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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  1,820 ratings  ·  413 reviews
Prestigious. Powerful. Privileged. This is Fullbrook Academy, an elite prep school where history looms in the leafy branches over its brick walkways. But some traditions upheld in its hallowed halls are profoundly dangerous.

Jules Devereux just wants to keep her head down, avoid distractions, and get into the right college, so she can leave Fullbrook and its old-boy social
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,820 ratings  ·  413 reviews

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Dannii Elle
Campus novels will never fail to pique my interest. But when I see an elite campus-set novel that provides an insight to the rape culture perpetuated there, I am doubly sold!

This split-perspective tale follows two outsiders to the exclusive Fullbrook Acadamy. Jules Devereux is the girl who is going somewhere. She has climbed to the pinnacle of the social hierarchy but, now a senior, is divorcing herself from her role there, and the expectations placed upon the females who attend this isolated, m
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
1.5 STARS bumped up to 2 for trying.

TRADITION checks all the boxes for books I usually love.

Boarding school? Check
Sexual assault and recovery? Check
Calling out toxic masculinity? Check

Here’s the BUT: but I not only didn’t love the story, I didn’t even like it.

Some men write women so well, I don’t know their gender. Brendan Kiely isn’t one of those writers, at least not in TRADITION.

TRADITION is a book that means very well. It’s an important story executed in too heavy handed a way to feel auth
What the book attempts to do -- show the way that "tradition" and "honor" allow a system of rape culture and toxic masculinity to flourish -- it fails. There's nothing really showcasing "tradition" and "honor" until the last section of the book, the Winter Ball, which literally makes no sense in the context of the grander story.

Both Jules and Bax are weakly developed. Jules is a stereotypical feminist and Bax is a ~woke white dude~ and her partner in crime. Neither are more than those stock sty
Cori Reed
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars!
Jillian Heise
A powerful, emotional, and important book. With the dual POV, it adds another layer to the conversations around assault and consent that we should be having with all of our adolescents of any gender.
Add this to a text set starting with Speak, and including any of the titles around assault and consent and power that you can find to reach our kids. This is a must add title for every high school classroom library.
Kathleen Glasgow
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A stunning and thoughtfully written examination of toxic masculinity and rape culture. A dual narrative that works surprisingly well and several scenes that will surprise you and make you think. I can't say too much, but there's a late-in-the-book moment that had me in tears. ...more
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
i love stories set in boarding schools. Enjoyed this story immensely. Loved the central characters.
Claude's Bookzone
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars. It was quite a slow burn but I loved the ending!
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
3 stars.

Thank you so much, Simon & Schuster for sending me this for review.

These types of books are important. Sexual assault is an incredibly detrimental topic that needs to be discussed, so I'm willing to read pretty much any book that discusses it, but this honestly left me feeling unsatisfied.

My biggest problem was how in depth it went with the subject. I was waiting until 100 pages in for SOMETHING to happen, but the event that kicked the entire assault topic off, didn't happen till over
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
Yes, it's another book about sexual assault and another book perfect for the never-ending #metoo display. Don't we have enough of these by now? No, no we don't because these stories are still happening and are stronger than ever. What sets this one apart is that it's written by a male author and it also has duel male and female first-person perspectives. I appreciated so much having that male point-of-view and think it adds another layer to the story. The ending was anti-climatic and felt a bit ...more
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-reads
This book has good intentions of tackling rape culture and toxic masculinity, but falls flat in its goal. Storytelling was boring and sort of heavy handed. Characters are flat - Jules is your stock feminist who seems to exist for her stances and not as a nuanced person. I would like to see more motivation behind her character - what makes her champion all these causes? Who is she beyond the activist? Bax - your typical woke male ally. The reader does get glimpse of the mis-step prior to Fullbroo ...more
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
Blog tour: https://confessionsofayareader.wordpr...

Tradition is one of those books that every teenager should read. I definitely need to warn people that this book is about sexual abuse.

Jules and Bax are the two narrators in Tradition. The book takes place in a private high school in New England. The majority of the kids that go there are extremely privalaged, their parents paying the $50,000 a year tuition without a problem. Bax (James Baxter, Buckeye) isn’t one of those kids. He is there to pl
Jun 03, 2018 rated it liked it
There is no doubt this message is an important one, but I needed more from the characters. The complexity and shame and fear and frustration and entitlement and humiliation and silence of a rape culture are infuriating and confusing traits that persist because we ignore so much. I wanted this book to shake its readers a little be more searing or be more relatable. It is too easy to place these students in an elite boarding school where helicopters bring rich parents to eme ...more
Samantha (WLABB)
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, ya, arcs
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Although I did not attend an elite boarding school, I found some of the "traditions" in this book hit home. I went to a very small high school in a very small town, where one of the senior privileges was access to a triangle of grass, wedged between the glass hallways of the building extension and the original school structure. This area was called the "senior lounge". The seniors would sit out there, relax, and as the girls walked by, the boys would hold up pieces of paper, rat
Rita Shaffer
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very important story! I liked the characters and appreciated their bravery...
Liza Wiemer
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An important novel!
Wow, so much admiration for Brendan Kiely for writing a novel addressing rape culture in a private school filled with tradition that perpetuates disgusting, unacceptable, criminal behavior. This is a book about speaking up and speaking out. Memorable characters who embrace their identities.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
In “Tradition,” a compelling story of privilege, prominence and prestige at Fullbrook Academy, Brendan Kiely tackles the difficult topic of rape and its cultural prevalence in present society. Meet legacy Jules Devereaux, hoping to shuffle through her senior year without incident and blackballed James Baxter, a blue-collar boy given a second chance with a full-ride hockey scholarship. While questioning the rules of the institution and their precarious positions within, Jules and James form an un ...more
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
I don't know why more people aren't talking about this book! Tradition is brilliantly written look at toxic masculinity, rape culture, and privilege, set at an exclusive boarding school. The author demonstrates perfectly how men can be allies of women AND how straight men can support gay men in a positive way. He brings a much needed perspective to these critical issues of the day.

This book is a dual perspective narrative set at Fullbrook Academy, a place where tradition institutionalizes rape
Matt Gomez
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Tradition deals with themes of consent, toxic masculinity, and male privilege in ways that feel so appropriate and timely. The narrative took a bit too long to gather steam, but once it did I was hooked. Told through two perspectives, a boy and girl at an exclusive private school, the story portrays the strength, heart, and perseverance needed to stand up against a culture that portrays women as inferior objects. I loved that the male protagonist embodies feminist ideals and has the courage to d ...more
Mi 🌸
Jun 28, 2021 rated it did not like it
“It was so impossible for me to understand what it was like to be afraid like that. To walk afraid.”

TW // Sexu#l Ass#ult

This was a quote that I found absolutely beautiful in this book.

Here are some things this book needed more of, as I didn’t give it a perfect rating. This is both for prospective readers and the author for feedback:
1. There was some romance. However, usually it revolves around image to the public and sex, as this is a rich kid high school full of whites and some poc and like 2 g
Kate (beautifulbookland)
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
This is seriously the kind of book that I can imagine future students studying in schools; it deals with relevant issues unflinchingly, and in a totally refreshing way, and I really think that it’s a book that everyone should read.

Most of the feminist books I’ve read have always been in a girl’s POV; we only hear the girls’ thoughts and feelings on rape culture and harassment, whereas in Tradition, the story is told through both Jules and Jamie’s perspective.

Jules is a difficult girl. She’s the
Karen Barber
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tradition. Hard to shake off. Something that has stood the test of time. Sometimes traditions uphold behaviours that are toxic. So, what do you do if you find yourself part of that culture?
That is the question tackled in this contemporary novel.
Kiely presents us with a dual person narrative - one male and one female - and this gives us the opportunity to explore some of the questions circulating so widely.
Both Jules and James come from very different backgrounds, and for different reasons they
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Although I felt like this book had some great messages, it felt like the writing was weak, especially with character development and storyline. It took a long time for the confronting issue to occur, so long I wasn't sure if I missed it or what. I did however zoom through the book because I wanted to know what happened.

If you want to know what the book is about, maybe read the description/ I sort of don't want to give away the plot in the review or even too much because I think it will spoil it.
White Rose Stories
I’m really sad I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I hoped to. I was about 50 pages in when I DNF’d because I just couldn’t connect to the story. It’s hard to explain that feeling. Some people might enjoy it more but this one definitely wasn’t for me.

Although, I still want to thank Penguin Random House South Africa and Penguin UK for providing me with a gratis review copy! Each and every one of the books they send my way are very much appreciated.
Shayne Bauer
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a worthwhile read!

Kiely does an amazing job with character development in this novel, detailing all of the intricacies of gender roles in a private high school setting. Of the females, there is the strong-willed and the promiscuous battling the queen bees. Of the males, there is the lecherous and the openly homosexual along with the beastly athlete who has a big heart. The stereotypes obviously clash, and what results is a beautifully crafted and highly entertaining book that sends a
I am not entirely sure what I thought of this. I thought the school stuff was well done and I mostly believed the different characters' various awareness of social issues, but . . . then it just ended up feeling fairly by the book and unsatisfying.

And perhaps this is unfair, but I couldn't quite shake my uncomfortableness that it was a male author telling this story.
Kristen Lesniak
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love that YA is tackling tough issues that even adults, at times, can shy away from discussing. Thanks, Dawn!
Beth Honeycutt
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! Excellent story with an important message. I liked Baxter/Bax/Buckeye the most of course:)
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Aug 24, 2019 added it
Recommends it for: I wouldn’t.
Just could not get into this book at all.
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Brendan Kiely received an MFA in creative writing from The City College of New York. His writing has appeared in Fiction, Guernica, The AWP Writer’s Chronicle, and other publications. Originally from the Boston area, he now teaches at an independent high school and lives with his wife in Greenwich Village.

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