I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan
Published by Abrams, Amulet on 15th May 2018
After getting caught hooking up with her best friend’s ex on the last day of junior year, Kendall starts senior year friendless and ostracized. She plans to keep her head down until she graduates. But after discovering her online identity has been hacked and she’s being framed for stealing from a dealer, Kendall is drawn into a tenuous partnership with the mastermind of a drug ring lurking in the shadows of her Brooklyn private school. If she wants to repair her tattered reputation and save her neck, she’ll have to decide who she really is—and own it. The longer she plays the role of “bad girl,” the more she becomes her new reputation. Friends and enemies, detectives and drug dealers—no one is who they appear to be. Least of all Kendall.
The blurb for The Accidental Bad Girl really intrigued me and I had high hopes for this novel – it did not let me down.
17-year-old Kendall is starting her senior year at Howell Preparatory School. She’s an intelligent girl, a scholar and has always been in the popular crowd at school. The thing is, on the last day of junior year she was caught with her then best friend Andrea’s ex, Grant. She’s now facing her senior year friendless and the talk of the school. No-one will look at her. When she can’t quite imagine how everything could get worse, she discovers that her Facebook account has been hacked and that a drug dealer called Mason is after her for supposedly stealing from him.
With none of her old friends to lean on, Kendall finds herself wandering deeper into Mason’s world as he blackmails her, threatening to ensure she loses her place on the Young Astronomers Talent Search program – the one good thing she has in her life right now.
The deeper she gets, the more she learns about Mason and the drugs he is dealing.
I really enjoyed this book. I was drawn in from the start and found it hard to put down. Kendall is an interesting character, a capable young lady who finds herself in increasingly difficult and dangerous situations.
It’s a gritty read that doesn’t shy away from detail. It tackles a plethora of issues, from modern day problems associated with technology and social media, to older issues such as drugs. (View Spoiler »I should add that rape is also an issue covered « Hide Spoiler)
It’s a multilayered book. We have the mystery of who is framing Kendall and why, the blackmailing by Mason and how Kendall deals with it, as well as seeing Kendall reach out to trust new friends, all the while uncovering who she really is.
I don’t want to risk any spoilers so I’ll just end by saying that I really enjoyed this book. It’s hard to believe that it’s a debut novel and I’m looking forward to reading more of Kaplan’s work in the future. If she carries on as she has begun, I foresee her being a strong, unflinching voice in YA literature.