Foul is Fair has to be one of my most anticipated 2020 re-tellings. I was promised a bloody story full of girls getting revenge and that’s exactly what it was! I love when I’ve been told a book is exactly what it is!
Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.
They picked the wrong girl.
Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.
Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: sexual assault, rape, rape culture, gender-based violence, vigilantism and revenge, substance abuse, suicide, bully & transphobia, physical violence, gore, murder, abusive relationship (more explanations on Hannah’s website)
I think I may be one of the few people who didn’t realize that Foul is Fair was a Macbeth re-telling until about 30% in when the names finally got to me. Suffice it to say, you can 100% enjoy this book without reading Macbeth. That being said, Foul is Fair is a five star re-telling for sure! It’s a bloody story of revenge. Of girls having enough. Being told to be silent. And having the justice system fail. I fell in love with Foul is Fair from page one. It starts with a scene of revenge, black box hair dye, and the claws we put on in the morning.
Revenge & Blood
Foul is Fair takes justice into its manicured hands and enacts its bloody revenge. When our dreams become nightmares and fear and doubt manifest in witches and prophecies. It’s a story about how we process trauma balanced by our desire for justice and vengeance. The way fear and doubt can eat us alive. Destroy back room deals, silent nods, and a system that allows the crimes of men to go unpunished. At the same time, it’s about the ones who watch from the outside, silent, waiting for an opportunity to break in.
Featuring a trans side character and sapphic side romance, Foul is Fair does a fantastic job at illustrating that Jade’s sexual assault is not just the fault of the perpetrator. It’s the ones who slip them drugs with winks, stand in front of closed doors, and watch in silence. It’s easy to be on Jade’s side, even if you are a little skeptical of the proposed plan, because not only is the tension palatable, but Jade is convinced on turning them against themselves. It is more than justice that is enacted through blades, but through manipulation, killer eye makeup, and timing.
Foul is Fair builds the pressure until you have to stop yourself from skipping pages. It’s unlike other books because I think it honors its re-telling roots with precision as that carries the story. It becomes something that is not only gripping, but also cathartic (whatever that says about me). But it’s also about the ways we see justice mishandled, bought off, and avoided because of big names, money, and sexism. Foul is Fair is the answer I’d been searching for without knowing it.