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Very Bad People

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First editions have an exclusive foil design underneath the jacket! “A twisty, deeply satisfying ride.” —Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars In this dark academia young adult thriller for fans of The Female of the Species and People Like Us, a teen girl’s search for answers about her mother’s mysterious death leads to a powerful secret First editions have an exclusive foil design underneath the jacket! “A twisty, deeply satisfying ride.” —Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars In this dark academia young adult thriller for fans of The Female of the Species and People Like Us, a teen girl’s search for answers about her mother’s mysterious death leads to a powerful secret society at her new boarding school—and a dangerous game of revenge that will leave her forever changed. Six years ago, Calliope Bolan’s mother drove the family van into a lake with her three daughters inside. The girls escaped, but their mother drowned, and the truth behind the “accident” remains a mystery Calliope is determined to solve. Now sixteen, she transfers to Tipton Academy, the same elite boarding school her mother once attended. Tipton promises a peek into the past and a host of new opportunities—including a coveted invitation to join Haunt and Rail, an exclusive secret society that looms over campus like a legend. Calliope accepts, stepping into the exhilarating world of the “ghosts,” a society of revolutionaries fighting for social justice. But when Haunt and Rail commits to exposing a dangerous person on campus, it becomes clear that some ghosts define justice differently than others. As the society’s tactics escalate, Calliope uncovers a possible link between Haunt and Rail and her mother’s deadly crash. Now, she must question what lengths the society might go to in order to see a victory—and if the secret behind her mother’s death could be buried here at Tipton.


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First editions have an exclusive foil design underneath the jacket! “A twisty, deeply satisfying ride.” —Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars In this dark academia young adult thriller for fans of The Female of the Species and People Like Us, a teen girl’s search for answers about her mother’s mysterious death leads to a powerful secret First editions have an exclusive foil design underneath the jacket! “A twisty, deeply satisfying ride.” —Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars In this dark academia young adult thriller for fans of The Female of the Species and People Like Us, a teen girl’s search for answers about her mother’s mysterious death leads to a powerful secret society at her new boarding school—and a dangerous game of revenge that will leave her forever changed. Six years ago, Calliope Bolan’s mother drove the family van into a lake with her three daughters inside. The girls escaped, but their mother drowned, and the truth behind the “accident” remains a mystery Calliope is determined to solve. Now sixteen, she transfers to Tipton Academy, the same elite boarding school her mother once attended. Tipton promises a peek into the past and a host of new opportunities—including a coveted invitation to join Haunt and Rail, an exclusive secret society that looms over campus like a legend. Calliope accepts, stepping into the exhilarating world of the “ghosts,” a society of revolutionaries fighting for social justice. But when Haunt and Rail commits to exposing a dangerous person on campus, it becomes clear that some ghosts define justice differently than others. As the society’s tactics escalate, Calliope uncovers a possible link between Haunt and Rail and her mother’s deadly crash. Now, she must question what lengths the society might go to in order to see a victory—and if the secret behind her mother’s death could be buried here at Tipton.

30 review for Very Bad People

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    Based on the first half of this novel, I thought it was going to be my favorite Kit Frick story to date. While I did enjoy the binge-worthy read, and believe me it IS binge-worthy, I found a lot of the conclusion just not leaving me satisfied. The mystery behind the mom's death was a little whomp-whomp, and the ambiguous ending felt like the author didn't take a stand on the content that is discussed and rode the middle of the line, although that last part is really more of a personal observance Based on the first half of this novel, I thought it was going to be my favorite Kit Frick story to date. While I did enjoy the binge-worthy read, and believe me it IS binge-worthy, I found a lot of the conclusion just not leaving me satisfied. The mystery behind the mom's death was a little whomp-whomp, and the ambiguous ending felt like the author didn't take a stand on the content that is discussed and rode the middle of the line, although that last part is really more of a personal observance rather than objective. Still a big fan, as I finished the audiobook in a single day, but hoping the next book she writes is a step closer to her debut. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kit Frick

    Yes that's me giving myself 5 stars because I deeply love this book! If you're into dark academia / YA boarding school thrillers with these elements, Very Bad People might be up your alley: *sister drama *secret societies *dark family secrets *first love *mysterious letters *moral quandaries Fair warning: The ending is totally evil. You're allowed to hate it! Just try not to spoil it for others. (Sorry not sorry. Muah ha ha!) Triggers: parental death, murder, discussion of (not graphic or on-page) abuse Yes that's me giving myself 5 stars because I deeply love this book! If you're into dark academia / YA boarding school thrillers with these elements, Very Bad People might be up your alley: *sister drama *secret societies *dark family secrets *first love *mysterious letters *moral quandaries Fair warning: The ending is totally evil. You're allowed to hate it! Just try not to spoil it for others. (Sorry not sorry. Muah ha ha!) Triggers: parental death, murder, discussion of (not graphic or on-page) abuse, discussion of suicide (also not graphic or on-page)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Very Bad People by Kit Frick is a young adult mystery/thriller novel. The story in this novel is set in an elite boarding school with a mystery to the present and a mystery from the past to solve. Six years ago Calliope Bolan and her sisters were in the car with their mother when the car went off the road into a lake. Calliope had been sleeping when the accident happened and awake to help her sisters out of the car but the girls could not save their mother and to this day still don’t know why the Very Bad People by Kit Frick is a young adult mystery/thriller novel. The story in this novel is set in an elite boarding school with a mystery to the present and a mystery from the past to solve. Six years ago Calliope Bolan and her sisters were in the car with their mother when the car went off the road into a lake. Calliope had been sleeping when the accident happened and awake to help her sisters out of the car but the girls could not save their mother and to this day still don’t know why the accident happened. Now at sixteen Calliope has talked her father into letting her attend Tipton Academy, the same boarding school her mother had attended. After arriving at Tipton Calliope finds herself invited to join the elite Haunt and Rail society. The underground group has been at the school for years helping to fight the injustices on campus and Calliope believes her mother was once involved. Very Bad People is actually the third young adult thriller I’ve read by author Kit Frick after enjoying the first two. I honestly expected to love this book when I picked it up as dark boarding school stories always draw me in and I really did enjoy this for the most part. It moved at a nice pace and did draw me into finding out what would happen in the present and what happened in the past. This was probably at least a solid four stars all the way until the end but it wasn’t an end I am found of at all so only three stars over all for this one from me. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    YESSSS PLEASE

  5. 4 out of 5

    kate

    Twisty and fast paced with a solid idea behind it but sadly this didn’t do much for me. I wasn’t a fan of the writing style and the pacing, characters and ‘big reveal/twists’ all fell a little flat for me. Having loved I Killed Zoe Spanos, I was sadly underwhelmed with this one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    Six years ago, Calliope's mom drowned in a tragic car accident. Calliope and her two younger sisters survived the crash, but they never knew exactly what caused their mother to drive into the lake, and it's haunted Calliope ever since. Now, at sixteen, she's heading to Tipton Academy, the same boarding school her mom and aunt attended. Once there, she's invited to join Haunt and Rail, an exclusive secret society at Tipton that she discovers her mom was a member of as well, too. Haunt and Rail's Six years ago, Calliope's mom drowned in a tragic car accident. Calliope and her two younger sisters survived the crash, but they never knew exactly what caused their mother to drive into the lake, and it's haunted Calliope ever since. Now, at sixteen, she's heading to Tipton Academy, the same boarding school her mom and aunt attended. Once there, she's invited to join Haunt and Rail, an exclusive secret society at Tipton that she discovers her mom was a member of as well, too. Haunt and Rail's members, or "ghosts," are committed to social justice causes, but when they rally around exposing a faculty member, Calliope realizes that some of the members may go too far for what they believe. Calliope soon discovers a tie between Haunt and Rail and her mom's death. But the more she investigates, the more she may be in danger. This twisty young adult thriller starts off a little slow, but quickly picks up. It's rather dark, since it involves her mother's death, and Calliope is quite devastated (understandably) by her passing. Boarding school mysteries can go either way, but this one is intriguing and also presents a diverse cast with plenty of representation, which I always appreciate. The secret society is a fun way to go, and there are plenty of surprising twists. Calliope is a great main character, and she's easy to root for. I also enjoyed that she has a romance, but it's in no way the focus of this YA story--how refreshing, right? There is an ambiguous ending, which -- ahh -- but I still really enjoyed this one. If you like your YA ominous, diverse, and twisty, you'll enjoy this one. 4 stars. I received a copy of this book from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Smashbomb ~ Instagram

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    This book was underwhelming to say the least. The ending was the worst type of ending for me - open-ended, no closure. As anyone who knows me, I am very picky about my endings and *hate* open-ended ones with very few exceptions. This was not an exception. Beyond that, I just really disliked the main character. The book moved slowly and even the solved mysteries didn't feel like great *aha* moments. A thriller that doesn't thrill and a mystery that doesn't have a satisfying ending. This book was underwhelming to say the least. The ending was the worst type of ending for me - open-ended, no closure. As anyone who knows me, I am very picky about my endings and *hate* open-ended ones with very few exceptions. This was not an exception. Beyond that, I just really disliked the main character. The book moved slowly and even the solved mysteries didn't feel like great *aha* moments. A thriller that doesn't thrill and a mystery that doesn't have a satisfying ending.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I loved I Killed Zoe Spanos and was super excited for Very Bad People. Then I read it. It's two short stories--one about a girl trying to figure out who killed her mother, the other about a girl who joins a secret society when she starts private school--and they're mashed together because the girl is the same in both stories. An awkward read that leans into every stereotype you can think of for two familiar YA plots. Not a bonus...but both stories are boring to boot. Hard pass. I loved I Killed Zoe Spanos and was super excited for Very Bad People. Then I read it. It's two short stories--one about a girl trying to figure out who killed her mother, the other about a girl who joins a secret society when she starts private school--and they're mashed together because the girl is the same in both stories. An awkward read that leans into every stereotype you can think of for two familiar YA plots. Not a bonus...but both stories are boring to boot. Hard pass.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Seleena

    I really enjoyed this book! It had the perfect amount of mystery and plot twist, but heartache all the same. I liked how short and digestible the chapters were. It almost felt like each chapter was another day of the trimester! The writing style of this book was addictive, but not too overwhelming; very easy to read with sustained interest. Caliope was a relatable character but I wished she stood up for her own beliefs and her friends more as it would have made her more well rounded. I felt that I really enjoyed this book! It had the perfect amount of mystery and plot twist, but heartache all the same. I liked how short and digestible the chapters were. It almost felt like each chapter was another day of the trimester! The writing style of this book was addictive, but not too overwhelming; very easy to read with sustained interest. Caliope was a relatable character but I wished she stood up for her own beliefs and her friends more as it would have made her more well rounded. I felt that the ending was a little bit rushed, unless the author was considering writing a sequel. The ending left too many questions and situations unresolved for this to be a standalone! I look forward to seeing what comes next from author Kit Frick!

  10. 4 out of 5

    kendall ʚĭɞ

    release march 5th ••• when i say i love YA mystery, this is what i mean. The twist, the turns, the unreliable narrators - everything. calliope bolan is starting at tipton academy. she’s looking to leave her small town and move on from her mothers tragic death, but ends up finding answers that she didn’t even know she wanted. the dark academic atmosphere mixed with fall is everything I need. I loved the secret society aspect, along with the mix of her mother. The characters are written so well to t release march 5th ••• when i say i love YA mystery, this is what i mean. The twist, the turns, the unreliable narrators - everything. calliope bolan is starting at tipton academy. she’s looking to leave her small town and move on from her mothers tragic death, but ends up finding answers that she didn’t even know she wanted. the dark academic atmosphere mixed with fall is everything I need. I loved the secret society aspect, along with the mix of her mother. The characters are written so well to the point where you trust them all, just to be completely mind blown by what’s to come. you feel actual betrayal and confusion, which is something i love in a book. kit fricks draws you in so well, and creates such a perfect setting then it all twist and turns so fast that it’s perfect. The short chapters, mixed with fast pacing make for an epic read. This book is on the longer side at a little over 400 pages but it needed every last page. I never once was bored, or thought information could be left out of the story. The author set everything up perfectly for the big reveal at the end. Speaking of the ending, OMG. I was So mad. We better be getting a second book because I’m not ready to leave these characters or this story behind yet. Kit Fricks is definitely going on my radar, and this is going down as one of my favorite ya mystery books. I recommend. - e- arc provided by simon and schuster for my honest review. all opinions are my own!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    In Very Bad People, Calliope transfers to a private school to escape her small town and the memories it holds of her mother's tragic death. All she wants to do is fit in at Tipton. When she is tagged to join a secret society, she finally feels like she fits in. If you are a fan of stories with very unlikable characters with ambiguous endings, then this is the book for you. Unfortunately, I'm not a fan. I really wanted to like Calliope. but I couldn't get behind some of her decisions. I found th In Very Bad People, Calliope transfers to a private school to escape her small town and the memories it holds of her mother's tragic death. All she wants to do is fit in at Tipton. When she is tagged to join a secret society, she finally feels like she fits in. If you are a fan of stories with very unlikable characters with ambiguous endings, then this is the book for you. Unfortunately, I'm not a fan. I really wanted to like Calliope. but I couldn't get behind some of her decisions. I found the rest of the kids obnoxious and unlikable. Their drive to right wrongs was often misguided and not well thought out. The mystery of what happened to Calliope's mother was underwhelming. But what really made me dislike this book was the ending. A huge pet peeve of mine in books is when I invest time in a story and then I get an ambiguous ending. I want to know what happened. I don't want to have to make it up on my own. If that is the kind of book you like, then pick this one up. But I can't recommend it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie Prouty

    "Our society takes its name from two pieces of Hudson Valley history. 'Haunt' is a nod to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and 'rail' to the Mohawk and Hudson line, the first railroad to run through New York State. Hence the ghost with railroad tracks for teeth, our symbol. But our name also speaks to our mission." An accident turned Calliope Bolan into a local celebrity. And your arms WILL break out in gooseflesh over the revelations surrounding the fatal accident. GAH! I was nervous and buzzing wi "Our society takes its name from two pieces of Hudson Valley history. 'Haunt' is a nod to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and 'rail' to the Mohawk and Hudson line, the first railroad to run through New York State. Hence the ghost with railroad tracks for teeth, our symbol. But our name also speaks to our mission." An accident turned Calliope Bolan into a local celebrity. And your arms WILL break out in gooseflesh over the revelations surrounding the fatal accident. GAH! I was nervous and buzzing with energy. There are secrets on top of secrets. And even MORE secrets. Not one mystery, but two. Buckle up! The ending will leave you... Is there another one?! If you're into dark academia, this one is for you! Very Bad People is perfect for fans of Karen M. McManus! 👻THINGS and STUFF 👻 -small village in the Adirondack mountains -sister drama -boarding school -an exclusive secret society: Haunt and Rail -herbal tea: passion fruit iced tea with lots of sugar -a lark! -anonymous message board -some Mission Impossible skills -betrayal and lies -accusations and revenge -one BIG secret -collateral -#IsThisAKissingBook: Young Adult. 14 and up, grades 9 up. "I would very much like to kiss you right now. Would that be all right?" First love. Thank you Simon Teen and Kit Frick for an advanced copy! Song: The Chain by Fleetwood Mac

  13. 5 out of 5

    TL

    Won via goodreads giveaways, all my opinions are my own:). --- I was intrigued for awhile but my interest started to wane and I was skimming just to find out what happened. I was a bit underwhelmed overall, but take a chance on it if it sounds interesting to you.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sharanya

    I disappeared for a while because of testing season and AP exams, but I'll make it up by reading a LOT this summer :) ANYWAYS, this book was amazing and I enjoyed all of it. However, the ending was very... open? Which I guess I can appreciate, but I would have preferred a definite answer of what she chose to do. The whole book built up to the end, but then we never find out what happens. Overall, a very great read though! Definitely reminds me of Truly Devious and A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, I disappeared for a while because of testing season and AP exams, but I'll make it up by reading a LOT this summer :) ANYWAYS, this book was amazing and I enjoyed all of it. However, the ending was very... open? Which I guess I can appreciate, but I would have preferred a definite answer of what she chose to do. The whole book built up to the end, but then we never find out what happens. Overall, a very great read though! Definitely reminds me of Truly Devious and A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, (view spoiler)[ especially book 3!! (hide spoiler)] both of which are some of my favorite mysteries.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jen Ryland

    Hello, YA Dark Academia! I really enjoyed Kit Frick's debut YA and was excited to try this. I had no idea it was Dark Academia (or maybe I forgot) but it was a great example of the subgenre. If you want to know more about Dark Academia OR want my list of YA Dark Academia and adult Dark Academia you can find my Dark Academia Post here! I'll be doing a full review of this on my blog, but Very Bad People had a boarding school setting, a secret society, and a lot of moral ambiguity. I really enjoyed Hello, YA Dark Academia! I really enjoyed Kit Frick's debut YA and was excited to try this. I had no idea it was Dark Academia (or maybe I forgot) but it was a great example of the subgenre. If you want to know more about Dark Academia OR want my list of YA Dark Academia and adult Dark Academia you can find my Dark Academia Post here! I'll be doing a full review of this on my blog, but Very Bad People had a boarding school setting, a secret society, and a lot of moral ambiguity. I really enjoyed it! Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram! Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review! Jen Ryland Reviews

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brinley

    This was a super fun read! I wasn't sure if I'd like it (I'm not normally a thriller/mystery reader) but I really liked it. The setting was part of the reason this was so great. Isolated boarding school with secret societies, what wasn't to love? The vibes were immaculate, and so fun to imagine! And even better were the moral dilemmas this presented. They were super intriguing, and although they weren't the backbone of the book, they were still super fun. The open ending really left a lot to the This was a super fun read! I wasn't sure if I'd like it (I'm not normally a thriller/mystery reader) but I really liked it. The setting was part of the reason this was so great. Isolated boarding school with secret societies, what wasn't to love? The vibes were immaculate, and so fun to imagine! And even better were the moral dilemmas this presented. They were super intriguing, and although they weren't the backbone of the book, they were still super fun. The open ending really left a lot to the imagination, and I love the ability to interpret it as I wish. And finally, I really liked our characters. They were an interesting batch, and even though I'm still not a giant fan of the plot, the characters made up for it. The friendships and the family connections were awesome. With similar vibes to The Secret History and Grimrose Girls, I'd definitely recommend this one! It was a super fun read, and I'll be keeping an eye on this author Thanks to Turn the Page Tours for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    Dark academia setting and a number of mysteries all linked to a secret society meant I was hoping that this would be a shoe-in hit. While it was definitely a read that caught my attention (and I would certainly award it 3.5 stars if that were an option), there were elements that prevented me rating it higher. Our focus is Calliope, transfer student to the exclusive boarding school that her mother attended. Calliope is hoping that being in close proximity to the place her mother studied will help Dark academia setting and a number of mysteries all linked to a secret society meant I was hoping that this would be a shoe-in hit. While it was definitely a read that caught my attention (and I would certainly award it 3.5 stars if that were an option), there were elements that prevented me rating it higher. Our focus is Calliope, transfer student to the exclusive boarding school that her mother attended. Calliope is hoping that being in close proximity to the place her mother studied will help her get to know little more about her mother. Unfortunately, within a very short space of time Calliope realises that there are secrets being kept by all manner of people, some of which involve her mother and some of which have clear repercussions for Calliope herself. All we know about the family initially is that Calliope and her two sisters were in the car when her mother crashed and they ended up in the lake. Their mother died, but the girls survived, and nobody knows exactly what happened. Calliope cannot accept the verdict of accidental death so is determined to try and find out what she can. Life at the new school is exciting, and Calliope enjoys getting to know some of her new classmates. She wasn't expecting to be asked to join the ghosts, a secret society that appear to try and right wrongs on campus. Unfortunately, some of these incidents appear to not always be handled in an orthodox fashion, and when Calliope learns that her mother was also part of this group, and around the time someone died, she wonders whether somebody might be trying to hide certain truths. I read this fairly quickly and found myself keen to find out exactly how certain events were connected. So, why did I not award it higher? Unfortunately, the premise of the modern day campaign that forms the central idea of the book really did seem to come from nowhere. We didn't know enough about certain characters to really understand their actions, and I found myself frustrated by the ambiguity of the closing stages of the book. This was very much a personal taste thing, as opposed to it being an issue with the writing/story itself.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    Put Kit Frick up there with McManus and McGinnis for their dark mysteries, often with a strong female lead and a sense of righting the wrongs of injustices. This one is another such mystery that I'll be adding to our HS collection when it comes out. Yes there are the upstate New York placeholders like the Thruway and the Adirondacks but then it's juxtaposed with the high society of the academy in which the oldest of the three girls goes (and where her now deceased mother went). Ah yes the boardi Put Kit Frick up there with McManus and McGinnis for their dark mysteries, often with a strong female lead and a sense of righting the wrongs of injustices. This one is another such mystery that I'll be adding to our HS collection when it comes out. Yes there are the upstate New York placeholders like the Thruway and the Adirondacks but then it's juxtaposed with the high society of the academy in which the oldest of the three girls goes (and where her now deceased mother went). Ah yes the boarding school where there are no parents and no rules apparently. There are secret societies and predatory teachers that need to be put in their place when the other adults care more about their reputations that helping kids. And there's a dual mystery that Calliope must solve and that's the residual memories of her and her sisters in the car with their mother before she drove it into the water. The girls escaped but their mother died. Was it an accident or murder-suicide? The results are inconclusive but Calliope stumbles on a few clues that might help. Intense with the right amount of teen drama.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth on a ship

    Let me preface this review by explaining that one of my favorite series is about secret societies (Tap and Gown by Diana Peterfreund and the other 3 books) so the idea of a book involving secret societies at boarding school and trying to solve a 6 year mystery was appealing to me. Also, I really enjoyed the author's last book, I Killed Zoe Spanos. (See all the Stars is also reccomended) Calliope is the oldest of 3 sisters. When she was 10, she along with her 9 year old sister Lorelai and 2 year Let me preface this review by explaining that one of my favorite series is about secret societies (Tap and Gown by Diana Peterfreund and the other 3 books) so the idea of a book involving secret societies at boarding school and trying to solve a 6 year mystery was appealing to me. Also, I really enjoyed the author's last book, I Killed Zoe Spanos. (See all the Stars is also reccomended) Calliope is the oldest of 3 sisters. When she was 10, she along with her 9 year old sister Lorelai and 2 year old sister Serafina were in a minivan with her mom when it plunged into a lake. Their mother had pulled them out of school for a mysterious field trip. Calliope doesn't remember anything right before the accident, but her mother's death was never explained. Anyone who knew Kathy didn't think she would try to kill her children. The girls don't believe it either. Calliope is now 16 and starting her junior year at Tipton Academy, an elite boarding school her mother and aunt Mave attended. She wants to escape Plover Lake, the small village in the Adirondacks. Soon after she starts, she meets Nico a potential love interest. She also gets tapped for the school's secret society, Haunt and Rail. The larks that the secret group do, start small and meaning well, like campaign for a pay raise for the cafeteria workers. But then suspicions and rumors spread about a popular creative writing teacher who has been allegedly inappropriate with female students. How far are they willing to go? Meanwhile Calliope is trying to figure out how to fit her memories of the accident when she's triggered by seeing a familiar man in town. Was he somehow responsible for the accident? She begins leaving notes for him on the community bulletin board. Is he responding? Or something else more sinister? There's a side story with a lark from the time her mother was a "ghost" that went badly that Calliope tries to investigate, which imo didn't have to be focused on although it shows the reader that the intentions are not always good. It makes you wonder how far you might be willing to go if the other party is doing shady stuff. Of course, the ending left everything ambiguous. Sometimes, I mind not knowing. In this case it was intriguing to try to guess which avenue Calliope took or didn't take. If I could hazard a guess, she clicked send. TW for death of a parent, suicide of a character's sibling, an adult grooming teen girls for sexual abuse and blackmailing, murder. 4/5☆ P.S. if you read Zoe, you might see a familiar character make a cameo.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cindy :: leavemetomybooks ::

    Calliope's mom died six years ago after driving a minivan (with Calliope and her two younger sisters inside) into a lake. Was it an accident? A Susan Smith-style murder attempt? Or something else? Calliope desperately seeks answers at Tipton Academy, the same fancy boarding school her mom attended, and is quickly in over her head after joining a secret society called Haunt and Rail. -------------------------- The premise of this book was interesting and sounded like it would be a fun read, but th Calliope's mom died six years ago after driving a minivan (with Calliope and her two younger sisters inside) into a lake. Was it an accident? A Susan Smith-style murder attempt? Or something else? Calliope desperately seeks answers at Tipton Academy, the same fancy boarding school her mom attended, and is quickly in over her head after joining a secret society called Haunt and Rail. -------------------------- The premise of this book was interesting and sounded like it would be a fun read, but the pace was kind of draggy, I didn't love the characters, and I wasn't super into the reveals when they happened. The part about the predatory teacher felt kind of tacked on and not very well-developed. I think I need to steer clear of dark academia/secret society books for a bit because they are all blurring together for me. That said, I would gladly read another book by Kit Frick (starting with I Killed Zoe Spanos)! * thanks to Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing / Margaret K. McElderry Books for the NetGalley review copy. Very Bad People publishes April 5, 2022.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Liza | Literary Liza

    My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars) “I came back to Tipton ready to open my eyes to the real story, messy and imperfect, and that’s exactly what I got.” Look, if you’re familiar at all with my blog, then you know that YA thrillers are my guilty pleasure. And one set at a boarding school? With a secret society? 😙👌 Perfection. Very Bad People was absolutely that dark academia YA thriller. Boasting of long-buried family affairs, mysterious deaths, and elusive groups, Very Bad People advertised a lot wit My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars) “I came back to Tipton ready to open my eyes to the real story, messy and imperfect, and that’s exactly what I got.” Look, if you’re familiar at all with my blog, then you know that YA thrillers are my guilty pleasure. And one set at a boarding school? With a secret society? 😙👌 Perfection. Very Bad People was absolutely that dark academia YA thriller. Boasting of long-buried family affairs, mysterious deaths, and elusive groups, Very Bad People advertised a lot within its pages. And believe me, it delivered. - 👻 - Above all else, this book was just so much fun to read! The pace had the perfect momentum leading up to the nail-biting conclusion. Calliope’s hunt for the truth and all the Haunt and Rail escapades were perfectly balanced, revealing just enough of both to keep the wheels turning and my anticipation rising. And the plot twists! What is a mystery/thriller without a couple of good surprises thrown in? For its part, I loved the unexpected turns in this novel took. They teetered the line between totally believable and absolutely baffling to the perfect degree – something not all books in this genre can master. I did find the final reveal ~a little~ underwhelming, not because of the scale of it, but because it just sort of happened to the protagonist. But that ending?! It couldn’t have been better. The perfect, open-ended conclusion to this wild ride. Overall, I found Very Bad People almost impossible to put down. Despite it being packed to the brim with secrets, mysteries, and of course, murder, I just whizzed right through it, because I couldn’t bear to stop reading it for too long! Thank you to Turn the Page Tours and the publisher, Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing/Margaret K. McElderry Books, for sending me an ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own. Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin'

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    VERY BAD PEOPLE Kit Frick Zoinks! I should have passed when I considered it early on. It was like reading two separate books with the same characters. So it read like a jumbled mess for a while until I figured out that both stories are set in a boarding school, so kudos for the setting! It just wasn't for me! 2.5 stars Happy Reading! VERY BAD PEOPLE Kit Frick Zoinks! I should have passed when I considered it early on. It was like reading two separate books with the same characters. So it read like a jumbled mess for a while until I figured out that both stories are set in a boarding school, so kudos for the setting! It just wasn't for me! 2.5 stars Happy Reading!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Louisa

    This was such a great read, I loved this school secret society, and the mystery was fantastic!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn DeRouin

    the last like 30 chapters? that ending??

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    RTC on blog for tour. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my earc.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jen 🌙

    I really didn’t enjoy this. I liked “who killed zoey Spanos” a lot but everything about this was just really meh. Pacing, writing, characters, twists.

  27. 5 out of 5

    naya sophia

    *thank you NetGalley for my eARC of this book* Boarding school mysteries have such a soft spot in my heart and I absolutely love the preppy, autumnal, cloak and dagger aesthetic of it all. I though this book was a really interesting and well-executed take on it, and the ending will leave you reeling for more. I'm super excited for this book to go out into wide release because I can see it fitting in really well with other titles that are popular in the YA contemporary-mystery genre. *thank you NetGalley for my eARC of this book* Boarding school mysteries have such a soft spot in my heart and I absolutely love the preppy, autumnal, cloak and dagger aesthetic of it all. I though this book was a really interesting and well-executed take on it, and the ending will leave you reeling for more. I'm super excited for this book to go out into wide release because I can see it fitting in really well with other titles that are popular in the YA contemporary-mystery genre.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessica (readalongwithjess)

    4/5⭐ to Very Bad People by Kit Frick. Thank you very much to NetGalley and Simon Teen for an early egalley to review! I'm fairly new to the world of thrillers, but I was quite entertained by this YA thriller with Dark Academia vibes! I think the strongest elements of this book were the characters, the writing - particularly in terms of voice with our MC, and the social commentary I thought was important and woven well into the story. I also thought that the author skillfully wove together the my 4/5⭐ to Very Bad People by Kit Frick. Thank you very much to NetGalley and Simon Teen for an early egalley to review! I'm fairly new to the world of thrillers, but I was quite entertained by this YA thriller with Dark Academia vibes! I think the strongest elements of this book were the characters, the writing - particularly in terms of voice with our MC, and the social commentary I thought was important and woven well into the story. I also thought that the author skillfully wove together the mystery surrounding Calliope's mother's death and the secrets in their family with tension and mystery surrounding this secret society that Callie joins at her school. Also, the way the past was woven together with the present...really made the story come alive! As I met Calliope and got to know her school alongside her as well as this secret society, it really drew me into the book! In particular, how the society uses pranks (I think they were called larks in the book but I can't remember now) in order to further social justice causes in and around their school. The call to action vs simply just talking about situations to champion social justice is evident, and to some extent, readers can definitely learn from it. But, as in Dark Academia, things turn to the dark side, and as with teenagers, there are severe lapses in judgment with severe consequences. I am unsure how I feel about how dramatic and how quickly the "big reveal" happened which is why I'm not giving full stars, but overall it builds up the tension well as a good thriller should. As for the ending, I was quite satisfied with how things wrapped up but also left some details to readers' guesses. If you're looking for a new YA thriller to read this summer or fall, I would recommend giving this one a try!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kal ★ Reader Voracious

    Overall I enjoyed this one, but imagine you read an entire book and the very last paragraph makes you groan and leaves a sour taste in your mouth. 😭 "It's the Bolan girls. The ones who survived. We don't live in a fairy tale, but people regard us, sometimes, as if we are more story than girl. More myth than flesh that hurts and bleeds and grieves." Sixteen year old Calliope lives in a small town in the Adirondacks with her father and two younger sisters, a life where she is known by e Overall I enjoyed this one, but imagine you read an entire book and the very last paragraph makes you groan and leaves a sour taste in your mouth. 😭 "It's the Bolan girls. The ones who survived. We don't live in a fairy tale, but people regard us, sometimes, as if we are more story than girl. More myth than flesh that hurts and bleeds and grieves." Sixteen year old Calliope lives in a small town in the Adirondacks with her father and two younger sisters, a life where she is known by everyone and her trauma is common knowledge. I can't imagine having the worst day of my life on everyone's mind and being something I cannot escape, so my heart instantly hurt for Calliope and her family. The hometown she never envisioned leaving suddenly became a place she couldn't wait to escape. Mysteries old and new collide when sixteen year old Calliope transfers to Tipton Academy and she realizes there may be more to the "accident" that caused her mother's death six years ago. She's almost immediately tapped to join Haunt and Rail, the only active secret society at the academy. But where most secret societies brim with privilege and elitism, Haunt and Rail serves as a social justice society that encourages the school and community to do better. "The society's purpose will be to haunt and rail, that is to clandestinely observe injustices, inequities, and bad actors at Tipton Academy, and to rail against their wrongs." A girl who's been searching for where she belongs, Calliope finds her place at Tipton and a purpose within Haunt and Rail. But are things as good as they seem? Full of moral quandaries and ethical debate, Calliope is forced to reconcile her belief in the rules with disruption of inspiring change. Is it wrong to break a rule if it is for a good reason? If so, how big of a rule can you break before it skews into Bad Territory? "Tipton guards its own, even when it means protecting very bad people." I loved the subtle critique on the systems in place that make progress difficult and how Tipton Academy basically serves as a microcosm for society at large. The people in power protect their own and the systems in place are built to maintain the status quo. The red tape and bureaucracies, how often (student) government actions make little progress at all; it highlights not only the need for social justice but also importance of awareness campaigns... and how they must appeal to what people care about. “I came back to Tipton ready to open my eyes to the real story, messy and imperfect, and that’s exactly what I got.” While I wasn't fully invested in any of the characters per se, I really liked the relationship between Calliope and Nico. They are just two kids who have no idea what they're doing, full of awkward behavior and assumptions. It was so refreshing to see Calliope be brave and direct, expressing not only what she wants and asking for permission, but also seeking clarification to avoid misunderstandings. This is a book that's a wild ride, fully engaging with a web of secrets and mysteries the reader and Calliope must unravel together. The writing style is very blunt and to the point, which makes it easy to consume in one sitting. The ending isn't quite what I like to see in a book, but I can understand why Kit wrote it the way she did (doesn't mean I like it though!). If you like your characters morally grey, then Very Bad People is a must-read! eARC provided by the publisher for my honest review. This does not impact my opinions of the book nor the contents of my review. Quotations are from an unfinished proof and subject to change upon final publication. Content warnings: death of a parent, murder, statutory rape (off-page), suicide (off-page) Blog • Twitter • Instagram • Pinterest • Ko-fi • Patreon

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Mandina

    Even with a few of the things I liked about this book, it just dragged for me. I got almost 200 pages in and was still having to force myself to pick it up and continue reading. Just not the book for me unfortunately.

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