Member Reviews

3.5 stars
*trigger warning: discusses sexual assault*
An extremely dark, beautiful and well-written novel that pulls you in right from the start, however the plot fails to reach the same level of the writing.
Foul is Fair follows Jade, a highschooler, who transfers schools to exact her bloody revenge against the boys that sexually assaulted her at a party.

I really enjoyed Capin’s writing in this novel. It was dark and enticing, rich with vocabulary and adjectives, and I felt like the words just floated off the page. My problem with this book was that though the writing was amazing, character development and the plot fell short for me.
My problem with the plot was that it moved a bit too quickly, as it would cut from scene to scene making it choppy and hard to follow. It felt like the majority of the book took place in less than a month and in that one month so much happened that it aired on the side of fantasy. Though the plot did left me intrigued and wanting to know what would happen next, if the author had chosen maybe to add about 100 pages to the novel it would have moved more smoothly.

Another problem that arose from the book was character development. First of all, it seemed as if Jade was a POC for diversity points because the fact that she was Indian-American was mentioned once and then never mentioned again for the rest of the novel. Having a POC main character does not mean that the novel has to be all about how the MC is a POC, but I feel like a bit more could have been done. The only characters that got developed were those at St. Andrew’s Prep, but Jade’s friends who were considered to be a big part of her life were given identical, one-dimensional, and hollow characters.

Overall, I really enjoyed Foul is Fair, and I found it a dark and thrilling read on how a young woman worked through her trauma of her sexual assault.

Was this review helpful?

Foul is Fair tells the story of Elle, a girl who changes her appearance and identity to enroll in a private school and exact revenge on the group of boys who sexually assaulted her. As Elle, now Jade, infiltrates the group, her power over her peers grows. A truly horrific revenge story that has readers struggling with whether to root for Jade or not.

This story is a true masterpiece. The writing is beautiful, the story is graphic and frank, and the characters are as despicable as I wanted them to be. I never taught Macbeth, but that's a nice tie-in also.

Was this review helpful?

THIS was the book I needed to read at the end of my first year of college. THIS is the book every person that identifies as female between the ages of 15-25 NEEDS to read.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes. Every female who survives however they find works best for them will appreciate this story. Female friendship at its best.

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.

The pacing and plot are excellent. The characters are fantastic. I tore through this book.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Jade is the full forced, superhero that a rape victim's dreams of being in Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin. Dark, confident, and full of plans of revenge, Elle and her coven of ladies are twisted, clever, and full of the right amount of darkness that stick with the reader long after the last page has been turned. On her 16th birthday, Elle is discretely drugged and then gang raped at a fancy prep party for students of St. Andrews.

When Elle starts to recover from the brutal attack, she and her friends pledge to get revenge on every person that was responsible for her rape. Elle reinvents herself as Jade and takes power from her by one.

This isn't your easy to swallow down light revenge... this is the darkness of Macbeth with many modern twists. Jade and her coven are intense and dramatic. There are so many parts of me that wished for a different ending, but it ended just as fate determined.. Diving into the themes intertwined between this fast paced can't look away for one moment plot has me dizzy...but overall the theme of the coven or tribe of women that Jade has to back her up is very empowering! I hope every woman has a tribe that will be there for them like Jade's friends are for her. ( Well...maybe not the crime part, but perhaps that depends on the day).

Many triggers: rape and teens having sex (though not graphically portrayed), alcohol, drug use, suicide, murder, Shakespeare references (in case that scares you away).... I am sure there is more.

Thank you to NetGalley, Hannah Capin, and St,. Martin's Press for an advanced reader copy for me to enjoy. As always, my opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

A stunning and violent feminist manifesto, Foul is Fair follows Elle as she plots to take down the prep school boys who targeted her. With stunning lyrical prose, this timely novel discusses the effects of toxic masculinity, assault, and the lengths women must go to get justice. Highly recommended for fans of Macbeth, Cruel Intentions, or Heathers!

A special thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

**Warning! Some possible spoilers.**
Wow! What an amazingly dark and beautiful story. I was intrigued because I saw it described as Cruel Intentions meets Kill Bill. That is probably one of the most accurate quick descriptions of a book I've ever read. I would definitely throw in a little Shakespeare with that as well. Just a warning, it is very dark and violent, and some of the scenes could be triggers for some people. The imagery in this book is just stunning. When you read it you will know what I'm talking about. When the heroine, Jade, describes her and her coven, it's so vivid and breathtaking that I can clearly picture them in my head in all their glory. It is written in first-person from Jade's perspective. She is one of the most brutal, but intriguing and beautiful heroines I've ever had the pleasure of reading. She's dark and twisted but incredibly strong and intelligent. She is beautiful and dangerous. The complexity of her revenge and the imagery that is used is what makes me think of Shakespeare. The ending is done incredibly well with a bit of tragedy. It's heartbreaking. This character is a true phoenix, rising from the ashes of trauma to become a force to be reckoned with. I will look for other books by this author. Her writing style is mesmerizing. Thank you to NetGalley and Hannah Capin for allowing me to read this.

Was this review helpful?

Girls going and getting revenge on the shitty, Princeton boys who take what they want and never, ever seem to face consequences, HELL YES.

Jade is the perfect Lady McBeth, and I love me a retelling, so I was 100% down for this book. I thought I'd rip through it and never be able to put it down.

Unfortunately, I started to feel a bit of a strain as the book went on. I think the writing style is beautiful, and poetic, but I also know I struggle with that style. It makes the narrator seem older (weirdly enough), and it separates me from the actual action of what's going on. And this separation really was what made this only a three star book for me.

Overall, if you like lyrical books about revenge and anger pulsing under your skin, and the general feeling of "YES!" this book is for you. If you find poetic phrasing and breaks distracting, probably not quite right.

Thanks to NetGalley for the early read.

Was this review helpful?

I've never read anything from Hanna Capin before Foul is Fair but absolutely plan to as soon as I can! Although Foul is Fair covers quite a few touchy/feely subjects it is beautiful! The writing just flows off the pages and I didn't want to put it down even after my husband would inquire about supper!

I don't condone violence and I knew before I read it this book was gonna be full of it but I read it anyhow because I wanted to hear Jade's story. I cringed in a few parts but I also understood after reading how a beautiful and happy 16 year old could become so heartless.

I can't say much more without spoiling parts of the story but will add that Jade's plan of revenge was brilliant and twisted all at once!

Was this review helpful?

I wanted to like this book so bad. By 50% I just had enough. The book seems to not really habe a point to me. It's about revenge but the main character, who yes, has been wronged, seems to have no soul. Has even talked about how she and "her coven" are the meanest girls at their school. Yes, these prep school boys are doing bad things, but those girls are terrible people also and while I can feel sympathy for wjat the main character has gone through and maybe even understand wanting revenge, I can not sympathize with the character over all as a person and I can't stick with the book because even the killing of the guys involved is slow going and kind of boring. It also doesnt make a lot of sense that a teen could transfer so easily from one prep school to the next in a matter of days. Or that her parents would be so cool with it and with her not wanting to report what happened or even get help to work through wjat happened. I just can't get on board with this one.

Was this review helpful?

Scary, bloody, violent retelling of teen Macbeth with the mash-up of Cruel Intensions, Riverdale, Mean Girls, American Horror Story “Coven” and of course one of the best disturbing high school movie “Heathers”!

So what do you think? You’re gonna be in or out! As a die-hard fan of all Shakespeare works, I took my place at the back seat, flipping pages with distorted face, widen eyes and the thought balloons appeared above my head says: “WTH I’m reading! Those teenagers couldn’t be real human beings!” They might have been produced in a lab by the protected genes of famous serial killers including Manson, Dahmer and Wuornos!

So here is our cast:
Jade is our avenger, psychopath bitch a.k.a Lady Macbeth says who would have thought all these boys to have so much blood in them…

Mack is our innocent(!), decent, unfortunately manipulated Macbeth

Heathers girls a.k.a Witches: Jenny, Summer and Mads

The kings a.k.a motherf.cker, despicable, dirty human wastes (I wish Jade give me some private time with those boys because they’re winners of my punching, slapping, kicking, beating the shit out of them contests!
I’m volunteer to use them as decorative punch bags of my Fighting Women Club and Making Cupcakes Club –after burning so much energy, we get our treat!-)
So Elle attends a St. Andrew’s prep party with her coven but she gets rofied and raped. So old Elle dies and
Jade is born at that moment to give the punishment those four guys coming from rich and powerful families. Now she’s determined to conduct her mission and massacre them one by one with the help of her coven members swear on a blood oath!

She starts her plan by transferring the same school with those guys and befriending their girlfriends, seducing their teammate Mack, pulling his strings as if he’s her favorite puppet! Let the blades sharpen! Let the massacre begins! But Jade shouldn’t forget that a person who desires revenge should also dig two graves!
Did I enjoy it? It’s dark, it’s funny, it’s disturbing and it’s ruthless, nasty, unrealistic somewhat cheesy, awkward.
All those teenagers reminded you of aliens from other dimensions with their absurd and weird reactions and their dialogues, relationship dynamics. There was lack of emotions on this story, only real powerful dynamic was revenge theme which was keeping the story alive and intriguing. But I still enjoyed the most parts even I thought in any second Mulder and Scully would appear and took those coven members into a spaceship and send them to the planet they had come from.

Those coven girls are amazing future version of Heathers! I imagined all AHS coven cast on my mind and match with those characters:
Emma Roberts- Jade, Younger Lily Rabe-Jenny, Taissa Farmiga-Summer and Billie Lourd as Mads (even she wasn’t casted at the “Coven” season, nobody could be better Mads than her.)

So it’s a good work, great, bloody, frustrating, dark retelling even I had some issues to connect with those characters.

My last sentence of review before thanking the Netgalley and publisher comes from Macbeth Act I-Scene I: “Fair is foul and fouls is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air”

Special thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for sharing this ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review! Well, I happily accept to excitedly read any Shakespeare retelling!

Was this review helpful?

This book was described as a mash up of Kill Bill, Cruel Intentions, and a feminist Macbeth and I was so concerned that it was over reaching. It. Is. Not.

FOUL IS FAIR is sharp and witty and so spellbinding that I really didn’t want to put it down. Hannah Capin’s writing is so smooth and delicious that reading felt self indulgent. This is even more impressive given the themes in the book, which are by their nature quite serious and heavy. This doesn’t make light of the trauma but instead brings the power back to the survivor.

Jade is a truly a work of art as a protagonist and you can’t help but cheer her on as she plots through her revenge fantasy made real.

Reading this book felt almost cathartic and empowering. I never imagined I was going to enjoy it this much, but I’m so grateful I had a chance to get my hands on an ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley, Wednesday Books and Hannah Capin for a free copy of this book for my honest review.

I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book. The author warned that this book could be triggering with some of the themes. I decided to try it anyway. What a thrill ride of a book. At first I thought it would be over privileged teens doing what they wanted with a total disregard of the consequences or anyone else's feelings.It was all that but so much more. Actions come with a price and these young people paid a price or their actions. It is a story of friendship, sisterhood, the old boy, or should I say, the young boy network and the total disregard the parents seem to have for what their teenagers are doing. I applaud the fact that this girl stood up for herself and made sure the boys who hurt her were punished. I didn't care for the way she punished them or the lengths she and her friends went to for revenge. But that is my opinion. The writing was excellent and very visual and poetic in a way.

Was this review helpful?

She gets it.

When I received an e-mail earlier today from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press giving me the opportunity to read Foul is Fair over the next 48 hours I was unsure whether I should read it or give it a miss due to the trigger warnings. Then I noticed that the author is Heather Capin. So I read it.

She gets it.

She just does.

Was this review helpful?

CW: offscreen rape, violence and gore

For all those who rage-watched the news about rapists and would-be rapists who got off with light sentences, slaps on the wrists, or Supreme Court appointments, Four is Fair is the Macbeth re-telling set in high school that will fuel your revenge fantasies. An unforgettable, dark, cold, and murder-y story about a fierce and unapologetic villain protagonist unleashing bloody retribution on the untouchable golden boys. It is dark, fierce, and violent, so it may not be for every reader.

Was this review helpful?

This book was super intense, aggressive, bloody, cutthroat, heartless, vengeful, and all around a great story. MacBeth meets the MeToo movement. A girl is sexually assaulted and vows, with the help of her three friends, to get revenge. It was very detailed, very bloody, very ruthless. Definitely not a light read, but very captivating. I loved it.

Trigger warnings: sexual assault(not actually depicted in story), teen violence and drinking, murder, gore

Was this review helpful?

I've just spent the afternoon falling in love with Jade's coven of girls and fell into an ending bitter and sweet as almond. This is a brilliant book, aching and beautiful and smarter than I am, glittering and brittle as glass and twice as sharp. Yes it is Shakespeare; no, you won't quite notice. Is the price of vengeance always everything? Jade has already decided not only that it is, but also that it's a bargain. What begins with a thrill strips boneward with each reckoning until shock is subsumed into something that approaches grief. Also- because I would be remiss without the point- a Greek chorus is inserted into the story to wonderful effect. Fun enough for teens, and deep enough for a bookclub- it can be read on a few levels, all of them engaging. Cannot recommend enough. Five stars.

Was this review helpful?

Timely, vicious, delightful. Capin's writing is only getting better and better and her interpretation of the iconic revenge story is an anthem for the angry teenage girls of today.

Was this review helpful?

Just WOW!! Although I have to say this cover is not winning me over. The story inside it was awesome!! This was a dark story in the style of a Macbeth Feminist!! The authors writing and pacing worked wonders in this story that I could not put down!!! Its so out there and bold and doesn't shy away from being dark and raw! And wow just wow I loved Jade to the very last page and if anyone says anything bad about this book i'm just going to explode! I don't know if this author has any other titles out but I am going on the hunt for them right now. And OMG this book doesn't come out until next year I am so going to die right now.

Was this review helpful?

“We’re magic. I can feel it right now in the dark. We’re invisible when we need to be and then so firework-bright no one can look away.”

This book truly is very much a “we are so tired, it’s time to commit murder” mood. And that’s probably the best thing I can say about this book. It encompasses a whole mood. It’s a Cell Block Tango and Nightmare by Halsey kind of book. I know that I get mad sometimes, every time I see the complete idiocy of the justice system ruling on sexual assault cases. The smug teen boys who get off easy because “what about their future?!”. This book spit in the face of the concept of justice and just says- they had it coming.

The writing of this book is the biggest component of this. The main character has incredibly evocative and striking internal narrative that build up the world around her to this Shakespearean level of drama, which is perfect for its Macbeth ties. Albeit, Jade, the main character, is super pleased with herself, but honestly? Good for her. It also makes for some really amazing quotes, I mean…yeah some/most are kind of Hot Topic slogans, but I think once you get into the feeling of the book, just lean into the theatrics, it’s easier to swallow.

Once I got into it, which only happened after I made the playlist for this book, I found that Jade and her friends were actually fun to root for. It’s just this book where I was constantly hoping for the worst? Like- I just got really excited about murder, as one does, and I got into touch with my villain side. It’s really fun over here, btw. I was always so resolved though, sometimes I would get torn over certain characters, which just adds to its complexity.

It was a bit of a set back that this wasn’t a book that I could start reading and like. I had to build up some anger to justify any feeling I had reading it. I had to get mad and listen to the right music and then I could get into the story, otherwise things seemed too middle school edgy. Just consider this book gasoline to your already burning fire.

In terms of the side characters, I really loved the witches. Honestly, they were so cool, but I also never trusted them. Just saying. As for the guys? Well, if they didn’t want to get hurt then they shouldn’t have dressed so hurt-able. I mean- they were asking for it.

TL;DR: This is a really fun read for when your as mad as these witches are. Though its a specific mood read, it’s also really just well-written, the suspense is killer and the ending blows you away.

Was this review helpful?

I am shocked at the positive reviews this book has been receiving from early reviewers. All the characters, including Jade/Elle, were terrible people. I did not enjoy reading about them, and I found it very difficult to get behind the revenge story because it was so ridiculous. Although I can completely empathize with a sexual assault victim wanting justice, a murderous rampage certainly does not seem like the answer and I did not find it at all gratifying. I would be extremely hesitant to promote this book to teen readers, because it glorifies murder and manipulation through sex. None of Jade/Elle’s coping mechanisms for her assault were positive, and I personally feel this book would be very unhealthy to put in the hands of someone who has actually been sexually assaulted.

Was this review helpful?