A grieving teen joins up with a sophisticated vigilante sisterhood.
Austin, Texas, high school junior and talented runner Thea Soloman is still grieving after the murder of her cousin and best friend, Natalie. When Thea is invited to join a secret group called the Black Coats, she finds new meaning. Thea and her teammates are trained to take vengeance on men who have wronged women and gotten away with it, with the promise of exacting revenge of their own. Thea becomes consumed by the Black Coats and also finds love with handsome fellow student Drew Porter. But soon the dangerous missions, called Balancings, blur the line between justice and torture, and Thea soon discovers the Black Coats are much more than they seem. Readers must suspend disbelief to allow for the existence of a decades-old secret society of teen harbingers of vengeance who have largely managed to get away with so much for so long, but this satisfying feminist tale is so fierce they likely won’t care. Thea is biracial (her mother is black and her father white), Drew is white, and most supporting characters, except for one Black Coat of Middle Eastern descent, are assumed white. Oakes (War of the Cards, 2017, etc.) asks readers to seriously consider the sometimes-destructive nature of grief as well as justice, vengeance, and the many moral shades of gray between the two.
An explosive thriller that is all too timely in the #MeToo era. (Thriller. 13-18)