I would give this book a very strong 4.5 stars.
Admittedly, I'm not sure where to begin with talking about this book because I honestly had know idea about the ride that this book was going to take me on. I picked up this book on a whim from a few good reviews I saw. The description for this book does not do justice for the tour this book takes you on in such a short time frame.
This book isn't so much a story about criminal kids, it's a story about haves and have not's in society. It's a story about predators and prey. It's a story about how good people sometimes don't win.
The story centers around the Martel Academy, a unique prestigious school that polishes disadvantaged students into CEOs, lawyers, politicians, and various other affluent members of elite society. But this school is much more complicated than that. Enter Flick, a disadvantaged (a debatable description being that his father is one of the richest men in the country) boy living on the street who volunteers to enter the school on the promise of material to blackmail his father who he believes to have been responsible for killing his little brother. Still with me?
Flick is forced to leave behind the girl he loves, Joi (pronounced Joey) in a failed attempt to protect her from the world he was delving back into. Joi runs a home for homeless teens on the streets and is much more than meets the eye.
The story is told from Flick's point of view. Flick is cryptic and not particularly likeable initially. As the story moves on, you as a reader realize how smart and adaptable he really is. Which is probably why the surprising turns in the story are that much more surprising because they also catch Flick off guard. This book went in so many directions I did not expect, yet in the end, everything came back together. I didn't know what to expect with this book and I was taken by surprise several times.
I think my only complaint about this book was perhaps the simplistic descriptions. In retrospect, I understand the author's reasoning for this. This world is about a complex story with many strings that have to come together to form a knot. At times, descriptions about people or settings are glossed over. I think the idea of telling the story from Flick's point of view was smart in this aspect because these are things he didn't care to focus on. I didn't feel as if I suffered from these deficiencies, but some situations had me wanting more.
But this book was magical, I did not want to put it down. I think a lot of people are going to enjoy this unique story.