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(Lawless #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,047 ratings  ·  148 reviews
The Lawless School provides the right education for kids on the wrong side of the law.

M Freeman has been homeschooled her entire life. So M has no idea just how unusual her education has been - not until she leaves home to attend the prestigious (and mysterious) Lawless School.

Suddenly, it's very clear to M that her tutors have been preparing her all along for a life of cr
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 2013 by Scholastic Inc. (first published February 1st 2013)
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,047 ratings  ·  148 reviews

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jv poore
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
No preamble here. We meet our main character, an adorably plucky twelve year old girl, M Freeman, as she is interviewing for placement in the prestigious Lawless School. In the blink of an eye, this reader was submerged in adventure, crime, mystery and secrets.

M never really questioned anything. She was homeschooled, able to avoid the distractions and drama, often found in “regular school”. Bright and curious, M was happy with her studies and content with her life, despite having lost her fathe
Sep 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading the first couple of chapters of Lawless, I had high hopes for this book. Jeffrey Salane throws us right into the story as we start with M’s interview for Lawless; the school of criminals. It immersed me into thoughts of fast-paced action, betrayal and drama, but after finishing Lawless, I felt under-awed and a bit disappointed.

With nothing but an empty envelope with her name on it and a painstakingly crafted, hand-written speech she’d never got to deliver, M sat as the limo pulled
V.K. Finnish
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Lawless was a fun middle-grade read that I know I can get more out of when I read it again.

This action-packed "spy" book is about eleven-year-old M (yes, that's her name). We're eased into the strangeness of her life till now--a homeschooled education in profiling people, spotting forgeries, taking in her surroundings, lying, planning escape routes--when she's suddenly taken from her home and thrown into a dangerous full-time school dedicated to studying those things and more. For a successful l
Jul 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I have such mixed feelings about this book! I loved the premise, and I loved the beginning and the action and the characters. I liked that the story kept me guessing throughout the story in regards to who could actually be trusted. However, I did not like the ending. The ending made no sense to me. I feel like it ended too quickly and too "neatly", especially since this is the start of a series. It almost seemed like the book was getting too long and Salane was told to end it.

I loved the concep
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Going into this book I did not know what to expect. The title and cover had caught my eye and I had bought it from a book fair, expecting some plot twists. Reading the book, I got a lot of plot twists. The plot is still revealed to be very well thought out. Through this whole book I didn't know what to expect. Even after this book I still have questions. One main question that still stands is what M's name means. I am also interested in hearing about M's family and their backstory. Hopefully seq ...more
I read an ARC provided through NetGalley.

Chapter 1 of Lawless opens as M. Freeman is waiting for her interview for the Lawless School. As soon as M. enters the interview, her life will never be the same, for, you see, the Lawless School is a school for theives and other criminals. M. has been carefully homeschooled so that she can do well at Lawless, but was never told about the school (unlike her classmates). From the interview on, M. is being tested in one way or another, given puzzles that sh
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
M Freeman has been home schooled her whole life. Her father was her best friend, but he died a long time ago. All she knows about her father is that he attended Lawless school and loved her very much. Lawless is a school you go to to become a master criminal. When M gets into Lawless she doesn't know anything about it. After the interview when she gets home to tell her mom about it the lady from the interview is having coffee with her mom! Then the lady from the interview tells her it is time to ...more
Paula  Phillips
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
M. Freeman has grown up being sheltered and believing that her parents were art collectors and historians until her birthday when she receives an interview to attend Lawless School. Unbeknownst to M , Lawless isn't an ordinary school. It is a school for spies and criminals and M is about to discover that they don't let just anyone in and that in fact she is a legacy as her father was a top student of Lawless when he was younger. Now M, has been chucked into a world where she is not only a newbi ...more
Jason Cantrell
Oct 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-novel
I got the distinct impression that the author wrote the first 240 pages of this book without being sure how the ending would work, then got writer's block, then tried to slap together something like a dramatic ending in the last 30 pages and failed miserably.

As an MG book, the first 80% of the book was fun. Sure, there were plot holes, and the story was pretty simple, but I was enjoying it enough to ignore the parts that were too hard to believe. But then the story suddenly turned from "fun book
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Really a 2.5 rating, rounded up to 3.

I can see how kids will enjoy this story - CRIMINALS! BOARDING SCHOOL! HIJINX! - but I wasn't feelin' it. This definitely felt like the author's first book and it needed a lot more editing to tighten the story. Things felt very scattered and I never really understood the characters' motivations at all. I just didn't get why they were doing any of this and while kids may not necessarily be able to put their finger on what bothers them, I think they'll sense th
Madison Walker
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I decided to read this book because I had recently seen the movie divergent and had really enjoyed it and when I read the blurb of this book it sounded very much like divergent so I thought I'd give it a try. I really enjoyed this book because it was very action filled and interesting. It was also very easy to read and understand. I really enjoyed how the writer has used interesting adjectives to build the suspense in the book. My favourite character in this book was Miss Watts because at the be ...more
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! I absolutly loved the humor about the ending-unexplained so there are no spoilers-and the characters were fabulously designed. I felt a little disappointed when most of the questions asked in the book weren't answered by the ending,and I know there will be a another book but still there ought to be more answer's than that... :) otherwise great job Jeffrey Salane!
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: julia, isabel
I love this book! It has a very exciting plot line and I would highly recommend it. I want to go to Lawless school, except for the fact that it is for criminals. The classes sound very fun and exciting. If you enjoy this book, I would read H.I.V.E. They are very similar and are both very good. Also, H.I.V.E. focuses more on boys whereas lawless more hones in on girls.
Sarah W
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I could see this being a fun pair to Gallagher Girls or a ladder to Heist Society.
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I really want to give it 2.5 stars. Very cute and entertaining for the age range, I guess. Just very unbelievable for a 12 year old girl and one of the BEST examples of Mary Sues I've ever read.
Ryan L.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Breaking Laws
Ryan Lomas

What scares you the most? Is it spiders? Sharks? Ghosts? Whatever your answer is, many people can agree that big changes like family members dying, or adapting to new daily routines. Both of those things happened to M, a high school teenager whose parents, or parent, was involved in, heists, she is yet to learn about.

M Freeman might just be the most attentive, over prepared freshman anyone might know. Every aspect of her life has been preparing her for a school, a secret
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review
the book lawless by Jeffrey Salane deserves 5 stars . this book gets better every time I turned a page. I loved how he included real life art into this story and how he related it to M's mom who does identical paintings like the ones in the museum that costs thousands of dollars. M passed all her with flying colors. the book is very creative and mysterious all at the same time.
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would have given this a 3 for an average read, but Jackson insists he loved it and would rank it a 5, so I'm splitting the difference to go with a 4.

It's a fun story about a girl learning about herself, her mysterious parents, and the new life she's thrust into with transitioning to a secret school.
Anne Beardsley
Well written. Well thought out. Good concept.

Just not much fun to read. Bittersweet, serious, improbable, and the big redemption comes down not so much to 'In the end, Harry, it is your choices that determine who you are' so much as 'Whatever our heroine may think she wants, in the end good and not evil are in her DNA.'

Goshen PL Childrens
M Freeman has always been able to see things that others overlook, read expressions of other people, and read situations for what they really are. Little does M know that she has been trained to a be thief until she is whisked away to a school for thievery. While she is there M must figure out who she can trust and who is out there to steal your trust.

Good for 3rd grade and up.
Venus Aradhya
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
M. Freeman has always known her life has a purpose. But does she know what her purpose is yet? Does she know what 'side' she will grow up working for? Does she know the true story about her father? This story has multiple plot twist that will make you so surprised!
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Quiet 12 year old M Freeman thinks she has a normal life. Sure, her father died in a plane crash when she was younger, but the crash was an accident… right? And sure, she’s home schooled and doesn’t understand other kids, but of course that’s only because M keeps to herself and is very busy with her studies. Or is it?
The book starts off with M going to an interview for a school called Lawless. The hosts, a woman named Ms. Watts and a girl about her age who goes by Ms. Smith, ask her questions
Amy Peck
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the premise of the book (who wouldn't want to train as a master criminal??). The ending felt jumbled and some pieces were a bit too convenient.
Aaron Byers
Oct 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is okay for younger readers but I'd not pursue any further books of this character or story-line. Meh.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book unexpectedly reverted from the path it was leading. It’s unforeseen mystery, inexplicably made show in the end making the whole experience of the book rememberable.
Jul 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Before I start to get all criticizey, let me just say Lawless is a good book. Not awful, and certainly better than others I've read. Still, it was lacking some elusive quality that would have elevated it to greatness.
I liked M. I thought the plot was interesting and clever. I'm a big fan of clever-criminal books, in general. The author's voice was very natural and readable. And I did stay up until one in the morning to finish it.

Now that that's out of the way, this review is about the three mai
Evelynn C
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-books
Amazing read! Very well detailed and explained. The only thing is that it was very confusing with her name being M, so sometimes I didn't know if it was her, or somethingelse.
Dawn Teresa
May 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Originally posted on my blog, ReadLove

Don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s a phrase we’ve all heard repeated so often it’s become cliché. Appearances can be deceiving; that’s a lesson learned by Lawless heroine “M”. Unfortunately, it was also my experience with this novel. The cover held so much promise — a cool spy girl, I thought. And the story got off to a decent start. My curiosity was piqued by the opening chapters. M is an unusual girl, a little strange, in fact. Her upbringing has been
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
I gave this book to my 10 year old daughter for Christmas and at first, she seemed to be doing well, and then a quarter of the way in, she stopped completely. Curious, I asked her not to tell me about the book (we normally talk shop on the books we are reading) and I dove in to see what the problem was.

The first thing I noticed was that our main gal M who was 12 years old acted and thought much like a 30 year old. Sure, you can say she had a different type of upbringing and her maturity was far
Mar 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Read review in its entirety at

Jeffrey Salane's debut novel Lawless, creates a far-fetched middle grade story which proposes that a school exists for children to teach them how to be outstanding citizens--not outstanding law-abiding citizens, but mastermind criminals in the making. An exciting play on the traditional spy novels with the twist being readers are reading from the “bad guys” perspective.

Don't let the dubious dealings fool you, the unrealistic
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