Revenge fantasies run riot (and disappointingly off the rails) in a new series from usually reliable experts Han and Vivian.
It’s the end of summer before senior year of high school in Jar Island’s resort towns, and change is in the air. After being victimized by people they thought they could trust, popular Lillia, outcast Kat and apparent new girl Mary make a revenge pact. Lillia, consumed with guilt and shame after being date raped, is hellbent on protecting her sheltered younger sister Nadia from the advances of fellow-senior Alex. Kat can’t wait to put the screws to Rennie, who shut her out of their friendship with Lillia freshman year and has been spreading nasty rumors about Kat ever since. Newly svelte Mary grew up on Jar Island but has been living off-island for the last four years, recovering from the crushing bullying visited upon her by star quarterback Reeve. Each humiliating act of vengeance goes exactly as planned, but the consequences are far more devastating than the girls imagined, culminating in a near-tragedy that leaves them deeply shaken. Unfortunately, all this delicious bitchiness devolves into nihilistic nonsense by the last chapter, hampered by a late-developing supernatural twist and a final sentence that wouldn’t be out of place in the film Chinatown.
Readers will feel narratively whiplashed. (Fiction. 15-18)