Hannah Capin's Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Perfect for fans of Karen M. McManus and A Good Girl's Guide to Murder. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.
Jade and her friends Jenny, Mads, 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 Jade's sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Jade as their next target.
They picked the wrong girl.
Sworn to vengeance, Jade transfers to St. Andrew’s Prep. 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.
A Note From the Publisher
"Capin’s writing will seduce you with its beauty and then, when you least suspect it, slice you to the bone—just like Foul is Fair’s captivating, vicious, entirely unforgettable heroine, Jade." - Layne Fargo, author of Temper and co-host of Unlikeable Female Characters Podcast
"Fierce, vicious, and electric. If books had teeth, Foul Is Fair would have fangs. Capin's language glitters dark and her writing cuts deep. Revenge is a dish best served by this deliciously unapologetic coven." - Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of Firsts and Last Girl Lied To
“Vicious and beautifully brutal, Foul is Fair gives a sword to every girl who has ever been a victim and makes them a warrior. This book is pulls no punches and will make anyone think twice before uttering the phrase ‘just a girl’. An unapologetic feminist battle-cry that leaves you breathless and thirsting for vengeance.” - Sonia Hartl, author of Have a Little Faith in Me
"Foul is Fair delivers the story of a girl who snatches control back from a world that stole it away, through whatever means necessary. Hannah Capin deftly combines stunningly lyrical prose with the raw power of engulfing fury, sending a message written in blood. In a world where too many are forced into silence, this book roars back." - Sophie Gonzales, author of The Law of Inertia and Only Mostly Devastated
"Jade does what uncounted sexual assault survivors have dreamed of doing--she takes matters into her own hands. What ensues is part Buffalo Bill-style revenge fantasy, part diabolically well-planned manipulation, and it's all done in lyrical prose that feels dreamy and so much like Shakespeare. A gorgeous, scorchingly emotional novel perfect for fans of Mindy McGinnis' The Female of the Species or Courtney Summers' All the Rage." - Wendy Heard, author of Hunting Annabelle and The Kill Club and cohost of Unlikeable Female Characters podcast
“Foul is Fair is a clever reimagining of Macbeth centering a teenage Lady M. It’s a dark, brutal revenge fantasy, sharply feminist and brimming with melodic prose. Capin’s sophomore novel is bloody brilliant—exceedingly bloody, and every bit as brilliant.” - Dana Mele, author of People Like Us
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 598 members
If you're into dark, beautifully-written, unapologetic fiction that never dumbs itself down for you, add FOUL IS FAIR to your TBR right. now. It's stunning, empowering, and cinematic. Sharp, fast-paced, and gripping. It's like reading the murderer's side of a murder mystery, except you're cheering her on. Jade is fierce and unforgettable. Her story will sit with readers for a long time. Content warnings for (I'm probably missing a bunch): sexual assault (not shown on page), self-harm (vague)
***Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of FOUL IS FAIR by Hannah Capin in exchange for my honest review. *** 4.5 DELICIOUSLY DEVIOUS STARS When wealthy boys gang rape Elle, she and her (metaphoric) coven of best friends devise a plan to make them pay. With their lives. Going by her middle name Jade she enrolls in their exclusive school with plans to taken them down literally by way of a boy she manipulates to do the killing. FOUL IS FAIR is to literature what the movie HEATHERS was to cinema, campy, over-the-top dark fun. Revenge porn against rich boys who think toxic masculinity is their birth right. FOUL IS FAIR works because Hannah Capin writes with such a strong voice that doesn’t quite take itself as seriously as it pretends. Capin knows her readers are smart enough to be in on the joke, that we’ve seen to many white athlete rapists given light sentences because they seem like good boys with promising futures and the girls, well, they shouldn’t have put themselves in a position to have made the boys rape them. FOUL IS FAIR is the anecdote to that culture. My only reason for not giving 5 complete stars is that Jade’s parents are from India and aside from giving her an Indian sounding last name, Capin, who appears to be white, did nothing other than giving her brown skin to write her any different than a blue blooded pilgrim who came over on the Mayflower. When I white writer pens a POC main character, I think more needs to be done other than a name to check the diversity box. I’m not saying writers can’t pen other cultures just that I think they owe readers more than a name. FOUL IS FAIR is listed as Book #1 and in already excited for Book #2.
I loved this dark book with strong girls who take control of their lives. TW: When Elle is assaulted at a prep school party, she doesn’t run and hide. She gets her girls together to plan revenge. What a roller coaster of emotions I had while reading this. I appreciate NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to be an early reader. Be sure to add this one to your pre-order list.
*Spoiler free* I don't even know how to start this introduction. I knew this was a book about revenge. I knew it was about angry girls. I knew it was Shakespeare retelling of sorts. I knew it was going to be really different from what I normally read, but I really wanted to give it a shot. There is are a lot of themes and instances in this book that can be really trigging. The author has a detailed list on her website, which I will link here. I wasn't expecting to fall so absolutely in love with this book. It's unforgiving. It doesn't let up at all. This is the kind of book that leaves you speechless. It's so absolutely beautifully written. I feel like I couldn't say anything about it that would do it justice. It's the kind of good that takes your breath away. The writing. Wow. It's so incredibly amazing. It's fast and it flows at a breakneck pace. It's almost like poetry. There's so much imagery, it's almost like a story on its own. But it meshes with the reality so seamlessly that it creates such mindbending effect. It draws you in and allows you to experience the emotions on a new, more intense level. I haven't read this Shakespeare play, but I feel like I sort of felt Shakespeare vibes in the writing? I dunno, but it was cool! I can't say too too much about the plot without spoiling. But I was so beautifully done. It's filled with anger and revenge and girls taking what they deserve. It's haunting and heartbreaking and it will stick with you. It's filled with blood and violence and carefully crafted plots of vengeance. I was surprised at how fast this book gets to the violence. It doesn't wait. It forges ahead with everything it has. It's like it's clamoring to get there, but it does it in such a meticulous and thought out way. It was just really great to see female characters take no punches. They aren't ashamed. They own everything they're doing and everything will do. The aren't afraid to be angry. They aren't afraid to take what they want. Jade has so much emotion and she channels it into her plot. This book isn't afraid to be exactly what it is. It's bloody and it was revenge. It's unapologetic. It doesn't even think of apologizing. It's written with such conviction and such bravery. It's such so very good. It's hard to find the words to explain how good it is and how it made me feel. Please, please, if you feel like you can handle it, read this book. It's so worth it.
First off, a huge thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for giving me the arc of this book to read. second, off I LOVED this book. This story was so satisfying, the writing was beautiful, and characters that were so refreshing to see. God this writing was something . it sort of reminded me of free verse poetry, very good free verse. it’s descriptive without using too many words and never quite outright describes things. Albeit there were a few times where when the writing didn’t outright describe something or what was going it was a little confusing, but I don’t think I would I would want to change that. The writing style that Capin used made me feel so much with so few words and told a great story. Said story was the perfect revenge story. Before I get into that though there are trigger warnings for rape which Capin also gives a warning about at the very beginning of the book. I really like how this book made me feel. It didn’t just make me feel empowered, but it gave me that savage corsage to fight back anyone who tried to assault me. To not just be a victim but a fighter as well. Lastly, another thing that I really liked was how close Jade and her coven was and how ruthless they are. Jade, Summer, Jenny, and Mads are all a close-knit coven who have their fights but never let that tear them parts or get in the way of their goal. The family was so great to see too. Jades mother and father stood with when she wanted revenge just as Mads taught her how to fight for herself. They didn’t try to protect their children nor shield them from the truth that sexual voice is a real problem in this day in again. Instead, they helped them sharpen their claws and teeth.
This was a 4 1/2 star read for me. One of the best I've read all year. I had a hard time understanding the writing sometimes--I didn't quite know what was happening in certain scenes. But even still, this was one of the most haunting books I've read in a while. It might be one of the most haunting books I've ever read. Not only was the imagery absolutely stunning, but Jade and her Coven were a force to be reckoned with. This book, like Jade, was absolutely ruthless. And I loved every second. I will post a more robust review on Goodreads closer to the publication date as well as a post about this on my social media/Instagram.
An extraordinary read tackling some heavy topics in a way that never feels gratuitous. Jade and her coven are fantastic anti-heroes. The plot is fast-paced. The writing is hauntingly lyrical. I cannot wait to booktalk this to my HS students!
Poisonously delicious. This book shatters the readers idea of what a rape victim should be and empowers her to be strong, angry and vengeful. Jade is a heroine like no other.
TRIGGER WARNING - sexual assault, rape culture and attempted suicide A #metoo movement with fangs, this book is dark and witchy and full of revenge. The night of Elle's sixteenth birthday was supposed to be sweet, but thanks to a group of boys at the party she crashed it was anything but. The next morning she chops off her hair, changes her name and swears to exact vengeance by killing them all. With her best friends (coven) by her side she makes a plan, transfers schools and begins her retaliation. This is a fast paced paced and satisfying read. I absolutely loved it. It would make an excellent movie or tv show.
Whoa. I don't really know what to say about this book except for that it is everything. I loved it so much and I cannot wait for it to be out in the world. It's everything we deserve in 2020.
Oh, five star books, why are you so few and far between? Foul is Fair lit me up from within, lending a much-needed spark, with its delicious depravity. Readers beware: this book is not for the faint of heart. Jade/Elle and her coven are vicious. Unlike the "Golden Boys" of St. Andrews, who are misogynistic-primitive in their violence, Jade is out for unbridled vengeance. And, luckily for us, Capin's writing is just as searing as her antiheroine, with words that cut to the bone. The weaving in of Shakespearean plotting, characterization, and language was like candy for me, elevating it, though I wouldn't say a comprehensive knowledge of the source material is at all necessary. What is necessary is an open mind and an affinity for wicked women. Capin's courageousness in pulling zero punches is admirable, as it would be all too easy to have constructed the story with more pacifism, so as not to potentially ostracize a wider demographic. Would I have been mad if Jade had made it her goal to ruin the offenders through other, less homicidal means? No. And it might have rang more true, as the story here isn't exactly believable. But the explosive, semi-surrealist element is part of what makes this so special. It leaves you shaking your head in disbelief, both at the violence she orchestrates, as well as how much you still manage to like her. Even in the midst of Jade's manipulation and killing, I found myself hopeful for her relationship with Mack, as if they really could wind up together, the king and queen of St. Andrews. In fact, my biggest complaint about the book has to do with the ending, and more specifically, the way things end between Jade and Mack. I don't want to give any spoilers-- although, we've read Macbeth. We know how it ends. But unlike Shakespeare's Mac, Capin's Mack is far more likable, and his relationship with Jade seems so genuine. Is there no room for apology? Not in a tragedy. I have to say, I'm shocked at how overwhelmingly positive the early reviews are, as I would've expected this to be polarizing at best, and unable to find its audience, at the worst. But alas, it appears feminist rage has been boiling under the surface for many more than I'd anticipated. (Note: will post blog review on Sometimes Snarky closer to publication date)
<i>Actual Rating: 4.5 stars Foul is Fair was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.</i> Let me just scream this: Do you like Euphoria by HBO? If so, THIS IS FOR YOU. Truly, in my mind this is Thoroughbreds x Euphoria because of the elements woven throughout. i.e. teens & difficult subjects being discussed in the most honest way possible... with a few dashes of murder here and there I can't stress how much this needs to be adapted like...<b>now</b>. I'm sorry but I dream casted Hunter Schafer to play Mads? It just makes so much sense! I am utterly blown away with this entire book. The writing is visceral. It cuts you into tiny pieces and pieces it all back together by giving a stunning and flowing perspective from Jade. My favorite part: It went from <i>You picked the wrong girl.</i> to <i>You picked the right girl.</i>. Those lines were so powerful and just mind altering to me. Yet they were so simple. It did end how I expected it, but the events leading up to it were unexpected and twisty. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect. I really can't see what Miss Capin will write next, this debut deserves major attention!
Foul is Fair, basically, is a modern take on Macbeth--but with a twist...as if Macbeth married Heathers. At first, the affected style and snappy language distracted me, but soon I felt myself pulled into the dreamy Shakespearian vibes. On the night Elizabeth (Elle) Jade Khanjara turns 16, she and her 'coven' --her three best friends-- crash a party thrown by the it boy of the rival school. What transpires there is nothing less than awful, and the assault on Elle turns her and her friends into a pack of murderous Mean Girls. Elle becomes Jade, and she has nothing left to lose. What ensues is their plan to kill each of those involved in what happened that night, and it all goes down in the preppy halls of St. Andrews school. I loved this book. The suspense had my stomach in knots. Elle/Jade is unflinching, as are her badass girlfriends, and there's never a moment of fakeness or sentimentality. They are always goddesses, no matter how twisted, and never victims. An important book for the MeToo generation, this shows how deeply the wounds created by the recklessness of rape culture and assault cut, and just how far down the rabbit hole some will go to regain their sense of power.
Wow, I LOVED this book. I was so excited to receive a copy after really enjoying Capin's debut, The Dead Queen's Club. Foul is Fair is quite different, but just as much of a page turner and so, so well-written. This is the angry revenge novel that I - and probably a lot of girls/women - need nowadays. There is a lot of depth to it and profound prose, but it stays very readable. I'm also quite impressed with it as a modern day twist on MacBeth - super cleverly done. I look forward to whatever Capin writes next!
THIS BOOK. This is a book I was waiting for. Jade is a girl I’ve always wanted to read. There is a terrifying beauty, a reckless fury, and a deafening truth pouring free from this book. This is a miracle of a novel. Blood and haunting prose will stain your hands as you read it. Someone give the girl a Printz. P.s I’m ready to join your coven,
Definitely a top read! Super awesome story and characters and that ending OMG! Some will cry (be warned) it’s a bit heartbreaking at the end but still so good. I loved how Jade (Elle) was so strong. What happened to her was definitely traumatic and yet she decided not to be a victim or to let what happened to her bring her down. The things she did were so bad but also perfectly done. Her friends are the best, I loved them all! And Mack, oh Mack! I fell in love :’( This is one I’ll recommend for sure!
The best way to describe this is that it’s Heathers by way of Shakespeare. Once you start to view it as satire and just accept that it’s gonna get weird, it’s a darn good book. Elle is raped by several boys at a party and vows revenge. She reinvents herself as Jade, transfers to the boys’ school, and bodies start dropping. This book plays with the theory that Lady Macbeth is a witch (in addition to the three witches who give Macbeth his prophecy), as Jade enlists her three best friends to help her complete her mission. It’s interesting to see how the author translated the events of Shakesoeare’s text to a modern setting, and it’s pretty effective. I enjoyed this book.
I just finished this story and my head is still spinning with the suspense of all that I have read! It should be noted that I have already mentioned this to several others that I know will devour it and they are now anxiously awaiting its release! Jade is such a dark and twisted character but I found myself haunted by her pain and quest for vengeance. The tremendous bond she has with her “coven” and the lengths they will go to for her on the quest for revenge is the sustaining lifeblood of this incredible story! Through each chapter, I found myself talking out loud to no one in particular to try and process all that was happening! To me, this is the hallmark of a story that keeps me on the edge of my seat. This story is one I will recommend continually because I believe the power of the plot and character interactions will make it memorable to future readers. It is extremely thought provoking and haunting in its own light. Highly recommend!
Book: Foul Is Fair Author: Hannah Capin Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars I would like to thank the publisher, Wednesday Books, for being so kind as to think of me by sending me this ARC. I was sent this ARC because I loved Sadie by Country Summer. I must say that this was very much like Sadie and I enjoyed it just as much. Now, if you are looking for a revenge book, then this is for you. Jade and her friends go to this party, where Jade is raped by the golden boys of St. Andrews. Rather than let this define her-okay, she kind of does-she decides to get revenge on the boys. This is the part that gets kind of ugly. Think of it being Pretty Little Liars where your main character is the A Team. Yeah, that’s what we’ve got going on here. Jade is one of those main characters who is going to stand out in the YA world. She’s strong, fierce, and deadly. She doesn’t let anyone mess with her. Not only that, but she can get people to do whatever she wants. Look at her coven and Mack….They will do anything for her, even if it means ruining their lives. The golden boys of St. Andrews think they are untouchable and can get away with anything. Sadly, this is true with so many boys who have been put on a pedestal because they are good at sports. They drug a girl, Jade, and rape her. What’s most sickening is they think it’s okay. Plus, if Jade had reported them, they would have just batted their eyes and everything would had been okay. This happen in real life. So, Jade takes care of the problem and gets her revenge. This entire book is action packed and violent until the end. I love how Hannah brings Jade’s pain to life and how we do feel sorry for her. I love that even though Jade is the victim, we get to see her gain so much strength through what has happened to her. If this was to actually happen in real life, I think boys would think twice before they take advantage of a girl. This book does have a lot of trigger warnings: rape, drugs, drinking, murder…Just to name a few. Therefore, I do not recommend this book to younger teens or people who are sensitive to this content. This is a very important book to read and to have a discussion about with teens. There’s not enough out there on the subject of rape that doesn’t glorify it. This book comes out on February 4, 2020. So, yeah, it’s a little bit away.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of Foul is Fair, in exchange for my honest review. !!TRIGGER WARNING!! - sexual assault, rape, suicide. Four is Fair is a Macbeth retelling set in a high school, but 10 fold! This book is fast-paced and gripping, like reading the murderer's POV, and you're rooting for her! Jade is fierce, and her story will stay with readers for a long time.
Wow! This book is a female Macbeth and I find it very well done. The emotional and physical effects of being sexually assaulted are described/portrayed but the actual assault is not. No one should ever have to go through that. The characters I really enjoyed, the protagonist was amazing and not white! The diversity was refreshing and the author chose the perfect setting for the story.
Just, wow. I didn't know I had been waiting for a book like this. Immediately grabbing your attention, go ahead and plan a solid reading session once you begin FOUL IS FAIR, because you're not going to want to stop. The language is beautiful, and the characters (dark as they are), are a breath of fresh air in YA. I have to imagine this manuscript will get adapted to screen and can't wait to see these characters come to life (even though they are already bursting off the page). Extra points for diversity (which is seamlessly integrated), and an unflinching group of young women. Based on this book, I would gladly pick up any future novel by the author. Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of FOUL IS FAIR by Hannah Capin in exchange for my honest review.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary e-copy of FOUL IS FAIR by Hannah Capin in exchange for my honest review. TRIGGER WARNING - sexual assault, rape culture and attempted suicide Four is Fair is the Macbeth on steroids, re-telling set in high school that will fuel your revenge fantasies. It's stunning, empowering, and cinematic. Sharp, fast-paced, and gripping. It's like reading the murderer's side of a murder mystery, except you're cheering her on. Jade is fierce and unforgettable. Her story will sit with readers for a long time.
First of all, I need to warn you: this book is not for everyone and the author has puts up a list of triggers warnings on her website to prevent readers from unnecessary exposure to materials they would not be comfortable with (such as abusive relationships, graphic depictions of murder and suicide attempt). This book also condones vigilante justice and revenge. “A ritual, the same as getting ready for a party. The same as getting ready for a murder” It is, in fact, dedicated to all the girls who want revenge, and I think it could represent a glint of hope for all of those who have not obtained it. My first reaction when finishing it was, this was a hell of a book. It leaves you alert, wide awake and strong. This book is obsessive and I could not stop to think about going back to it when I was not reading. It is a book that you open and immediately makes you feel safe. You’re no longer haunted or powerless, because, in these pages, you find power and weapons. I also learned that this is a retelling of Macbeth. Since I’m not a Shakespeare connoisseur I cannot talk about the accuracy and the power of the retelling but I know that Lady Macbeth, just as Jade, crawls her way to the top leaving behind her a trail of bodies. I love how classics become the material to feminist reads and analysis of our society. Foul is fair is the most unique and original book I’ve read in a long time. When Elle Jade Khanjara is raped at a party, her and her coven establish a deadly plan to make them pay. All of them. It is a wonderful tale about how justice fails the women in its society again and again and again until they take the matter in their own hands and solve it. Permanently. The action takes place at the St Andrews prep high school where study the group of boys that Jade wants dead. She manages to infiltrate their daily lives, their school, their intimate circle. You can’t help but expect this to blow up to her face, but she won’t take no for an answer and she won’t back now. Jade is one of the most complex and fascinating characters of this year. I loved Hannah Capin’s writing style. I adored it. I did not think you could publish a book with such prose: short, breath-taking, sharp, and relying heavily on metaphors. Foul Is Fair could show any dismissive readers who think that YA is not “true literature” that it can and is innovative in its format, its style, and specifically its themes. The story was not rushed and there really was a balance between introspective scenes and scene of actions. The plot in itself is not that complex since we follow the Path that Jade has carved for herself: taking the boys down one by one. You know what will open for most of the book but you can’t help this expectation, the satisfaction, the fear and the worries to submerge you. “Tonight Jenny and Summer and Mads and me, we’re four sirens, like the ones in those stories. The ones who sing and make men die” Sorority was one of my favorite aspect of this book. I loved how much her coven was there for her, through her ugly feelings, and her successes. Her group is constituted of a trans girl (there are transphobic aggressions but they are challenged) and of at least one sapphic girl. Girlhood is shared by half the earth population, it’s a major experience. It’s often hard and violent as much as it is good, securing and joyful. This girlhood, these traumas experienced by women in a patriarchal society, is what builds up a coven, a safety net for girls because they protect each other. We see on-page how girls have each other’s backs because no one but them will. I often find crimes book or thriller hard to write because you must come up with the mastermind plans and the perfect execution. Killing is hard, and committing a crime without being suspected is not an easy task. Hannah Capin manages to write such perfect crimes, there is no place for improvisation and for failure. It is amazing. It’s hard to describe all the reasons for which I love this book without spoiling it but let’s say that ruthless main characters are the best. Elle or “Jade” as she made herself called does not take a step back. She does not tone herself down. She manipulates, she plays and she takes what she wants. She is an ambiguous character because her actions are morally questionable and we, as humans, should not be the judge and the executioner at the same time but when you know the reality of our society, the more you read, the more you get it. You get it. You get why she is done waiting for someone to save her, why she is done with accepting her statute of victim. I won’t be talking about the representation in this book since Jade is Indian and that I am not. However, her identity plays a very minimal role in this story. We could wonder why her skin color is the only thing making her Indian. Often, it is not enough of a representation. One of my only regrets and the principal reason I’m not making this a 5-star review is that, maybe, I wanted more. More of Jade and her coven, more of their life, more of them. This book has definitely awakened something in me. An appetite. “But bravery isn’t being fearless – it’s swallowing the fear and spitting it back out” The climax of the book was a true surprise. It reminded me how much I empathized with Jade and her coven. In this book you are teeth and nails with the characters and they are the one making the strength of the book. Overall, it is the perfect book for angry girls, for girls who are done with the patriarchy and the rape culture. In its essence, this book is an ode to vigilante justice through its prose and its multi-layered characters. I can’t wait for Capin’s future books (I also need to read her debut) because with this mastering of the prose intertwined with a strong sense of plot and characters development, she just became one of my auto-buy authors.
I adored Hannah Capin’s debut and I was so excited to see what she would do next. Foul Is Fair is a clear departure from The Dead Queens Club but it is similar in that Capin is so good at using source material (Henry VIII then, Macbeth in this case) and transforming it into a completely new story amidst a new backdrop. Foul Is Fair is such a powerful, poignant read with incredible lyrical writing. (View the trigger warnings here and cw for rape mentions in this review.) Now, I’ve never read Macbeth (I was in the class that read Othello), so I’m quite sure I missed a few things. I did look it up on Wikipedia, so I know the gist of it. Capin masterfully transforms this medieval play into a bold stance on sexual assault in the contemporary time. Jade is Lady Macbeth, Mack is Macbeth, Jade’s friends are the witches, and so on. I do know the more popular quotes from the play, so it was exciting to read some of them here, such as “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (obviously), “Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under it,” and “What’s done cannot be undone.” There’s also a parallel of the “Stars, hide your fires” scene, which was brilliantly done. Capin writes in a mix of straight prose and interspersed poetic lines, which adds a jaggedness to the tone, a dagger to the reader’s throat. I could perfectly picture this book as a film, specifically one of those camp teen indie flicks that are cult hits. Jade’s voice narrating, the interspersed lyrical lines as flashbacks, brief flashes of the night of that party, all of the imagery is so vivid. The writing creates a foggy atmosphere as we read Jade’s tangled thoughts; really, the only thing that is clear is this: revenge. The short phrases of Jade’s thoughts evoke a rawness that gives way to revenge. Her rage is potent, and her schemes show that “just a girl” can mean so much more than what they expect of you. In taking her revenge, she takes back what the boys who raped her think they took, and then some. Foul Is Fair is potent in this way; much like Jade says, the boys didn’t make her something she wasn’t before. As the author signed my ARC, “All the power is yours,” Jade definitely took back the power. I adored the female friendships in this book. Jade’s friends (Jenny, Summer, and Mads) would do anything for her, as Jade would for them. They support her as she sets out to do what she wants. I also liked how Jade’s parents also supported her, letting her know that they’re there for her without being overbearing. There’s some casual representation in this story that I really liked. Jade is biracial (Indian and white) and Jenny is Korean-American. Summer is wlw and Mads is a trans girl. Foul is Fair is such a powerful novel. This is a book about a victim becoming, a girl transforming into something more than what is expected of her. It tears down “boys will be boys” and quite literally destroys golden boys. It condones rape culture and sexism and tells girls: Take what they consider vulnerable about you and use it as a weapon. Become the one with the power. After all, all the power is yours. And when fair is foul, foul is fair. **This review will be up on my blog Magical Reads on August 5, 2019.**
"I don't lie when it matters." Foul is Fair offers a cunning and enormously satisfying avenging story that centers a strong bond between friends, and how far they're willing to go for one another. This novel contains themes of sexual violence and murder, yet delineates itself from works exploring similar themes through it's stunningly-crafted language and the direction in which it leads. Foul is Fair depicts a bond between friends that is strong, yet also tender and compassionate; the ultimate friend squad (with a dash of LGBTQ+ tension between some particularly close friends). The story offers a gratifying reaction to a brutal experience of violence, without insinuating that any less, er, progressive (read: murderous) reaction would be wrong or weak. Each and every response to an experience of sexual violence is valid, and there was nothing within this book to insinuate that either the author or its characters believe otherwise. Despite what may initially appear to be a straightforward plot, there's added complexity nonetheless dotted throughout as Elle's avenging vision forward is disrupted by murkiness and instances of raw pain that accompany experiences of trauma. Will she trust her friends to stay by her? Can she trust them? Can she trust herself? If you're disgusted by the continued relevance of #MeToo and frustrated with how sexual harassment, assault, and rape continue to be handled on a systemic level, Foul is Fair delivers on satisfaction. For a story that contains so much malice and disdain, there's also a lot of love...and a lot ~to~ love. Grateful to the publisher & NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this ARC.
If you are looking for a ruthless, black-hearted tale of dark revenge, then Foul is Fair is absolutely the book you need. Before I go any further, I would like to reference the content warning page on Hannah Capin’s website. This book overflows with triggers and before you even consider picking it up, it is absolutely vital you read this page. I do not want anyone picking up this book on my recommendation, and end up feeling unsafe. Please do not take this lightly. For the pure adrenaline of it, Foul is Fair will swallow its readers whole. Anger and malice flow evenly, and the pages drip with so much blood I almost expected to look down and see it on my hands. A horrible, unspeakable crime is committed against Jade at the beginning on the book, and the rest of the story is spent making sure everyone – everyone – with even the barest inkling of involvement pays the price. While you’re reading it, Foul is Fair is perfect. The pacing is so quick and the rage so vibrant you don’t realize the flaws until you set it aside. So this is going to be a very successful book depending upon what you are looking to get from it. If not for the seriousness of the topics address, I’d call it an indulgent book. It’s not a literary masterpiece, but Foul is Fair is alive with so much hate… you can’t help but gobble it up. Almost all of the following observations were realizations after I’d set the book aside for the day, or after I finished it. It seems important to emphasize that – you really don’t notice the flaws as you’re reading. Except, for me, there was one. The ease of which Jade was able to work her plan. In mere days she has matriculated into a new, prestigious private school. Her friends and even (it seems) her parents are immediately on board for murder. There’s severe manipulation involved at St. Andrew’s Prep, but outside that school… it’s like everyone came to their own simultaneous, very illegal conclusion and were able to make it happen with a snap of their fingers. There was a lot of suspension of disbelief required to push that aside, particularly with Jade’s parents. The characters blend together, especially the boys. I had to keep reminding myself: who is Duffy? Which one is Malcolm? I actually think this was done intentionally, as o Jade, they’re all the same: targets in her quest for complete vengeance. But on the other hand, the girls blend together, too. Piper and Lilia stood out just fine, but Summer, Jenny, and Mads… I had to keep referencing. In maintaining the flow and heat of the story, Capin sacrificed character development. This also means we’re missing a lot of motives and you have to read between the lines a lot. Before writing this review, I actually went back and re-read some chapters because I wanted to make sure of my own facts. In reality, the details are there, but you have to dig for them. They’re all swept away with the momentum. I wouldn’t say that, ultimately, I loved this book? Foul is Fair swept me up, but it wasn’t one of those warm, fuzzy books that made me want to read it again and again. BUT. That’s extremely personal – I don’t thrive off dark, vengeful books so there are others who will love this! I deeply appreciated it though – I think Hannah Capin did a wonderful job of bringing MacBeth to life in a contemporary setting.
5 out 5 Stars!! Thank you Netgalley for this fantastic ARC! Wow! This book was just fantastic...full of scary, thrilling,intense and gripping storyline. I couldn't put this down! It follows teenager Elle and her three friends through a harrowing experience happening at a Prep school party one night, and how the girls continue on afterwards. I really don't know how to sum up this story without spoiling it but who's this is a must read. The authors writing is very beautiful and poetic. I look forward to continuing with this series!
It's basically a feminist Macbeth. What isn't there to love? It's a quick read but full of interesting details and prose. Very timely subject matter in a very readable form.
The writing style is absolutely amazing. This is a book that I kept thinking about long after I finished it.
I am ALWAYS all in for a Shakespeare retelling, and when it’s based on Macbeth?! Well, that makes it even better! Foul is Fair DID NOT disappoint, holy shit this was fantastic! I couldn’t put it down and I didn’t want it to end. Loved everything about this from the setting to the writing and everything else in between. It was pretty badass. DEFINITE MUST READ. I received an advanced copy from NetGalley and St. Martin’s in exchange for an honest review.
TRIGGER WARNING - sexual assault, rape culture and attempted suicide First offffff that BOOOK COVER is AMAZING. I loved this book and the writing style was lovely. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into this and was more than a little hesitant about reading such a sensitive subject because there is so much room for error. My fears were unfounded, however, because the author tackles these subjects with care and precision. The book was phenomenal -- I was truly blown away by the quality of the storytelling and the new and timely spin on a classic story. Seriously, this book needs to be assigned reading in every high school. Masterfully done.
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for allowing me to read an ARC of Foul is Fair. What a empowering read!! The dramatic story tells of 16 year old being raped (no details) and getting her revenge! Yes, the actions were over the top BUT they deserved it! This story grabbed me from the beginning and kept me reading to the end.
THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING! I can’t scream this loud enough! It’s so vicious and smart and filled me with so much feminist rage I want to fight ten dudes with nothing more than a sharpened manicure and the spikiest stiletto. It is absolutely unapologetic in its rage and I could not love it more for it. This book gives every girl a sword who has ever been a victim and makes them warriors. It never pretends to be sweet and gives a giant middle finger to not just the offenders, but the enablers as well. I felt vindicated and vengeance the entire time I was reading and it did not let up, it did not give a flying f@&( about bright boys and their bright futures. This book rips the mask off every Brock Turner and Brett Kavanaugh and all the countless men who only give a crap about women when it’s someone they know personally, and gives them fear and death and pain. It was pure perfection. Jade was an unbelievably fierce character who will be a champion for so many people who need her. And it’s also my hope she will strike fear into the heart of every Golden Boy who thinks he owns the world. I hope she crawls into their brains like spiders and pinches at their darkest fears. Because there is nothing more fearsome to a spoiled boy without a heart than a girl who knows her own and isn’t afraid to say ‘no more’. Who will do whatever it takes to end their reign. Bloody and brutal and brilliant, this is hands down one of my favorite books of all time, and to quote Jade: I’m not sorry.
Foul Is Fair is an intense, angry, dark, and vengeful book. And damn is it good. Capin writes the story of a girl who experiences sexual assault, but rather than identify as a victim or survivor, she becomes an avenger. Jade is powerful and angry, and with the help of her coven she plots a way to make her attackers pay.
Oh my goodness, this story is crazy, crazy, crazy, dark and wild and I absolutely loved it! At one point it got very dark and violent but I was hypnotized and could not stop reading. Jade and her ‘coven’ are much more than just feisty, they are fighters and survivors. The writing is beautiful, sharp and never wasteful. Jade was sexually assaulted at a party and she and her group, the coven, plan revenge. I could not do justice in revealing more of the plot. This is a wild ride and you will not regret reading about the power these girls have. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Wow. Just wow. This book is so well-written, and it's absolutely marvelous and terrible in all the best ways. I found myself transfixed and utterly enthralled. I was horrified at the things I was reading, but had to keep going. Let me back up - this is a retelling of MacBeth, and I'm a little embarrassed at how long it took me to figure that out (in my defense, I read it in high school, which was not recent). So if you know anything about MacBeth, you know there's a lot of really messed up stuff going on. I had a couple of issues. The first was that the book seemed a bit "too" much of everything - things happened too fast (and not in a "gee this is fast-paced" way but in a "why would you react that way to a stranger" kind of way). Jade is too easily accepted by the popular kids, her plans go too smoothly. The writing is too lush, too symbolic. I spent way too much time trying to figure out if Jade and her friends actually possessed magical powers, because some things don't make sense if they don't. Jade's behavior is too over-the-top, and the cool kids are too trusting considering their secrets. I don't know. The writing definitely carried the book for me, because if I stopped to think about what was happening, I started to get annoyed. The other thing that bothered me is a spoiler, so I'm going to keep it to myself, at least until I read a summary of MacBeth. Overall, this is really well done. If you like books like The Secret History - or, you know MacBeth - you'll love it.
4 1/2 Stars Foul Is Fair is a clever modernization of Macbeth, combined with Kill Bill and a sprinkling of Heathers. While not realistic by any means, this doesn’t matter in the long run. This is a story for the #MeToo generation where you have to leave rationality at the door and just hang on for a wild ride. Because of the themes involved which include: gang rape, substance abuse and murder, I recommend this for ages 16 and up. Otherwise, this beautifully written story lies waste to the adage “Revenge is a dish best served cold!”
Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin is a fun modern revenge story. I really enjoyed the writing style that made this book feel like you were really in a teenage world. The book starts off with a trigger warning that the main thematic element is sexual assault and I really appreciated both that there is this warning right at the beginning of the book and also that the sexual assault is not depicted. It was a wild ride throughout this book to see how the main character Jade could get her revenge. Although completely unbelievable it makes for a great story and I could easily see this adapted for film. It would be great to see all the visuals brought to life. There are some great outfit looks described in this book. Overall I enjoyed reading this books and would definitely read more by this author.
I discovered Hannah Capin when she wrote Dead Queens Club, a YA re-imagining of the story of Henry VIII, and honestly, I was kind of mad no one told me about it earlier because it was VERY on brand for me. But I started following her on Twitter and got an e-ARC from NetGalley of her Macbeth-inspired second novel, and wow, it is somehow even better than Dead Queens Club. The writing, the development, the intrigue. I'm amazed and I can't wait for everyone else to read Foul is Fair when it comes out in February 2020. Macbeth meets #MeToo in this gripping, extremely well written story. After Elle is sexually assaulted by several boys at a St. Andrews Party, she and her "coven" of friends decide to get revenge, Lady Macbeth style. She becomes Jade, she transfers to St. Andrews, befriends the cool kids, and her attackers, and starts taking them out one-by-one with the help of her new boyfriend, Mack. There's murder, there's absolutely haunting language, there's plotting and prep school drama and friends turning against friends and secret texts and wow, this is a STRONG Book. Like, it's there. It's so well written I wanted to carve it into my skin, the message is strong (yasss strong women with plans & goals) and I can't wait for everyone to read it.
1. I read this book in a day, so it is addictive (but please check out the content warnings!!!!!) 2. I could totally picture this being a movie with the cinematography being a mixture of EUPHORIA and KILL BILL 3. Oof manipulative girls I stan 4. Imagine meeting someone and within five days convincing them to murder their friend. What power. 5. The book has a dry narration style with a lot of flashbacks so if you hate sentence fragments then you’ll probably hate this book 6. Parts of the book were super thrilling and parts were kind of boring. So I teeter between 3.5-4 stars. 7. This book reminded me a bit of HUSHED (guy decided to murder a group of dudes who raped his best friend), only with girl power and full of ride or die friendship. With an MC that comes straight from THE YOUNG ELITES or any Courtney Summers book. 8. We have a really diverse cast: latina transwoman rep, east asian rep, south asian rep, sapphic rep. 9. A good discourse on how through inaction you’re still complicit, misogyny, and to maybe spread out your murders a bit more... 10. FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS FUCK THE WORLD Content Warnings and Trigger Warnings: here are the content/trigger warnings taken directly from Hannah's site: "the primary thematic material of FOUL IS FAIR centers on sexual assault (not depicted), rape culture, and violence. additionally, the book includes an abusive relationship, a suicide attempt, and a brief scene with transphobic bullying. for a more detailed description of sensitive content" I want to add panic attack, hallucinations (lack of sleep), not eating due to stress
Elle and her best friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer are the "Queens" who rule, the daughters of wealthy parents of Hancock Park, LA. On Elle's sixteenth birthday, drunk on Vodka and dressed to kill, they crash an Andrew's Prep party which results in the sexual assault of Elle. Afterwards Elle now Jade plots revenge, and ultimately death, for all of those involved. With the help of her friends they will kill them all and set up one of their perfect Golden Boys, Mack, as the killer. Foul is Fair offers a warning about its sensitive content involving: sexual assault, rape culture, violence and also includes brief content about abusive relationships, a suicide attempt, and transphobic bullying. I will start by saying although all this content is in the story the story is written in almost a poetic prose that almost softens the edge off the harder hitting content. The violence is the only aspect of the book that is really depicted in its full severity. As I started reading this novel I was not sure exactly how I felt about the writing style but it really does fit this novel perfectly. The story is engaging and the characters are all unique, including a few who are very sinister for their ages. This book is about seeking violent revenge against those found guilty with a strong female protagonist who isn't afraid of getting her hands dirty. I really enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Wow. This book was stunning. Fierce, angry, and unrelenting, Hannah Capin’s lyrical prose absolutely floored me. The protagonist’s voice was unique and captivating — it was like this book demanded to be read. Even though this is a fast-paced page turner, I read this one slowly, wanting to savor every ounce of revenge, every haunting word. And although I haven’t read Macbeth since high school, I really enjoyed the parallels I recognized. I’d recommend putting this high on your preorder list. Thank you so much NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the early read!
A modern day retelling of Macbeth. Beautifully written. It’s very vivid, and colorful throughout. It’s full of revenge and girl power. It is exciting and I would love to see a movie made. It is somewhat dark but it’s really well done. I love the imagery used.
From the beginning to the end this was an amazing read. It had flowery language that made everything seem more fantastic and magical, the revenge plot had me on the edge of my seat. I ended up going to bed so late because I couldn't put this down and I don't regret it. This was an amazing read that I need on my bookshelf ASAP.
A wonderful blood-drenched retelling of Macbeth that I don’t soon forget. Full of vengeance and girls who survive and fight back. Every word was a line of dark, star-studded poetry. You fall hard for Jade and her coven. All these girls who are full of anger and you can’t help but love them. They grip you and they don’t let go. Fans of THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES will rejoice.
“Just girls, says the boy with teeth that won’t cut. Just girls, about Mads with her foot slamming the accelerator all the way into the floor, hands that know how to fight, nerves that know how to kill. Just girls, about Summer’s poison lips, about Jenny’s whiplash temper that could destroy anyone before they even knew she was swinging for them.” Elle Khanjara—now known as Jade—is freshly sixteen with a vendetta against a group of St. Andrew’s golden boys who took everything from her. After a brutal assault, she is left with a ripped dress and revenge on her mind. With her group of friends, aptly named the coven, Jade concocts a plan to burn St. Andrews down, golden boy by golden boy, until nothing remains but ashes. Foul is Fair is a compulsive read. Jade’s mind is a compelling place to be, where her words ring fast and sharp like the claws of a hawk. The style of writing is simple, yet complex, and the pacing make it so you physically cannot stop reading this book. Trust me and my tired eyes. It’s refreshing to read about an angry girl, one who will stop at nothing to achieve her revenge. I’ve read some tough books exploring the aftermath of assault, but nothing with such sharp teeth. This novel is extremely relevant to today and the way we view boys in high school and college, the boys who get away with everything because everyone lets them, the boys who walk free after taking what doesn’t belong to them. And, Jade took action to make sure these boys could never hurt anyone again. Perhaps what feels most believable to me is Jade’s coven, a group of girls with unique talents and personalities. Their cinematic lives are something out of a CW show, except with more bite. They are ruthless and cunning and the kind of friends everyone should have, the ones who help you get away with insane plans and cover your tracks when you can’t. It’s such a fresh take on the “mean girls”, the kind of girls we all secretly wish we could be. The kind of girls we all secretly are, deep down inside. I did find some issue with the amount of characters in this novel. In the beginning, I found myself rereading certain conversations because I couldn’t remember who said what and which boy Jade addressed. And that’s partly my fault for how fast I found myself reading. After I was about halfway through, that didn’t happen as much as I knew the characters better. Also, some of the symbolism fell a little flat for me. It didn’t seem necessary and kind of took away from the realness of this novel. Overall, though, I thought this novel was excellently written, portraying a sixteen year old girl as capable of anything, which I think is exactly what girls need to read, because teenaged girls really are capable of anything. 4/5 stars *Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review. Content warnings: sexual assault (not depicted), rape culture, violence, abusive relationship, suicide attempt, and a brief scene including transphobic bullying
Wow, this book... it’s a modern YA retelling of Macbeth meets Cruel Intentions, meets the darkest fantasies of any #MeToo story you could imagine. It needs trigger warnings which is does include in the beginning... flashbacks of rape and a whole lot of dark content. It also requires a certain suspension of disbelief both for the content and the pacing but not to the point where I was taken out of the story. The way it’s written is almost lyrical in its darkness and I was happy to see a diverse main character.
Do you remember that feeling you got when you first saw Cruel Intentions? Like, could this movie be more messed up and delicious? That's the exact way I felt when reading this book. It is delightfully dark--and not just in that way we say something is super dark in YA, but this really, really takes an absolutely timely topic and turns it on it's head. Nay, cuts its head right off.
TW: sexual assault, rape, rape culture, gender based violence, abusive relationships, physical violence, gore, murder, bullying, transphobia, suicide, self harm, and substance abuse. This has to be one of the most well written books I've ever read. All of the topics are handled so well. And for the first time I didn't really know what was going to happen. I kind of figured out what the twist was, but everything else was new. The writing is so beautiful and lyrical and I honestly can't wait to own a physical edition of this book.
This book is so necessary in a painful, raw kind of way that I think a lot of people won’t know how to handle. Elle is a victim and a survivor and she’s going to get revenge, and you root for her because you know how similar stories have gone time and time again. You want to see a different ending for this one. It’s uncomfortable. It’s brutal. It’s scary because it’s so reminiscent of reality. I devoured this book in two days and didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. I highly recommend this book, however encourage readers to be mindful that there is off page sexual assault, gore, self harm, and other potentially harmful content (which is listed at the beginning of the book). I was given an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.
Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for allowing me to read Foul is Fair in exchange for a honest review. I’m going to think about this story for a long time. It’s a hauntingly beautiful book that keeps you wondering where things are going to go next. I truly can’t wait for it to be released in 2020 so it can be seen for the wonder this novel is.
I devoured this book. Hannah Capin has written the revenge book I didn’t know I needed, with a fierce coven of mean girls, whom I can’t help but love. (For real squad goals.) The girls have the bond I wanted so badly to see when I watched movies like Jawbreaker or Mean Girls. Most importantly, in my eyes, Foul is Fair deals with subjects like sexual assault without giving explicit details. Capin saves the pages of words we don’t need to be told, and uses them instead for a delicious plot. There are parts which are hard to read (emotionally), because it’s a hard topic, but it never feels like it’s bern drawn out. I would feel comfortable recommending this book to someone who has experienced abuse of almost any variety— and I think that is rare for a book which deals with sex and violence and intimidation.
Foul is Fair is a knockout. This is easily a recommended first purchase for all YA and HS collections.
If you want a totally badass revenge story, Foul is Fair is for you. Despite the cover, the story is witty, thrilling, and maybe humorous at times.
Such a cool retelling of MacBeth! Seriously could not put it down and I'll read anything Hannah Capin writes in the future!
MEAN GIRLS + KILL BILL + THE CRAFT ** Trigger warning for violence against women, including rape and domestic abuse, as well as murder and suicide. *** I said, I spat, I swore: You picked the wrong girl. They did. They had to. It could only be me. Not the first— —but the last, the last, the last. They picked the right girl. “We’ll be the witches they don’t believe in until it’s too late.” Elle, Mads, Summer, and Jenny: young, wealthy, powerful, privileged. The quartet of besties rules their LA social circle: “We were middle school six months early, wearing our shiny new crowns before anyone else knew a monarchy was coming.” They are as ruthless as they are rich. Summer ruins starry-eyed boys for fun; Jenny can kill with her saccharine sweetness. Mads is the daughter of a crime boss who taught her and Elle to defend themselves when Mads came out as trans and was bullied at school. Ride or die? They coined the term, b****es. When they crash a party at St. Andrew’s Preparatory School to celebrate Elle’s sweet sixteen, the golden boys on the lacrosse team separate Elle from her pack, like so many wolves on the hunt. Duncan, king/captain, singles Elle out for slaughter; his younger brother, Malcolm, slips Rohypnol into her drink; and Porter guards the door while teammates Duncan, Duffy, Connor, and Banks take turns raping her. Duffy’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Piper witnesses the assault, but does nothing to stop it. Elle arises from the ashes like a phoenix transformed: she is the same hard, cruel girl she was, but *more*. Now she is Jade with the razor-sharp claws, hair shorn and colored REVENGE black, eyes obscured by contacts that match her new name. She promptly enrolls in St. Andrew’s Prep and vows to get her bloody satisfaction before the week is out, before her bruises (and their scratch marks) have a chance to heal. Jade and her coven hatch a plan to take the golden boys (and one flock girl) down, all at the hand of one of their own. FOUL IS FAIR is wild and audacious, in the best way possible. I almost passed on it, because Jade and her crew seem like characters I’d otherwise loathe: part of the 1%, kids who use their parents’ influence to get away with all sorts of transgressions, including bloody murder. (Think: the Drumpf kids, but with more panache and intelligence.) But I do love me a good rape revenge story, and this one is in a class of its own: KILL BILL (which is of course I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE + Bruce Lee) meets MEAN GIRLS meets THE CRAFT. Plus, for all her casual cruelty, the objects of Jade’s malice usually have it coming, for one reason or another. She is an avenging angel, if a fallen one at that. (Summer, though – Summer I wonder about. Spin-off, please? And a sequel for Lilia, I feel like that chick could be going places.) I also found myself falling in like with the parents, again in spite of myself. I mean, these are some pretty terrible people: Jenny’s dad is a sleazy defense attorney who gets paid to victim-blame girls like Elle, and did I mention that Mads’s dad is a literal organized crime boss? Yet, despite their many flaws, these adults support their kids unconditionally – and not just monetarily, e.g., by buying their way out of trouble. Instead of putting a hit out on his daughter’s tormentors, Mads’s dad taught her how to fight…and then didn’t bat an eye when Elle casually mentioned that they were going to kill the bullies, not just kick their asses. Ditto Elle’s parents when, upon learning of their daughter’s assault, were content enough to let Elle handle it, her way. Murder heavily implied. Is FOUL IS FAIR in any way, shape, or form believable? Nah. Unlike with THE SWALLOWS – another recent book tackling rape culture and sexual assault in an insular and privileged high school community – I can’t with a straight face insist that I can picture this playing out outside of the big (or little) screen. And that’s okay! FOUL IS FAIR is a deliciously savage rape revenge fantasy. One hundred percent, complete and total escapism and wish fulfillment. I mean, if we can’t get justice in the real world, we deserve to see it with compounded, payday loan-esque interest in the fictional realm, right? (Trust me, patriarchy, you’re still getting the better end of the deal.)
I received a copy of FOUL IS FAIR from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to the author and publisher. FIVE STARS and here’s why: This book really opened my eyes to the world of teen revenge served cold. Holy moly. It’s a disturbing and suspenseful #metoo story with sophisticated venom that will make your head spin and your mind whirl. The story shows us that no one should assume anything at face value and that no one is safe from prejudice or misunderstanding or judgment. Each character in this book is well written, the dialogue realistic, and the witchy plot kept me up all night to learn what happens next. I could not put it down. I believe this is book should be required reading in high school.
I thought this book was just great. I would love to have it in any of my high school classrooms as a companion text for Shakespeare. This book is a modern re-telling of Macbeth, if Lady Macbeth was a high school student and was part of the coven of witches. After a party goes terribly wrong, Jade and her friends vow to get revenge on the boys who hurt her. The names and main events of the story are so clever and well-done, and I think it helps us get a new understanding on the classic and enigmatic character of Lady Macbeth. This good is a great way to engage teenagers to read more about Shakespeare, and caused me to look at this classic in a new light. I would love to see more modernization of classic stories, especially Shakespeare.
FOUL IS FAIR hooked me from page one. It's impossible not to be drawn in by Jade's voice, by her quest, or by the (almost) unshakeable confidence with which she carries out her revenge on the golden boys of St. Andrew's. It's impossible not to fall in love with the prose, as sharp, brutal, and glittering as Jade herself, or to get swept up in the thrill of her hunt, the kind of revenge fantasy that most girls and women in Jade's position never get to experience. This isn't so much a survivor's narrative as it is a narrative that focuses on taking back power, and I loved that distinction so much. One of the highest compliments I can give this story is that I had no idea it was a modern day Macbeth retelling until I was over 100 pages in. Despite the obvious parallels between Jade's three closest friends and the witches, I never questioned the girls' allusions to sorcery. It made perfect sense to me that the four of them would know exactly which spells to cast to bring the four boys to heel and wouldn't hesitate to cast them. The friendships at the heart of the story are their own kind of black magic, after all, and the most potent, most thrilling, most powerful kind that there is. You'll race through FOUL IS FAIR with your heart in your throat, and once you're finished you'll immediately want to go back to the beginning and start over again. That's what I did.
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.
“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.
Recommended: YES For those who are not faint of heart, for an incredible parallel to Macbeth that still retains it's own integrity, for darkness and viciousness in many forms, for complexities of vengeance and fate and evil Thoughts: The language: vague yet beautiful. It's almost poetic, which is a nice match to the story (play) it's inspired by. Sometimes you're not sure what's real and what's figurative, and that uncertainty works so well with the story to make it hard to trust your narrator. It's a very powerful technique, and draws the story down so deep. The inspiration: I can very clearly see the parallels to Macbeth, and for me it added so much to the story. It was such fun to see how events were similar, but interpreted in the modern context and with the situation that started it all. With that said, though, it wasn't so much the same that it became a foil to the original. This book stands all on its own, and someone with no knowledge of Macbeth will get a lot out of it as well as someone who's become a Macbeth Master. The witchiness: I did not anticipate this, and a lot of the time characters who are not literal witches and refer to each other as their 'coven' can really turn me off for feeling childish. But this, this worked. Partly because these girls are fate, reflecting their other sides found in Macbeth. The ending: I wasn't sure how that would play out, and oh my god. Just.... oh my god. ♥ I'm DEFINITELY going to be using this in classes in the future. It's quite dark though, so it would have to be with older students. There were times while reading where I had to take a break and read something lighter (I Love You So Mochi served me well) to detox a bit from the brutality. Might be a good idea to have one on reserve to break it up when you need to come up for air. Thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
If Macbeth pulled a Kill Bill on the movie Heathers, Foul is Fair would be the scene of the crime. This book is f*cked the f*ck up. So, obviously, I LOVED IT! Think Sadie by Courtney Summers on a meth binge. This is a story about the ultimate revenge. And, much like Kill Bill and Heathers, it's over-the-top craziness that couldn't possibly happen in real life, which is exactly how it should be told. This book is a revenge fantasy and if you aren't chill enough to appreciate that style... well then, that sucks for you. "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. We’re patience and brilliance. We never forget. We never forgive." Hell to the mf'ing yeah! 🙌 I love our main character Jade. She is the badass best friend that you're secretly kind of scared of but you're simultaneously addicted to the rush. "I’m a guardian angel who fell from heaven before I ever got inside the gates." Yes girl, yessssssss 🤘 Omg y'all, before I forget, Hannah Capin can write her ass off. I could read her words all day. I did read her words all day. And all night. I'm pretty sure I highlighted more passages from this book than any other before it. Her prose is just that damn good. It's really something you need to experience for yourself. Pure magic. ** THANK YOU to Jordan Hanley with St Martin's Press for providing me with a ARC in exchange for an honest review. **