If you love the idea of an elite boarding school hiding secrets and a girl on a quest to unravel her mother’s death, this is your book. Kit Frick is an author I always associate with mystery and suspense. So Very Bad People was on the top of my mystery TBR! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Very Bad People is a riveting story which I finished in a matter of days. I had decided to read just one more chapter before bed and then I was up past midnight having just finished. What can I tell you? Things just happen. Very Bad People is a story about mistakes and (re)invention. What begins as a quest to unravel the mystery of what happened six years ago, turns into a story about activism and conspiracy. From the beginning, you’re never really sure what is real. What might twist in front of you.
And what twists indeed. Very Bad People delivers mystery and suspense. Tension that swirls in the pit of your stomach. But Calliope was my favorite element. I loved watching her confront these ghosts of her past. The lies and truths we are left with at the end of the day. All the times our gut is telling us to stay a moment longer, to turn around, but we never do. Mistakes and conflicts of our heart. Her character development is nuanced and introspective.
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In Very Bad People, Calliope is forced to confront hard truths, to discover elusive secrets, and choose who she wants to be. To grapple with this idea of right and wrong, rules and laws, ethics and dilemmas. It’s a thrilling mystery that will appeal to dark academia and mystery fans. Find Very Bad People on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.