Title: Con Academy
Author: Joe Schreiber
Genre: Teen Fiction
Rating: 3/5 stars
The Overview: Meet Will Shea, a con artist who has bluffed his way into one of the nation’s most exclusive private schools. But Will isn’t the only scammer at Connaughton Academy—Andrea Dufresne is there too, and the ivy-covered campus isn’t big enough for the both of them. So they make a bet—and the winner gets more than just a high school diploma. In this twisty tale of secrets, lies, and deception—it’s hard to figure out who’s double-crossing who. May the best con win!
I’d been eyeballing Con Academy since it first came out a year ago. I’m a sucker for mastermind conspiracies like Ocean’s 11 and White Coller and thought the prep school premise sounded like loads of fun. I was nervous to read it, though, because it didn’t get a lot of hype when it came out, but I still had high hopes.
Did it live up to expectations? Not really… but it was still a good read.
Just the title “Con Academy” offers a few promises, and although they were delivered on, I felt it could have been executed a lot better. My issue was with the cons themselves. I wasn’t expecting all master plans to be totally foolproof, but I least wanted to see a bunch that would hold up to close scrutiny. But when the main con of the story was so thin that it would only work on a complete moron, I lost a little enthusiasm. It wasn’t stupid, it’s just failed to live up to most other conspiracy things I’ve read/watched. This issue is why I believe the book didn’t get more attention on the blogosphere.
Oddly enough though, I still enjoyed the book. It was written well, had interesting characters, and a slightly less than typical love story. The first half also threw me one surprise after another, and in a sense that unpredictability factor is just as important as the cons themselves. Basically, all elements aside from the cons were well done and entertaining. I’d still recommend it because, although it won’t knock your socks off, it’s a quick, enjoyable read. At this point I’d definitely consider reading other YA works from this author.
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