Book Review: Get Even

Get Even (Don't Get Mad #1)
Published By: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Page Count: 320
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Mystery

Gretchen McNeil is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I love how her stories keep me on the edge of my seat. She truly knows how to get the adrenaline flowing. I also love how her characters are complex and flawed. This story is no exception - their are four lead characters and each one of them is harboring some skeletons in the closet. I also love that McNeil often includes diverse characters in her work. I feel like we need more diversity in YA so it always makes me happy to see that she does include characters of different races and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Get Even revolves around a secret revenge group called DGM. This group was created by Kitty, Olivia, Bree, and Margot when they were forced to work together on a project in their religion class. The girls all come from very different social settings within the school and probably would have never crossed paths if fate hadn't brought them together. They soon realize that they all abhor bullying and decide that DGM (aka Don't Get Mad) must be born. The girls make it their mission to stand up for those who are too weak or scared to stand up for themselves. They target the individuals within their school who prey on the innocent. DGM operates to bring the oppressor's most embarrassing moments to the public eye. The group has caused quite a stir around their high school and now their is a bounty on their heads. The principal wants their antics stopped and their identities revealed. The girls must fight to keep their group underground and their connection to one another a secret. 

The murder of a new student puts the entire community on edge and DGM becomes the prime suspect. The girls begin to doubt one another as they scramble to piece together the clues to identify a killer in their midst. 

While I really loved this story, I do have to admit I'm frustrated. This one ended with so many unresolved components and the next novel isn't scheduled to be released until May 2015. This huge wait and all these unanswered questions kept me from being able to rate this one as a 5 birdie read.

One Last Gripe: While I loved the four main girls, I did find it frustrating trying to keep up with who was who and which character was driving the section I was reading in the beginning. As the story progressed and I got to know each girl better, this became easier.

Favorite Thing About This Book: McNeil is a master at writing a compelling mystery.

First Sentence: Bree sat back against the chain-link fence, bouncing her tennis racket lightly against the toe of her black Converse.

Favorite Character: Bree

Least Favorite Character: Amber

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.


  1. Oh yay! Another Halloween read. I like Gretchen McNeil for the reasons you mentioned, flawed characters that are very diverse.

    Happy you enjoyed it Andrea!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre


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