I was able to read this book thanks to NetGalley. It was a quick fun and entertaining read! I really enjoyed it and I will be recommending it to friends and family l. Thanks again to NetGalley
Foul is Fair is AMAZING and gripping and Hannah Capin has my full attention.
First, BIG THANK YOU to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for providing me a copy of the ARC to read and review.
Second, trigger warnings galore!! Sexual assault, violence, and a handful of others. I’m not triggered by a lot and this book shook me.
On to the review~
It takes a lot for a book to grip me from the first few pages. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’ve read a lot of books, or 50.
This book GRABBED ME. I’m talking less than 10% in and I was hooked fully. I realize I need to give you more information for my review but I just needed to express how amazing the hook for this novel is from the get go. #iamallin
Foul is Fair is book one in a series. I’m not sure how many books there will be, as I have no further information right now, but I NEED MORE. That’s all I can tell you.
This novel follows the story Elle. A girl who is targeted by a group of boys at a party and let me just say, they chose the wrong freaking woman for that. Elle transforms herself into a new person, Jade, and these poor boys are not prepared for what they unleashed.
“I am the exactly wrong way to be a victim” – Foul is Fair, Hannah Capin
Note, this novel is also a retelling of Macbeth, so that intensity ports right over and into this plot and environment.
To try and pick a favorite out of the main crew is hard. All of them have a specific brand and role that adds to this story. Each of the characters in this book is integral really. It’s weird to say, but this story has no ‘small parts’ and each chapter is important.
The focus of this book is, revenge, which was probably obvious…. However, I have never had a story explain it so well. I felt the drive, the anger, and the chaos. Each step further, the reader is there for it and dragged with the current. The plot pulls you and leads you.
The writing is amazing. At no point was I tempted to stop reading. Even the ending wasn’t so much as a closure as a “what did I just read and oh my goodness”.
I realize what I wrote above is a lot, but I’m that shocked. I’m still shook by this book even after it ended and I still think about it.
So for a more concise summary. Foul is Fair is a book of intensity and thriller. A novel that articulates vengeance and how it whips a person into chaos and tumbles into tragedy.
If you enjoy dark horror, or dark action, I would recommend this book. Also if you enjoy classics and retellings, this book is for you! I hope it grabs you by the heart and pulls you right into the telling.
TWs: Please be aware that this book is about rape and the trauma of sexual assault, and that it's going to be mentioned in my review. Please make sure to read a full list of warnings before you read this book. You can find them here: https://www.hannahcapin.com/foulisfair
I love this book so much that I really don't have the right words to describe it. Foul is Fair is the vicious, merciless revenge book of my dreams, and I loved every second and every line in it. It's a retelling of Macbeth, and it keeps the heart of the story while giving it a fresh, feminist take.
Foul is Fair is told from the perspective of Jade, who plays the role of Lady Macbeth in this retelling, as she seeks revenge on the boys who sexually assaulted her at a party. I hadn't realized that this was a Macbeth retelling when I picked it up, I hadn't actually seen anyone say it was, so I had just assumed the title had borrowed the famous Shakespearean line until I was a few chapters in, which was a fun surprise. I liked the plot of Macbeth, but found myself really frustrated with it's execution and how it blamed the women in the story for Macbeth's downfall. In contrast, Foul is Fair lets Lady Macbeth and the Weird Sisters take their share of the blame, without subverting their roles in the story. The women are the ones running the show, and the golden boys from St. Andrew's are just along for the brief ride, before they get what they deserve.
I adored Jade. She was angry and cunning, while still being vulnerable and loyal. I loved her relationships with the rest of her "coven": Jenny, Summer and Mads. The four girls had an unbreakable bond, they had each other's back no matter what and did literally anything for each other. I appreciated that they were all just as vicious as Jade too, rather than trying to use them to offset her sharp edges, Capin had them support her by being just as ruthless.
Capin wrote Foul is Fair in an unusual manner. There are jagged, broken sentences framed by em dashes, and macabre descriptions of almost anything, like the sky. She really captures not only the anger Jade has at the world and the boys who assaulted her, but her pain and loss. Jade isn't the type of character to dwell on her pain, and by painting more gruesome imagery it conveys her actual feelings, and helps to maintain the dark atmosphere of the original Macbeth. I really liked how the sexual assault was handled, it was actively on Jade's mind, rather than something to be ignored until it was needed. Not having the assault written out explicitly in it's own chapter was an excellent choice too, in my opinion. It was a good reminder that Jade was the one controlling the rest of the situations while her avoidance of remembering everything played a key role in showing the reader her personality.
If you're looking for a book with a shamelessly angry woman as the main character, a retelling of Macbeth or something to replace what you thought Promising Young Woman, this is the book for you. It's beautifully written and is such an excellent take on a rape survivor's story. As I stated at the beginning, just please remember to look up trigger warnings before you read. I believe the finished copy has a warning at the front, before the story begins, and you can find a detailed version from the author, linked at the start of my review.
Thanks @netgalley for the gifted ebook! // Hey there everyone. I'm honestly just out of things to say today. I've got nothing clever to write. The world is a mess right now and my brain is too full with the news of it all. I'm trying to make a dent in my netgalley reads so I can atleast feel like I'm accomplishing something and to keep my mind occupied. I was excited for Foul is Fair but I don't think I was in the right headspace to read it right now. It's a YA feminist revenge tale that I would normally be super into but the story felt so unbelievable and it just kept getting more and more unrealistic as it went on. It was an okay book so I gave it three stars but it's not a book I would necessarily recommend. -- ♡M.
FOUL IS FAIR | CAPIN
SYNOPSIS: Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target. They picked the wrong girl. Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly. Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.
This was an absolutely fascinating read. At first I wasnt sure I liked it as the prose was a bit too much for me, too sharp, too scissoring. But this was actually incredible. I finished it and I was like "Holy shit!"
I absolutely adore novels about revenge. They make me so happy because they're entirely opposite to me as a person and I admired Jade's tenacity. To go through what she went through and to then basically plot the downfall/death of seven people was pretty awe-inspiring to say the least.
I loved every page of this. I probably wouldnt read it again, but it was magnificent. So clever and biting. So unapologetic about what it was. Foul is Fair will likely be a marmite book but I absolutely devoured it. Bravo Hannah Capin, bravo!
Very dark book, but you will definitely be rooting for the "bad girls!" After Jade is assaulted at a party, she and her friends get revenge on the boys who did it. The writing and plot are phenomenal and I couldn't put it down..
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
[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.
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!
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.
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 almost...fun 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.
One of my favorite reads so far this year! I've gone around recommending it to just about everyone I know.
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.
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.
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.
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.