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.
* * * * *
“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.
* * * * *
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.