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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he's Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He's Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it's also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust... Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-who also received invites-are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security "catches" them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It's time for Rule #7: Always get payback. Let the prank war begin. Oceans 11 meets The Breakfast Club in this entertaining, fast-paced debut filled with pranks and cons that will keep readers on their toes, never sure who's pulling the strings or what's coming next.…

Don’t Get Caught

by Kurt Dinan

Overall Book Review:

What starts out as a fun, light-hearted read with spirited teen mischievousness, achingly deviates into a somewhat analytic rhetoric of revenge and deserved justice in Kurt Dinan’s debut novel, Don’t Get Caught.

Told in first person, readers become acquainted with Max, a high school junior who is fed-up with flying under the radar. Max is ready to make his mark on the world, or at least high school in general, and through various means of unusual circumstances he just might have the perfect crew to help him achieve his plan.

Max and his misfit friends may seem moderately familiar to those who are appreciative of 80’s golden feel good drama, The Breakfast Club. In this version you have the muscle, the brains, the goody-goody, the shady lady, the expert hacker, and don’t forget the nemesis supervisor. Dinan does an excellent job of fitting the characters into their intended molds and creating a fun consort for readers to insert themselves in. What at first seem to be one dimensional characters, emerge to be more than what meets the eye, and some become something different all together.

Departing from its playful tone about midway through, silly shenanigans turn into disrespectful and downright diabolical retributions that may insinuate discomfort for some readers. If there were not so much language to sift through (please refer to content analysis below) and an overplay of sexual inferences, this otherwise praiseworthy novel would be perfect for tween/teens.

Interestingly, in his adolescent comedy, Dinan actually puts to mind the moral ambiguity some people may have when confusing justice and revenge; this may even incite an insightful self-appraisal on the reader’s part.

Hints of upheaval finally give way when a twist at the very end allows room for the author to swoop in with a sequel.

Looking for some entertainingly funny reads for guys? Check out authors Gordan Korman and Jeff Strand.

Born to Rock by Gordan Korman

Don’t Get Caught by Jeff Strand

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Sourcebooks Fire

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  17 religious exclamations; 44 mild obscenities; 2 religious profanities; 69 scatological words; 50 anatomical terms. 

Violence/Gore:  Character is tackled playfully; character is forcefully shoved; male teen is smacked by mother (non-abusive); idle threats (5 or more times); character is pushed by a herd of students; character is tackled; friendly shove; character has thoughts about hurting another person; passing mention of a teen driving drunk causing car accident that injured others; remark on photo that implies suicide; aggressive shove.

Sex/Nudity:  Character pretends to hump trees; topless photo of a female character being distributed around a high school and male character admits to looking at it, referred to as sexting is mentioned 5 or more times; teen female’s sexual orientation is questioned; several (11+) jokes made with sexual innuendos; art with nudity and sexual inference; passing mention of pictures of people being in various states to undress; brief mention of males swimming nude; mention of song with references to pornography; teenage male admits to studying health textbook to get a better look at the female sex organ; remark of character spray painting a pornographic image and littering of items used for sexual protection; kiss and/or hug few times; male character admits to having sexual thoughts about females; mention of friend belonging the LGBT high school club; depiction of male genitalia in art that is meant to embarrass and be distasteful; teen character concocts lie about having sex; passing reference about parents lecturing their teen about the responsibilities of being sexually active; extended scene (about 1 paragraph) descriptive kiss.

Mature Subject Matter:

Computer hacking, stealing, lying to authorities, pornography/sexting.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adult(s) smoke and drink alcohol; teen jokes about drugs and drunks; story of teen getting busted for drinking; passing mention of a teen driving drunk causing car accident that injured others; remark on photo that depicts drugs and alcohol.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I appreciate books of all genres, but my main squeeze is fiction. Depending on my mood it could be romance or suspense; lately I’ve been courting fantasy. When I don’t have my nose in a book, I am locating tasty paleo recipes, writing in-coherent poetry, and crafting with paper.