Review: FOUL IS FAIR by Hannah Capin
Series: Foul Is Fair #1
Published by Wednesday Books on February 18, 2020
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Thanks so much to Meghan from St. Martin’s Press & Wednesday Books for inviting me to take part in their blog tour for Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin. I’m excited to share my thoughts on this thrilling new novel.
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“Something wicked this way comes…”
Hannah Capin’s latest novel, Foul is Fair, is a violent and disturbing tale of revenge. It is deliciously entertaining in the darkest of ways. While it reads like a mash-up of Mean Girls, Riverdale, and Pretty Little Liars, Foul is Fair, as you may have surmised from the title, is actually a modern retelling of the Shakespearean tragedy, Macbeth.
I’m a total Shakespeare nerd and the tragedies are my favorites, so Foul is Fair was a must-read for me. As I was reading, I was just so impressed with the creative revenge plot the author devised to mirror the original Macbeth storyline. Foul is Fair follows Elle, who as the novel opens, is planning a night out with her best friends to celebrate her sweet sixteen birthday. The girls get all glammed up and attend a party at the local elite prep school. The night turns tragic, however, when Elle is drugged and raped at the party. Elle knows who did it, and she also remembers who just stood around and let it happen. The name of the game for Elle is vengeance as she vows to take them all down.
With the help of her girls (or her coven as she calls them), Elle, the Lady Macbeth of Foul is Fair, changes her appearance so that she isn’t recognizable, changes her name to Jade, and finally, arranges to transfer to the prep school. Once there, she sets her plot for revenge into motion, with the first step being to seduce a boy named Mack (the Macbeth of Foul is Fair) into doing her bidding and ultimately taking the fall for anything she does in her quest for vengeance.
My favorite part of the novel is the revenge plot itself. I flew through the pages once Jade started taking her rapists down, one by one. Her quest for revenge is more intense than anything I could have imagined, truly vicious! Elle/Jade is a master manipulator and the mind games she and her coven play on these boys are brilliant. She practically has them drowning in their paranoia and turning on each other. I found myself cheering the girls on in a show of solidarity but also sitting there shocked at myself for cheering such violence. I love a read that can do that to me.
Foul is Fair works well as a Macbeth retelling, but it also felt wholly unique and unpredictable even with the numerous references and shout-outs to the original Shakespearean play peppered throughout the novel. If you’re into Shakespearean tragedies, retellings, or even just revenge thrillers, Foul is Fair is a must-read for you too.
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On a side note, I also want to thank the author for posting clear trigger warnings regarding the subject matter. I knew going in that, as a Macbeth retelling, Foul is Fair would be a dark revenge tale, but I was grateful for the warning that the primary thematic content “centers on sexual assault (not depicted), rape culture, and violence. Additionally, the book includes an abusive relationship, a suicide attempt, and a brief scene with transphobic bullying.”
For a more detailed description of sensitive content in Foul is Fair, please visit hannahcapin.com/foulisfair.
Hannah Capin’s Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.
Jade and her friends Jenny, Mads, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Jade’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Jade as their next target.
They picked the wrong girl.
Sworn to vengeance, Jade transfers to St. Andrew’s Prep. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.
I’ve never read Macbeth, but I love a good retelling and this sounds amazing!
It’s really good and I think it stands on its own even if you haven’t read Macbeth.
Great review, I’m intrigued by what sounds like a very clever retelling. Thanks for sharing your thoughts
Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out recently posted…Review: The Light After the War by Anita Abriel
I’ve been waiting to read some reviews of this book, it sounds like a really fast paced read. I do love a good Shakespeare retelling😁
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…UNTAMED SHORE by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Review
I saw you had a copy of it so I’ll be curious to see what you think.
I’m a Shakespeare buff as well, so I’ve been really curious about this book. Sounds like it’s well worth a read!
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Bite-Sized Reviews of Don’t Read the Comments, Find Me Their Bones, Snug, and The Real Boy
It’s pretty interesting, and I think Shakespeare buffs will definitely get a kick out of it.
I read the author’s last book, and though I thought it was an ingenious retelling, it leaned a bit dark for me. Glad you thought this one worked for Macbeth, and I am not surprised Capin brought a original spin to the story
Sam@wlabb recently posted…One Old, One New: YA Mystery Edition
This one is definitely dark as well, but yes, it’s very original.
ooh! A dark revenge story based off of Macbeth?! I am super intrigued. It does sound like a unique retelling and that the author had you cheering for the unexpected. I’ll have to make sure that it’s on my TBR as well. 🙂
Olivia recently posted…Wishlist Wednesday: Love & Olives
If you try it, I hope you enjoy it!
I do love Shakespeare, but I love that this works as a re-telling, but it also stands on its own. Sounds like an intense read, but good!! And that’s awesome it comes with trigger warnings.
ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Glossies Made Me Do It: Locke and Key on Netflix
Yeah, as a big Shakespeare fan, I loved it, but I think it would stand on its own just fine even for someone not familiar with Macbeth.
Oh WOW. This sounds like a delicious read, and I am impressed that it’s a take on MacBeth and is so original.
The author did a very nice job with this retelling. I think Macbeth fans will really enjoy it.
And wow, I just have another book for my tbr. While it sounds like you enjoyed it but didn’t love it, it’s a Shakespeare retelling and that kind of sells me on to it every time. Macbeth is not my favourite but over time I have come to like the play more. And it is good to know that while it is a retelling it is still unique enough for it to be unpredictable!
Olivia Roach recently posted…A Curse So Dark and Lonely [Book Review]
I really liked how the author was able to weave in so many shout outs to Macbeth while still having the story feel completely modern and unique.