Review: The Society by Jodie Andrefski

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

Review: The Society by Jodie AndrefskiThe Society by Jodie Andrefski
Published by Entangled Teen on May 3, 2016
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
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What starts as a simple revenge plot turns deadly inside Trinity Academy's gold-plated secret society, and seventeen-year-old Sam Evans must decide if vengeance is worth the price.

Trinity Academy's gold-plated secret society is about to be turned upside down. Seventeen-year-old Sam Evans plots revenge on her ex-bestie, Jessica, who happens to perch at the top of the Society's social ladder--and helped put Sam's dad in jail. Sam may no longer be cool enough to be invited to rush the Society, but she's tech-savvy enough to know how to use it in her plan.

Sam fake taps three "initiates" to do her dirty work, each none the wiser that they're merely puppets in a quest to dethrone Jessica. Convinced Sam is losing it, her best friend Jeremy distances himself, which just fuels Sam's manic personality. But after Sam meets a hot stranger in a coffee shop, she's sure the gods might finally be taking pity on her. Everything seems to be coming together-revenge, romance, respect-until she's confused by her growing attraction to Jeremy and her plotting starts to derail.

Get-backs can be a bitch, and things nosedive when Sam realizes her plan isn't as flawless as she thinks-and if she's not careful she could be joining her dad behind bars. With one girl hospitalized and another student in a coma, Sam is forced to re-examine her motives and decide who and what she's willing to sacrifice in the name of vengeance.

Warning: This review WILL have some minor (or major, depending on how you feel) spoilers, since the book came out two years ago and certain aspects are hard to discuss WITHOUT some spoilers. You’ve been warned.

The Society has been on my TBR for over two years. I don’t know what exactly made me finally pick it up, but I’m glad I did. It was a fast, easy and enjoyable read. Not gonna lie though, I was hoping for a little bit… MORE. The author’s note indicates the whole book was a moral lesson about bullying, which I’m conflicted on… It’s an IMPORTANT lesson, but I kind of just wanted a fun, creepy thriller, à la The Skulls, not a moral lesson.

I’m still torn, re: how I feel about Samantha. In the beginning, I liked her voice and personality, and I didn’t blame her for wanting revenge on the ex-best friend who made her life a living hell. I usually don’t like the “best friends to enemies” trope because plenty of people stop being friends and DON’T torment each other, yet this trope tends to be over-used in YA – like, 80% of the time, the “mean girl” is the main character’s ex-best friend. In the beginning, I was sympathetic toward Sam, who was angry and hurt and confused. As time went on, however, I actually felt sort of bad for Jessica. NOTHING excuses bullying, but for some reason, I wanted her side of the story. I wanted to know WHY she did what she did, and why she turned so completely on Sam. It just felt like there was more to it than we knew. I REALLY wanted more closure with Sam and Jessica, too. We didn’t get that and I really wanted it.

I really liked Sam’s relationship with Jeremy, and how organic it felt. The “best friend to boyfriend” thing didn’t feel forced, and they faced some hardship. The whole Ransom thing, though, was… weird. I understand why Sam pulled away from Jeremy – and why he pulled away from her – but the Ransom thing was just really random and maybe a little unnecessary? I don’t know, I’m still sorting out how I feel about it all.

Throughout the book, I developed some weird theories and none of them panned out, which was a bit of a surprise because I’m usually at least half right. I was positive there would be some huge twist and shock at the end, and there wasn’t. That was a bit of a let-down. I do like how it ended, though – I know that’s probably contradictory, but there it is. I guess a big shocking twist would fit if this HAD just been a fun, creepy thriller. Since it wasn’t that kind of book, the way it ended felt right for the tone of the story.

I’m conflicted on whether to recommend this or not, and who I would even recommend it to. If you like a good old-fashioned revenge story, you’ll probably enjoy this. If you like books about secret societies, I wouldn’t recommend this one, because it was less about the secret society and more about bullying, cliques and (like I said before) revenge.


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