The Revenge Game

Delacorte. Nov. 2023. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593563649.
Gr 9 Up–This novel tackles fragile masculinity, one private school student at a time. Junior Alyson attends an elite boarding school, and although she is successful academically, she longs for the romance she reads about. After a harsh rejection from a boy she was pining over, Aly is nervous to be the recipient of attention from popular lacrosse captain, Riggs. The two embark on an idyllic relationship, while her friends seem to be running into one bad egg after another. When Riggs’s ex-girlfriend threatens Alyson, she is convinced that the ominous warning is unwarranted. As her group of friends uncover a secret game called “The King’s Cup,” where boys tally their sexual conquests, Alyson and the girls in her school set out to knock each “king” from their pedestal by very publicly humiliating them. Is Riggs a part of this sick competition, or is he telling the truth that he isn’t? This fast-paced novel is full of female friendships, pop culture references, #MeToo topics, and a big mystery to be solved. Readers will empathize with naïve Aly, who just wants to be in love, despite her friends’ warnings. Most characters read white and Alyson is Jewish.
VERDICT A fiercely feminist novel that will appeal to most teenagers, and a good purchase for most high school collections. Hand to fans of Karen M. McManus and Jessica Goodman.

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