Audiobook Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

April 20, 2015 Audiobook Reviews, Young Adult Book Reviews 1 ★★★★

Audiobook Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeilTitle: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil
Series: Don't Get Mad #1
Published by: Balzer & Bray, Harper Audio on September 16, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Source: Edelweiss
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 320
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
Click it: Goodreads | Amazon

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process.

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Also in this series: Get Dirty
Also by this author: Get Dirty

One Line: A guilty pleasure read in its finest, filled with drama and secrets that will keep you glued to the pages.

In My Opinion: Add to cart!

The synopsis wasn’t wrong when it said Get Even was similar to Pretty Little Liars, especially the TV show version. I swear I felt like I was watching an episode, or two, of Pretty Little Liars while reading this. Not only do you never really get a substantial clue as to “whodunit”, tons of secrets come out, outlandish events occur, and bits of angsty teen romance ensues. But I’m not saying all this to point in the negative, quite the opposite. The on-going mystery, teen drama, and interesting characters kept me highly engrossed in the book.

One thing you need to keep in mind while reading this is that you need to forgo reality. Some things that happen in the book can be realistic in a way, of course, but most of what goes on was created for dramatic effect and way too theatrical to be called real life. It gave me the feeling of wanting to grab a tub of popcorn and watch wide-eyed and giddy as all the drama unfolded. So many twists and turns along with a smooth, fast pace made this book very absorbing.

I really liked all the fledgling romances that were growing between each girl and their respective love interest. I’m partial to Kitty and Donte, who had such a cute thing going on, before all the drama that I knew was going to blow up in their faces. Margot and Logan weren’t bad either. Honestly, each girl had certain qualities that appealed to me and made me want to get to know them more. They’re all very different and you wouldn’t expect these girls to actually get along, but they made it work. I’m curious as to how it all began and I didn’t feel like I got enough of an introduction to it all. It was crazy when all their big secrets came to light though and I’m sure there are plenty more where that came from.

Other notable characters would be Coach Creed. Ugh, I could not stand him in the slightest. Talk about a jerk of a character. He definitely played the part well and I thought it was a bit absurd at times how dramatic and over-the-top he was. It definitely added to the entertainment. Father Uberti wasn’t so great either. Also, “Ed the Head” was such a hilarious character, I really liked him.

So even though Get Even was extremely akin to PLL or even a soap opera, right down to the riveting ending posing as a “big reveal” that left readers with more questions than answers and the mysterious puppet master who knows all their secrets and taunts them with it, it shines in how overly fascinating its characters and secrets were. It has that guilty pleasure appeal that you know is ridiculous, but you love watching/reading it anyways. I’m sure if it dragged on as far as the TV show has, readers would be frustrated, but for now, I’m just intrigued. Everyone’s a suspect and don’t expect any answers, just plain old fun with this one!

Thoughts on the Narrator

This was my first time listening Tavia, but I have to say that I really enjoyed her voice. It was very easy to listen to and, I want to say, soothing, somewhat. She has a nice voice and narrated with a certain air of mystery, which fit perfectly with the tone of the book. However, it was difficult to distinguish the girls at first. Even though voices were distinct enough during dialogues, inner monologues tripped me up in the beginning. Eventually though, as I got to know the characters, I was able to effortlessly tell them apart, so this aspect didn’t bother me too much. Tavia did a great job at portraying the male characters, which is always a crucial component of what makes an excellent narrator, in my opinion. I can’t tell you how many times a narrator attempted, and failed, to voice a member of the opposite sex and it just comes out wrong or ridiculous and basically ruins the listening experience. Thankfully, that didn’t happen here.

Audiobook Rating


About Gretchen McNeil

Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown. Her YA horror POSSESS about a teen exorcist debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Her follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for the 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012” by Romantic Times. Gretchen’s 2013 release is 3:59, a sci-fi doppelganger horror about two girls who are the same girl in parallel dimensions who decide to switch places. Gretchen’s novels have been optioned by Hollywood production companies, and have sold internationally in Chinese, Spanish, and Turkish.

In 2014, Gretchen debuts her first series, Don’t Get Mad (pitched as “John Hughes with a body count”) about four very different girls who form a secret society where they get revenge on bullies and mean girls at their elite prep school. The Don’t Get Mad series begins September 16, 2014 with GET EVEN, followed by the sequel GET DIRTY in the summer of 2015, also with Balzer + Bray. In addition, Gretchen has contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.

Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4’s Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. Gretchen blogs with The Enchanted Inkpot and was a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels. She is repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

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