Title: Very Bad People
Author: Kit Frick
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: April 5th, 2022
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.
“Six years ago, Calliope Bolan’s mother drove the family van into a lake with her three daughters inside. The girls escaped, but their mother drowned, and the truth behind the “accident” remains a mystery Calliope is determined to solve. Now sixteen, she transfers to Tipton Academy, the same elite boarding school her mother once attended. Tipton promises a peek into the past and a host of new opportunities—including a coveted invitation to join Haunt and Rail, an exclusive secret society that looms over campus like a legend.
Calliope accepts, stepping into the exhilarating world of the “ghosts,” a society of revolutionaries fighting for social justice. But when Haunt and Rail commits to exposing a dangerous person on campus, it becomes clear that some ghosts define justice differently than others.
As the society’s tactics escalate, Calliope uncovers a possible link between Haunt and Rail and her mother’s deadly crash. Now, she must question what lengths the society might go to in order to see a victory—and if the secret behind her mother’s death could be buried here at Tipton.” (Goodreads)
I was really looking forward to this one after seeing it was from the same author who wrote I Killed Zoe Spanos. I am always down for more YA Mystery / Thrillers as well! Unfortunately, this one just left me with more questions than I had started with and I’m still not sure how I really feel about it.
The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Calliope. Her family has a past and it is one reason why she decides to switch schools. It gets her out of the spotlight while bringing her one step closer to her mother who died in an accident, or so they say. I did like how close she was to her family but it also wasn’t the focal point of the story, although I wish it was. Since she is after a different school and different town it’s hard for them to have interactions and when they do it isn’t always pleasant. I guess that would be considered normal sibling things, lol. Calliope deals with a lot of hard topics and makes choices that could be considered questionable but given the context a few do make sense.
Most of the characters felt like they were there to keep the plot going and nothing else. There is a relationship between Calliope and another character but it moved rather quickly and then burned out due to circumstances.
There are a lot of heavy topics covered in the book and I think they were fine. They weren’t too detailed and kept the book going for the thrill factor, although I just wasn’t as thrilled as I wanted to be. The plot twists, especially one, were a bit over the top and reminded me of As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson, but not in a good way since I didn’t like where that book went. At least Calliope had more morals? Or at least I hope but since it was an open-ending I can’t say for sure what happened.
Because there is a lot of topics discussed, it doesn’t leave much room for the bigger ones and at times it felt like the plot points would never connect. They eventually do but it didn’t leave me gasping.
Overall, this was okay. There were times that I was intrigued, like the beginning and closer to the end, but it didn’t give me that wow factor I was looking for.