League of Strays by L. B. Schulman

League of Strays by L. B. Schulman
Publisher:
Amulet
Length: 288 pages 
Genera: Contemporary
S
ubjects: highschool, romance, revenge

Summary:
[Goodreads Summary]
When Charlotte Brody, a lonely 17-year-old student at a new school, receives an invitation to join The League of Strays, she’s intrigued by the group’s promise of “instant friendship.” The League does provide companionship–and even a love interest–but Charlotte grows increasingly uncomfortable with its sinister mission to seek revenge against the bullies of Kennedy High. When escalating acts of vengeance threaten to hurl her down a path of remorse, Charlotte must choose between her new friends and the direction of a future she’s never fully considered.

Review:
**Caution: spoiler alert**

This book is wrong on so many levels. The story is about kids who decide to get revenge on all the injustices in their highschool. The injustices include a mean physical education teacher, a homophobic bully, and a mean girl.

Ok, not all people may find that plot idea offensive. If the author wrote this better, it might actually have been a good book. Might have been.

A cult needs a good leader. Someone who can easily persuade people into doing insane things. Kade was meant to be a great leader. He ended up being a crazy stalker.

The beginning of the book starts like this. Three hormonal idiots girls are sent a letter, without a stamp or return address, telling them they are invited to join the League of Strays. It tells them to meet in the middle of a park at night.

So of course they do meet and after a few minutes two teens come in. Kade and Richie. Kade tells them that he’s been “profiling” them. These quotes are what he really says.

“Zoe Carpenter. Let’s see, mom divorced Zoe’s stepfather last year. Well, technically, he was number three. She lives in a home of revolving men, but only one her mom really loves is Jack… Daniel’s.”

He was profiling the girl. But not only her.

Nora Walker. Mom and dad work seventy-hour weeks at their high-tech jobs. Needless to say, they aren’t around much. When she was twelve, Nora’s fifteen-year-old sister committed suicide by downing all of her mother’s migraine medicine. Now an only child, Nora makes it her personal missing to erase her parent’s pain.

What do the girls do? Even though he’s been stalking them for who know’s how long, they stay. The only reason for it?  He’s hot.

And we’re only 4% into the book.

I imagined Kade following me from class to class, taking notes. The idea of someone spying on me was definitely creepy.

This is what smart people do. Good Charlie. But then, in the next sentence she thinks:

.. I wanted to hear more. What else did Kade Harlin think of me?

Sure, he’s hot. Ok, I’ll forgive you (barely). You are desperate, loners (which the author loved to remind us of). But he ADMITS to being a psycho more or less (as if you couldn’t see it though maybe you were blinded by lust).

I wrote poems about her and left them in her art locker. Everyday, I checked to see if she’d written back, but she never did. I memorized her so I could learn everything there was to know about her. She liked egg salad sandwiches, and her favorite perfume was a five-dollar bottle of Forever Yours that she stole from Wal-Mart. She’d had six boyfriends in the past two years. I even knew the shortcut she used to get home.

Perhaps this was meant to be romantic, but do you see it that way? IT’S NOT! Ok, now that I’ve hit the big 600, I should get onto the review.

Characters:
This book could have been so much more if Charlotte had more the five brain cells. She followed Kade around like a puppy dog and ruined people’s lives. By the end, she realized something was wrong with this guy, but only by the 80% mark.

I hated her even more after this:

Sidney Bishop told Nicole Haines that Mark Lawrence had beat up his girlfriend, who was recovering at Glenwood Community Hospital with a broken hand. I prayed it was true, because that would mean our plan for Dave had nothing to do with this latest development.

So she basically said, she wanted someone to be beaten up so her sorry hide will be ok. I can’t explain how ANGRY this made me feel.

Kade was by far the worst love interest I”ve eve had the displeasure of reading about. He was Patch from Hush, Hush, Daniel from Fallen, and Noah from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer all rolled into one. What has been read can not be unread.

The only reason Nora was in the book was as the mean girl trying to take Kade away from Charlotte. The. Only. Reason.

Richie was a walking, talking stereotype of a gay guy, but he was the only character that got anything remotely like a smile to appear while reading this book.

Plot:
Could have been good, like I said. But it wasn’t.

The plot needed to be thought out more. One of the things the League did was burn the grade books because of a C. In gym. Fine, I’ll go with it. Except for the fact that most teachers now use ELECTRONIC GRADING. I’m homeschooled. Even my family uses ELECTRONIC GRADING. Burning the books does nothing.

The next “prank”, and I use that term very, very, loosely, was revenge against a guy who bullied Richie (the gay guy). TO get back at him, they place in his friend’s locker a fake note stating:

Hey Big D,
I couldn’t stop thinking about you all day. What happened between us was incredible. It was my first time. I know I’m not experienced, but I hope it was still good for you. ‘ll see you at nine at the post office parking lot like we talked about. Wear black.

Until then, Michael.

First: why the post office? So the bully goes there thinking he’s going to “do it” with a popular girl in the highschool. Because his “friends” think he’s gay they beat him up and break his arm. The main character goes along with it and then they have a PARTY.

The idea was interesting as could well have been an amazing book. The author couldn’t pull it off though.

What I liked and disliked:
Liked:

  • Charlie did realize what she was doing was wrong
  • Richie was a bit cute

Disliked:

  • Charlie was an idiot
  • Kade was abusive, stalking, and horrible
  • Poorly thought out

In conclusion:
I. Could. Not. Stand. This. Book.

I couldn’t. I would never recommend it.

————————————————————————

Favorite Character: Richie
Favorite Quote: 

It sounded reasonable.

Rating: ½☆ ☆☆☆

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