BOOK REPORT for Easy Prey by Catherine Lo

Cover Story: Sneak Peek
BFF Charm: Nay x3
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: He Said, She Said, He Said
Bonus Factor: Consent
Anti-Bonus Factor: Awful Grown-Ups
Relationship Status: Too Real

Cover Story: Sneak Peek

I dig the retro vibe of this cover, and while I’m usually against any photographs of the book’s characters on the cover (let me imagine my own characters, dammit!), I will accept a lil’ sneak peek of them here without too much arguing.

Continue reading >


 

The Deal:

Jenna used to be the school’s angelic golden girl, but ever since her ex-boyfriend Troy posted topless photos of her to his Twitter account, she hasn’t been the same. She chopped her hair off, dyed it black, and is doing anything in her power to show people that she is not to be messed with. Drew, Troy’s best friend and the school’s most heartless heartthrob, is into the new Jenna, so she can’t know that he is in possession of compromising photos of half the girls in school. And then there’s Mouse, an MIT-bound genius who has been in love with Jenna since they were kids and can never tell her that he had a hand in the basketball team’s ability to collect and save said compromising photos.

When the trio finds themselves assigned to a group project on Privacy Laws and the Internet in Miss Bailey’s law class, they’re all a little on edge. But matters only get worse when a catfishing prank goes terribly wrong and Miss Bailey’s nude photos end up plastered all over the internet. Jenna, Drew, and Mouse were the only ones with access to those photos, and they all swear they weren’t the ones who went public with them—so who did?

BFF Charm: Nay x3

Yeah…hard pass. While each of these characters had some redeeming qualities and weren’t purely evil, they all had skeletons in their closet, and they were all capable of doing some pretty horrendous things to people. It makes for an intriguing read, don’t get me wrong. I love to read about complicated characters who aren’t perfect because, let’s face it, who is? But at the same time, Drew was in a contest with his basketball teammates to see who could collect the most topless photos of girls at school, and Mouse helped him find a way to save them in exchange for the cash he needed to go to college. Like, Mouse, GET A JOB! And Drew, DON’T BE A CREEP. You’d think Jenna would have some sort of moral conscience about this stuff as a victim of it, but she was the first person to jump at the chance to catfish her law teacher in a fit of revenge. My friends may not be perfect, but they wouldn’t do half the horrendous things these people were doing, so I’m withholding all BFF charms for the foreseeable future.

Swoonworthy Scale: 2

Whew boy, was this a complicated love triangle. Well, triangle-ish. Despite the fact that Jenna’s ex-boyfriend is his best friend, Drew is very into her, and he’s a shameless flirt, so their early interactions were flirty and fun. Mouse’s lifelong crush on Jenna was less cute. He could be possessive and jealous, and had that annoying “I’m tired of being friend-zoned” chip on his shoulder. As the story progressed and you learned more about these people and their history together, all swoon pretty much flew out the window.

Talky Talk: He Said, She Said, He Said

Easy Prey alternates chapters between Mouse’s, Jenna’s, and Drew’s points of view, as well as hopping between present day when Miss Bailey’s photos were leaked, and over the previous three weeks leading up to the event. All this to say: there was sort of a lot going on narratively. I liked getting all three points of view, but would sometimes have to stop and remind myself whose POV I was reading, because I didn’t feel the change in voices the way I really wanted to. This combined with whether or not I was reading past or present tripped me up a few times.

I also found that the plot didn’t really kick into gear until about halfway through the book, which made the first half feel a little sluggish. But once the action started rolling, I finished the second half of the book in one night. The tension is great, and the story is filled with twists and turns—some you may see coming, others not so much.

Bonus Factor: Consent

Easy Prey offers a very unique and thought-provoking look at consent in the digital age. With Jenna’s topless photos posted on Twitter, the assumption is that she, and the other girls sharing their photos with the basketball team, are the easy prey in question. But this book was MUCH more complicated than that, and that makes it an interesting (and timely!) read.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Awful Grown-Ups

With the exception of Jenna’s mom and stepdad, who seemed pretty cool but only appeared a couple of times, every grown-up in this book is THE WORST. Drew’s parents: awful. Mouse’s parents: OMG SO AWFUL. The teachers and principals at their school: also, pretty awful. Honestly, the way the school administrators talked to their students and handled these issues was completely appalling. This book is set in Canada, and I kept wondering if things were different, like, legally? Because so much of this story should not have happened without a lawyer present.

Relationship Status: Too Real

Book, you were intelligent and insightful, and you challenged me to look at all points of an argument. While I think you have a lot to offer, I gotta be honest: the world is hot garbage right now, and I feel bombarded by stories like yours in the media every day. While I enjoyed our time together, I’m afraid that a second date would just be hard for me.

Easy Prey will be available October 16, 2018.