A meth dealer. A prostitute. A serial killer.
Anywhere else, they’d be vermin. At the Mandel Academy, they’re called prodigies. The most exclusive school in New York City has been training young criminals for over a century. Only the most ruthless students are allowed to graduate. The rest disappear.
Flick, a teenage pickpocket, has risen to the top of his class. But then Mandel recruits a fierce new competitor who also happens to be Flick’s old flame. They’ve been told only one of them will make it out of the Mandel Academy. Will they find a way to save each other—or will the school destroy them both?
I thought this book was going to be way lighter. I thought, y'know, it's kind of a "fun" cover. I bet this is going to be funny and lighthearted. About friendship and bonding and all that jazz.
Well, I was "kind of" wrong. And by kind of, I mean I would be closer to being right if I said the sun was a couple thousand feet away.
The main character, Flick, is borderline villain the entire book. It crosses over a couple times, and then he is pure evil. I kinda loved it, and I was kinda creeped out by it. (I mostly loved it though. Shhh.) I've always kind of been curious about people's limits (this is where I tell you, no, I am not psychotic). Where do they cross the line? Is there even a clear line that exists between good and bad?
The characters are all rather insane. And by insane I mean they murder anyone they feel threatened by and decide to kill people they feel don't matter. They only stop because there's a minimum amount of students they can have. How pleasant, amiright?
Everyone (EVERYONE) is emotionally manipulative. Everyone has skills that make them deadly. If there is a weakness, it's that they're too in touch with their emotions. They care too much. Or else they're just oblivious to the power hungry vultures surrounding them.
I loved seeing Flick outsmart other students. I loved reading his thoughts, even though they're twisted. He is so incredibly observant, so distrusting, yet the things he loves he will do anything for. He is definitely the part of the book I loved most. He's so unlike other main characters-- meaning, in this case, that at times you have to stop and wonder if he's actually insane, if he's actually good... or if he's just another psycho in a whole school of them.
The other characters: Joi, Gwendolyn, Mandel... They were all so well-written and fleshed out that all I can do to the author is bow.
There is no clear good and bad in this book. There are good and bad motives, but doesn't every villain feel that their motive is the best? Their way of getting to their goal is what tells. And even sometimes, it's impossible to tell.
So, yeah. That was me hopefully forming coherent thoughts because this book blew my mind. If incredibly dark books freak you out, you should maybe think about not reading this. But if you feel like it'd be a walk in the park, you should definitely go for it.