review helpful?
Before I begin this review it is very important to mention that this story is a story about rape and its aftermath; naturally if you are sensitive to this issue or feel like such conent is triggerring to you then I strongly suggest you sit this one out. 

Foul Is Fair is a difficult read. It is difficult for more reasons than one: the writing style is extremely allegoric and flowery, which makes it hard to follow at times, the topic being discussed is hard to read and also the way this topic is handled doesn't leave room for comfort. The author doesn't sugar coat a thing; the way the story is told is brutal and it is honest. 

I want to say that I loved the way Capin handled the issue but I'm really hesitant to use the word love in such a scenario. It would be a lie if I said I loved the story, since the story itself is something so wrong and twisted. So the word love or even like doesn't apply. Nor does the word enjoy. Instead I'll say that I hated every second of this book, since hate is the only word able to carry the emotions it made me feel. I hated what was done to Jade, I hated what Jade was made to do, I hated those boys and I hated every person complacent to the crime. 
And this is exactly what makes this story a 4.5 star read. You are not supposed to enjoy a story that is essentially about rape and its effects on the human psyche; you are not supposed to love the fact that the girl may have come out stronger out of this situation, because she shouldn't have to go through it in the first place. 

Another aspect of the story that made it for me is how unlikeable Jade and her friends are. In the book, Jade characterises her group of friends as a coven and that's what they are; they are the typical mean girls, the ones whom everyone hates, the ones who leave behind despair everywhere they go; the ones who "tease" boys, the ones who dress provocatively and don't care about it. This is a super smart device used: Capin takes all stereotypes related to justifying rape and applies them to Jade, so as to challenge the reader. It's as if she's saying: "Yes, she was dressed provocatively and she danced with boys and she wanted attention and so what?". 

What I gathered from the story and what you should too, whether you decide to read this book or not is the following:

Rape is never, never justifiable. N e v e r. Even if you decide to go around the city butt naked no one has any right on you and on your body, no one has any right to violate you in any way.

Lastly, Foul Is Fair is a direct attack on society and rape culture. Within the confines of the book the reader is able to see and realise that the ones at fault are not only the ones committing the crime, but everyone else who knows. Everyone else who knows, or even has a small suspicion and does nothing about it. Because we find it easier to not get involved, to turn a blind eye to things that do not concern us rather than do what’s right and fight against injustice. Foul Is Fair will definitely make you turn your gaze inwardly and question your own self. What would you have done if you were in this situation? And most importantly, are you doing enough? Are you paying enough attention to what’s happening around you?

There are more things in the novel that could be unpacked like internalised misogyny that so many girls have; living in a society that teaches girls to complete against each other for the male gaze and which urges them to do anything for the entertainment and approval of men, class privilege, white privilege and more. I’m afraid that if I start talking about all that I will get carried away, so I think the things said above about the book is more than enough to get a good understanding about what Foul Is Fair is about.

Final consensus: A hard hitting book dealing with rape without concealing anything; brutal and honest it shows the lasting effects of such a violation of not just the body but also the mind. Rape is a crime and should be treated as such. Every other opinion is a bunch of bull**** 🙂

I received this e-ARC via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?