League of Strays by L.B. Schulman
(this was originally posted on my blogspot
The Skinny: When Charlotte receives a mysterious invitation to join the League of Strays, she’s somewhat intrigued. A newer student at school, a little friendless and lost, Charlotte is drawn to the instant friendship that comes with the League. Its goal is to get back at the tormentors who have wronged each member. Led by the alluring and charming Kade, Charlotte is thrown into a world that she’s not quite ready for. But when it becomes apparent that Kade’s agenda includes more than a few harmless pranks, Charlotte must decide what is right: her loyalty to the League or to herself.
BFF?: To be quite honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Charlotte. There were times when I did like her, but found her to be weak and easily manipulated, even when she knew she was being manipulated. However, I think this was completely on purpose, so I appreciate how developed she was in that sense. I just didn’t like her very much in the “Would we be friends?” way.
Alternate BFF: While I didn’t like Charlotte very much, I LOVED Zoe, another member of the League. Zoe was this tough cookie that was really hard to crack. But once you got past her hard exterior you found this perfectly wonderful girl who is pretty sweet – in a tough cookie kind of way – and is just trying to keep herself and her drunk mother afloat. She feels deeply, she cares about others, and she’s just longing for someone to connect with.
Readability: I’m always wary of commenting on ARCs because they’re obviously not the final project, but I was really pleased with the writing in this book. It flowed well, kept you in the world of the book, and wasn’t awkward or too prose-y. My only gripe, which isn’t really that big, was that some of the chapters were SO short, like 3-5 pages short. They were fully written chapters, but sometimes shorter chapters throw me off when I’m reading.
Crush Level: Not in a million years
Do any of you remember that movie Fear from the 90s with Marky Mark and Reese Witherspoon? If you don’t, it’s basically about this swoony, charming boy who starts to date Reese and then turns out to be this obsessive, crazed lunatic boyfriend. This is how I imagined Kade and still get the shivers when thinking about him. He was creepy from the get-go, and I hate that Charlotte fell for him. It’s not easy when the book crush is also the bad guy!
While League of Strays isn’t a book that I would have picked up on my own, I am so glad that I got to read this one. Definitely looking forward to more from L.B. Schulman!