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Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah Hardcover – February 16, 2016

3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—In the small town of River City, four high school students embark on a night they'll never forget. Sam Cherie, the outcast who has scars on her scalp in the shape of worms, coasts through life wanting to be invisible. She is an architect of her own anonymity—hiding under hats and keeping her head down. All Sam needs is to keep her drug-addicted mother sober long enough to break away from River City and start a new life. After a party gets busted by the police, she gets into an SUV with three other teens and a world of trouble. Andi is a rebel and kleptomaniac. Boston, a geeky, skinny kid with freckles, and his roughneck brother, York, are on the run, driving around town in a stolen cop car—believed to have already run over a cop and left the scene of a crime. However, for once in her life, Sam feels alive. The protagonists realize that they are running away from something bigger than the police, and Sam confronts her demons head on. Lange drives the narrative forward with a sense of suspense and excitement; the teens' fear of the police chase will feel tangible to young adult readers. The work explores whether being accepted by peers outweighs the dangerous decisions that can come of trying to build friendships. Fans of Jacqueline Woodson's Hush (Putnam, 2002) might find this tale compelling. VERDICT A general purchase for libraries looking to enhance their action/adventure offerings.—Krista Welz, North Bergen High School, NJ

Review

“Lange keeps the plot twisting . . . As in her debut novel, Lange deftly blends big issues (bullying, special needs, abuse) into a story of two imperfect, memorable characters.” ―Booklist on DEAD ENDS

“Lange weaves a beautiful and believable tale of friendship for readers of any age who can appreciate the challenges of everyday life.” ―Library Media Connection on DEAD ENDS

“A fast-moving tale tailor-made for reading in study hall, when a road trip of any kind sounds really good.” ―BCCB on DEAD ENDS

“Lange's emotionally expansive first novel is dark, funny, painful, and powerful.” ―Publishers Weekly on BUTTER

“The premise alone is enough to break your heart . . . This is no doubt a strong, gutsy debut.” ―Booklist on BUTTER

“While this is definitely an anti-bullying book, it carries a weighty message without didacticism.” ―Library Media Connection on BUTTER

“Lange writes realistically about teens with rough lives, and readers will believe in the friendships, feel Billy's pain of abandonment, and appreciate the honesty of the not-tied-up-with-a-bow ending.” ―School Library Journal on DEAD ENDS

“Using current, hot-button topics--cyberbullying, obesity, and teen suicide--the author weaves a compelling tale sure to draw teens in.” ―School Library Journal on BUTTER

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (February 16, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619634988
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619634985
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #975,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
When I saw Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah by Erin Jade Lange on Netgalley, I wanted to read it immediately. The Breakfast Club meets Breaking Bad? Sign me up! I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Sam has not had an easy life. Her mother has been in and out of jail, and Sam does her best to stay invisible. She doesn’t need the scrutiny of her peers. Due to circumstances beyond her control, she ends up at a party in the woods with Andi. At one point, Andi was one of the popular girls, but now she avoids her old friends. When the party is broken up by the police, Sam and Andi find themselves in the company of brothers York and Boston. York is an athlete and a bully, and his brother Boston wants to go to an Ivy League school. In their efforts to avoid the police, this unlikely quartet inadvertently steals a car full of drugs. Now they have to figure out what to do without incriminating themselves.

The entire story takes place over the course of a very long evening, and is interspersed with flashbacks. Sam, the “pariah” of the group, serves as narrator. It might have been interesting to see everyone’s perspective; one of the main themes of the book is how everyone’s choices led them to be together in the woods. Just like the kids in The Breakfast Club, these teens would never have interacted socially, but circumstances have thrust them into a partnership. Over the course of the evening, the group debates what they should do, and secrets from the past are revealed.

Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah kept me riveted. I found myself reading faster because I wanted to find out what was going to happen. Friendship does not come automatically, and they each have every reason to distrust each other.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Okay, if I were to rate this one sorely upon believability, this one would have received a much lower rating. This book was compared to The Breakfast Club. Just as The Breakfast Club took place over the course of one day, this book took place over the course of one night and it was a CRAZY night. I was expecting more of a contemporary piece instead of this mystery. And the hijinks that these kids got to into were insane. I wanted to scream at them because they were making all these horrible decisions, one after the other. But you know what? It was very entertaining.

We only saw one POV, that of Sam, who would be the pariah in this book. I could relate to her a lot, mainly because she tried her best to make herself invisible throughout high school. Now I didn't have a drug addicted mother and I wasn;t bounced around from family member to family member every time my mom was serving time in prison so in that respect, I was nothing like Sam. There were also flashbacks of different scenes in high school where Sam encountered the other people she became involved with that night (Andi, York and Boston). These were four people who really had nothing in common and they all had mistaken perceptions of each other based on the role they played in their daily lives. I didn't really feel much of a connection with the other characters, mainly because we didn't read from their POV and we didn't learn much about them even during the night. We learned a little, just not enough to really connect with them.

Like I said, the four teenagers started out at a party and ended up running from the cops in a stolen car so the night was insane. But there were still a lot of moments of humor.
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Format: Kindle Edition
What a modern twist on the Breakfast Club?! This story, chronicles the tale of four misfit teenagers that are thrown together very randomly, and are forced to share a crazy night together that they will never forget. Who forgets their first crime?

The story begins with Sam, the narrator and the main protagonist of the story, who has a troubling past with her mom, who has a repetitive battle with addiction. Then you meet Andi, the once mean girl, turned rebel, and then there’s brothers Boston and York, who have a history of sibling rivalry with troubles of their own, who are the bully and geek of the story. All four of these characters have very unique personalities, just like the Brat pack, but this group is more like the fugitive’s pack or something that’s actually clever.

I didn’t expect to enjoy the story as much as I did. Although, I did predict a lot of the twists and turns, I appreciated that the twist and turns had their own twists and turns of their own. The backstory of the characters was pretty much predictable, but Andi, is the one who stood out the most to me and is the one, at least in my opinion, stole the show. I would love to read this story from her point of view instead of Sam. No offense to Sam, I think she’s great, but I’m sick of the woe is me because my mom is an addict protagonist. Andi was definitely a hundred times more interesting and unique. The boys were okay; I didn’t care to much for them. I liked them, and I appreciate them as characters and what they added to the story, but as individuals I didn’t care for them much, and I honestly kept getting confused and, I’m still confused as to who’s the oldest and the youngest, but oh well.
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