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Foul Is Fair

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Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published February 18, 2020

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About the author

Hannah Capin

4 books371 followers
Hannah Capin lives in Tidewater Virginia. She is the author of I AM MARGARET MOORE, GOLDEN BOYS BEWARE (also published as FOUL IS FAIR), and THE DEAD QUEENS CLUB.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,481 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,130 reviews39.3k followers
August 15, 2020
Scary, bloody, violent retelling of teen Macbeth with the mash-up of Cruel Intensions, Riverdale, Mean Girls, American Horror Story “Coven” and of course one of the best disturbing high school movie “Heathers”!

So what do you think? You’re gonna be in or out! As a die-hard fan of all Shakespeare works, I took my place at the back seat, flipping pages with distorted face, widen eyes and the thought balloons appeared above my head says: “WTH I’m reading! Those teenagers couldn’t be real human beings!” They might have been produced in a lab by the protected genes of famous serial killers including Manson, Dahmer and Wuornos!

So here is our cast:

Jade is our avenger, psychopath bitch a.k.a Lady Macbeth says who would have thought all these boys to have so much blood in them…

Mack is our innocent(!), decent, unfortunately manipulated Macbeth

Heathers girls a.k.a Witches: Jenny, Summer and Mads

The kings a.k.a motherf.cker, despicable, dirty human wastes (I wish Jade give me some private time with those boys because they’re winners of my punching, slapping, kicking, beating the shit out of them contests! I’m volunteer to use them as decorative punch bags of my Fighting Women Club and
Making Cupcakes Club –after burning so much energy, we get our treat!-)

So Elle attends a St. Andrew’s prep party with her coven but she gets rofied and raped. So old Elle dies and Jade is born at that moment to give the punishment those four guys coming from rich and powerful families. Now she’s determined to conduct her mission and massacre them one by one with the help of her coven members swear on a blood oath!

She starts her plan by transferring the same school with those guys and befriending their girlfriends, seducing their teammate Mack, pulling his strings as if he’s her favorite puppet! Let the blades sharpen! Let the massacre begins! But Jade shouldn’t forget that a person who desires revenge should also dig two graves!

Did I enjoy it? It’s dark, it’s funny, it’s disturbing and it’s ruthless, nasty, unrealistic somewhat cheesy, awkward. All those teenagers reminded you of aliens from other dimensions with their absurd and weird reactions and their dialogues, relationship dynamics. There was lack of emotions on this story, only real powerful dynamic was revenge theme which was keeping the story alive and intriguing. But I still enjoyed the most parts even I thought in any second Mulder and Scully would appear and took those coven members into a spaceship and send them to the planet they had come from.

Those coven girls are amazing future version of Heathers! I imagined all AHS coven cast on my mind and match with those characters:

Emma Roberts- Jade, Younger Lily Rabe-Jenny, Taissa Farmiga-Summer and Billie Lourd as Mads (even she wasn’t casted at the “Coven” season, nobody could be better Mads than her.)

So it’s a good work, great, bloody, frustrating, dark retelling even I had some issues to connect with those characters.

My last sentence of review before thanking the Netgalley and publisher comes from Macbeth Act I-Scene I: “Fair is foul and fouls is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air”

Special thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for sharing this ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review! Well, I happily accept to excitedly read any Shakespeare retelling!

Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,470 reviews9,370 followers
January 25, 2023
As a modern reimagining of Macbeth, Foul Is Fair is pure genius. I'm quite literally shooketh.

'For one fleeting second I'm proud of every bruise and every scratch--
the dark handprints on my arms and my neck and my ribs--
my broken claws--
the slash across my cheek--
--because every mark they left, everything they did, didn't even get close to breaking me.'

On the night of her Sweet Sixteen, high-schooler, Elle, along with her best friends, Mads, Summer and Jenny, plan to crash a St. Andrews Prep party.

They are in the highest of spirits, dressed to the nines, feeling like queens of their world. Nothing can touch them. That's what they think anyway.

Then the golden boys, the Wolf Pack, of St. Andrews select Elle as their next victim.

They have chosen the wrong girl this time.

After drugging her drink and raping her, she is left shaken and bruised, for her friends to rescue. From that very moment Elle vows, she will not play the role of their victim.

They may have stolen her power in that moment, but she will stop at nothing to get it back.

Recreating herself, Elle, now Jade, enrolls at St. Andrews, infiltrates their world and plots their downfall.

She will reign, in her own world, as well as the world of St. Andrews Prep.

Seducing golden boy, Mack, he becomes her greatest pawn. She puffs his ego and works with his ambition to rattle the St. Andrews hierarchy to its core.

She promises her best friends, her coven, that she is not falling for him, but their mutual interests lie within one another. A Queen needs her King.

Y'all, I think you can tell how much I loved this book. I was so impressed with the courage it would take to write this story in this way.

A revenge story that doesn't apologize for going all the way. This is about a girl, stripped of her power, fighting tooth and nail to wrest it back from those who stole it from her.

I speak from the heart, and personal experience, when I say this is one of the most empowering stories I have ever read.

Don't let them define you. Your role in the world is defined by you, no one else.

I fully understand that this will not be for everybody. The writing is extremely unique. I found it to be so raw and lyrical.

The homage it plays to the original story of Macbeth was nothing short of brilliant, in my opinion.

I am so impressed with this and will certainly read anything else Hannah Capin chooses to write. Brava!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.

I have no doubt this will be on my Favorites List of 2020.
Profile Image for Yun.
509 reviews19k followers
July 9, 2021
Foul Is Fair is so wild and crazy! Like, what did I just read?

Jade wakes up after having been drugged and raped by four boys at a party. She and her friends vow revenge, and will stop at nothing to set right what has been wronged. She plots to destroy each of the boys, along with anyone who has turned a blind eye and enabled their behavior.

No doubt a lot of the appeal of this book is its boldness at tackling a crime whose punishment, in the real world, is often lacking or non-existent. It is unapologetic and fearless in its drive for justice and its thirst for vengeance. It feels right and good to read about a fantasy world where a powerless victim can go on to seek justice with their own hands, and I found myself cheering Jade on through each step of her journey.

This is probably the most bloodthirsty book I've ever read. I noticed it's marketed for young adults, but the content may be a bit too much for that age group. With all the violence and brutality, I sometimes felt a little distanced from the action and the characters. Some of the emotional connection is missing for me. It's extreme fantasy, and it mostly glosses over the nuances and long-term impact of emotional trauma.

Still, it was an interesting and unique story, one I'm happy to have picked up and read. Most books following the aftermath of rape and trauma feel unsatisfying because the victim never receives the justice they so rightfully deserve. This book turns that on its head. It's cathartic to immerse myself in a world where vengeance is served, and bad people get what's coming to them.
Profile Image for Felicia.
254 reviews921 followers
October 3, 2019
If Macbeth pulled a Kill Bill on the movie Heathers, Foul is Fair would be the scene of the crime.

This book is f*cked the f*ck up.

So, obviously, I LOVED IT!

Think Sadie by Courtney Summers on a meth binge.

This is a story about the ultimate revenge. And, much like Kill Bill and Heathers, it's over-the-top craziness that couldn't possibly happen in real life, which is exactly how it should be told. This book is a revenge fantasy and if you aren't chill enough to appreciate that style... well then, that sucks for you.

"We’re magic. I can feel it right now in the dark. We’re invisible when we need to be and then so firework-bright no one can look away. We’re patience and brilliance. We never forget.

We never forgive."

Hell to the mf'ing yeah! 🙌

I love our main character Jade. She is the badass best friend that you're secretly kind of scared of but you're simultaneously addicted to the rush.

"I’m a guardian angel who fell from heaven before I ever got inside the gates."

Yes girl, yessssssss 🤘

Omg y'all, before I forget, Hannah Capin can write her ass off. I could read her words all day. I did read her words all day. And all night.

I'm pretty sure I highlighted more passages from this book than any other before it. Her prose is just that damn good. It's really something you need to experience for yourself. Pure magic.

** THANK YOU to Jordan Hanley with St Martin's Press for providing me with a ARC in exchange for an honest review. **
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,543 reviews24.6k followers
December 22, 2019
In Los Angeles is a privileged group of mean and powerful teen girls, the world is their oyster until Elizabeth Jade Khanjara, known as Elle, crashes a St Andrew's Prep Party on her sweet 16th birthday, with her friends, Jenny, Summer and Mads. She is raped and assaulted by 4 boys after her drink is spiked. Her memory fragmented and elusive, Elle becomes Jade, with her new short revenge black hair, she is no victim, no survivor, and with the unswerving support of her loyal coven of sisters, she swears a raw, bloody, unforgiving take down of those who thought they could act with such lawless, arrogant, impunity. They picked the wrong girl. In this feminist re-interpretation of Macbeth, those familiar with the play will recognise quotes and characters from Shakespeare's play in the novel.

As Jade enrols at St Andrew's as the new girl, the guilty parties have been identified, presided over by king golden boy, Duncan, and his gang of corrupt lacrosse sport team jocks, with their rigid ranked hierarchy. Until now, they have been the untouchables with their guaranteed golden futures, not any more. Spells are cast, if fair is foul, then foul becomes fair as Jade and her coven scheme, manipulate, and ruthlessly exploit the weaknesses of their enemies, choosing Andrew Mack as the key weapon to bring about death, destruction, madness and mayhem. As fear and guilt begin to insidiously take hold of Duncan and his boys, Jade and Mack become an item, prophecies are made that tempt, corrupt and beguile, promising a new order to come. There are ghosts, daggers, and hands that refuse to be washed of the glistening red blood as toil and trouble take over in St Andrews.

Hannah Capin's prose is as sharp as broken pieces of jagged glass, poetic, and dramatic, all primary colours and monochrome. She takes our contemporary world issues with its sports men and others who have eluded justice when it comes to their unforgivably brutal crimes against women and girls, and weaved a dark narrative of a no holds barred, blood thirsty revenge, drawing on Macbeth for its inspiration. Jade and her coven are not women that can be ignored, they are bright, intelligent and deadly. You mess with them at your peril as Duncan and his group are to discover, but far too late to save themselves. This is a compulsive and memorable read which I will not forget in a hurry. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Penguin Random House UK for an ARC.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,473 reviews19.2k followers
February 25, 2020
For all intents and purposes this should have been a book that I loved. It is a feminist retelling of a Shakespeare play featuring a bad ass girl gang seeking revenge, all things I usually gobble up in books. Unfortunately, though, this one missed the mark for me and I think it comes down to me not loving the writing style. The way that it was written really just kept reminding me that I was reading a book rather than immersing me into the story itself and I am big sad about it :( womp.
Profile Image for Michelle .
862 reviews1,222 followers
January 31, 2020
Ladies, it's time to sharpen your claws.

When 16 year old Jade is gang raped at a St. Andrews Prep party by a bunch of rich, over privileged pricks she doesn't withdraw, she doesn't even cry, but she does vow to take bloody revenge.

With the help of her four best friends a.k.a the coven they will exact their revenge on those that drugged, that raped, that guarded the door, and that turned a blind eye. For these young ladies aren't your average young ladies. They are the shriek you hear in the middle of the night. They are the talons that will rip through your skin. They are light and glitter. They are vengeance.

You have all been warned.

First of all a huge FUCK YES to Hannah Capin. The story, her writing style - everything worked perfectly here. I can find no faults. Obviously this isn't the most realistic of stories but it's a war cry for women everywhere.

We don't have to be silent when we can be powerful. 5 *Fearless* Stars!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martins Press for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Deanna .
655 reviews12.4k followers
January 18, 2020
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

“Sweet Sixteen is when the claws come out”

Elizabeth Jade Khanjara (Elle) is turning sixteen. Elle and her ride or die friends (Mads, Jenny, and Summer) are about to crash a party. It isn't just any party, it's a St. Andrew’s Prep party.

Unfortunately, the night takes a horrible turn.

Now Elle is Jade.

Jade and her coven are out for REVENGE!

Names are written in lip liner.

Jenny says “Fair is foul and foul is fair”

Little Jenny Kim is the sweet one. Summer is supermodel blonde, tan, and gorgeous. Last but definitely not least is Mads. Jade and Mads have been best friends since age four. Mads knows what happened without Jade having to explain.

“They are mine and I am theirs”

St. Andrew’s is about to meet its new queen…

Duncan, Duffy, Connor, Banks, Malcolm, Porter and MACK!

They stalk proudly through the halls of St. Andrew’s.

“They’re power and boasts. Invincible. But everyone can break.”

What happened that night? What will Jade and her friends do for revenge?

Wow! What a wild and dark read!

This was a fast read. I really liked the short chapters. This book may not be for everyone. I went into it knowing I was going to have to suspend my disbelief. It's over the top, but this TWISTED story had me gripped.

I appreciate that the author included a trigger warning at the beginning. The book does deal with many sensitive issues.

A savage and unique story about friendship and revenge that makes no apologies.

I'd like to thank the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

Profile Image for Debra .
2,198 reviews34.9k followers
February 19, 2020
Here's the thing, I didn't care for this book initially. I struggled a little with the narrative/writing style. It took a little bit of time for me to see what all the hoopla was about. I'm not the biggest fan of revenge stories either and yet, this one, around the halfway mark, really started to grow on me. It really is a crazy ride. They really did pick the wrong girl.

“Fair is foul and foul is fair”

I really don't even know how to write a review of this without giving anything away so what I will say is that this book grew on me. I grew to really enjoy the writing and even the wickedly enticing characters. The wring went from being annoying to poetic. This book is revenge on crack dancing with Shakespeare while throwing daggers and dying one's hair. Whew! This book is seriously messed up and yet, I enjoyed it.

Mind you, this book will not be for everyone and it does have some triggers. It deals with some heavy issues - very heavy issues. I hope that if something like this happens to someone in their lives, they let the authorities do their job.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press/Wednesdays Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Amy Imogene Reads.
903 reviews775 followers
January 7, 2021
5 bloody stars

She's beauty, she's grace, she's going to put them all in their place—the grave.

Concept: ★★★★★
Writing style: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★★

I had no idea what I was getting into with Foul is Fair, but it was amazing—twisted in the best way, dark in the best way, and so validating in its satirically dark version of female victim agency.

Elle went to a party for St. Andrews prep boys when she was 16. She was chosen as a target for their non-consensual idea of "fun." Imagine what a group of untouchable rich, white boys could do to a vulnerable girl with a drink of who knows what. Yes, that. Trigger warnings for that subject matter.

They picked the wrong girl.

Elle now goes by Jade, and she's got a plan.

Those boys might be golden, but they're not invincible—all men can bleed.

Jade enrolls at St. Andrews and Foul is Fair truly begins.

I honestly cannot distill into words how glorious this novel was. First off, it was brilliantly written. Semi-stream of consciousness, semi-loose form narrative, Foul is Fair has the kind of writing that is hard to get into, but once you're in it you can't stop. It's a rolling train and the brakes are gone. Read this one on a weekend, folks, when you can devote some time to reading it in large chunks.

On top of the writing, we have a Tarantino-esque surrealist/violent plot. Jade's got a hit list, and a swat team of girlfriends who are here to take them down from the inside. Now, obviously, I am not a fan of killing people. That's not the point that Foul is Fair is making. It's not a glory piece on violence. That concept is merely a device the author uses to convey the visceral emotions on behalf of every girl who's been abused, every girl who's been the victim of male violence. In a world where women are still fighting for their right to their own bodies and their own safety, this novel is the best kind of social commentary. I was so, so happy that the author chose to be this unflinching.

What a great novel. This one is unforgettable for many factors, the least of which being that you will never read another novel like it. New all-time favorite, and a new author to watch.

Thank you to Wednesday Books via NetGalley for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Larry H.
2,481 reviews29.4k followers
March 24, 2020
Hannah Capin's Foul is Fair is dark, violent, and utterly crazy, but I am OBSESSED with this book!

If the mean girls of Megan Abbott and Kara Thomas’ books teamed up with Regina George and the cast of Heathers in a retelling of Macbeth , you’d have this amazingly insane book. (And that description doesn’t even really do it justice.)

Elle and her “coven” of best friends—together they’re a quartet of obscenely wealthy, beautiful California girls—decide to celebrate her 16th birthday by crashing a party being thrown by the popular crowd at St. Andrews, a tony Catholic school. That night, something happens to Elle at the hands of a group of dazzlingly handsome, privileged lacrosse players. Something awful. Something for which she and her coven vow to seek revenge.

"I can take every single thing they tried to ruin and make it mine again. Make it a weapon that cuts them down and bleeds them dry."

She reinvents herself as Jade, a new, bewitching, take-no-prisoners student at St. Andrews. She infiltrates the popular crowd and begins to work her plan of turning them all against each other, and finds one boy, her king, to set it all in motion.

There’s a lot here—rape, violence, drugs, blood—but Capin does such an excellent job weaving this story together. I seriously couldn’t read this one fast enough. It is really, really dark, and of course, utterly preposterous in places, but it will stick in my mind for a long, long time.

(True confession time: I never read Macbeth , so other than the similarities in character names, I'm not sure exactly how many parallels there are, but that didn't bother me anyway!)

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html.

Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,034 reviews3,551 followers
April 16, 2020
Oh my goodness....where do I even start!?🤦🏻‍♀️

I was certainly not the right candidate for this book. There are very few YA books that work for me. But every so often I’ll step out and try one. And whoa, this wasn’t the right one to choose from!

It’s Elle's 16th birthday. Along with her coven of girlfriends, the girls decide to crash a house party being thrown by students at a neighboring school. The party takes a dark turn resulting in Elle fleeing from the horrific incident. She is consumed with nothing but revenge. There will be no stopping her.

This story-line took on such a far-fetched scenario, I just couldn’t follow along with Elle and her devious plans. I struggled right from the start and probably should have walked away and DNF (something I rarely do).

This was a buddy read with Susanne who enjoyed “most of the book” more than I did. A rare occurrence...but it happens💁🏻‍♀️. Unfortunately this was just not my cup of ☕️.

There are many positive five star reviews for this book so please don't let my review sway you if this is on your list! You may just come away loving it!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
Author 1 book48 followers
January 29, 2020
There are no words to truly describe my absolute anger and frustration with this book. I believe this story is dangerous in a deeply unsettling way.

And I'm frustrated and disappointed - I really enjoyed Hannah Capin's debut novel, The Dead Queen's Club. The girls' didn't just get "revenge" by uncovering the wrongdoer - but they led the perpetrator to confessing his crimes. It was empowering, refreshing in it's unique storytelling and history retelling.

But this - Foul is Fair falls far short of a good read. It portrays revenges and surviving abuse in a way that is not healthy. And I speak directly as someone who survived a decade of childhood sexual assault, parental abuse, and physical abuse. Someone who has lived through PTSD. A person who has gone to therapy and read countless stories like mine. I'm no stranger to sexual assault - I don't say #Metoo lightly.

I'm not normally triggered when reading books like this, especially when there's a trigger warning. But this book honestly makes me sick - not just because of the assault but how the assault is handled by everyone in the story.

what bothers me the most ---- not reporting the assault.
Her parents are told about the assault and don't report it.

I'm going to truly rant about this one. Sure, people need to be careful and let their kids exercise bodily autonomy. But it's awful - straight up abuse - to NOT go to the police when your child tells you they've been assaulted.
As a person who shared my abuse with my parents, i'm left shocked that this is portrayed as a good thing. It took everything in me to finally voice what had happened to me - and when my parents did not tell the police, it settled like a dark cloud over my life. I felt unbelieved - and to this day, wish someone had filed a police report.

Good adults report crimes. End of story.

Elle Jade Khanjara does not have the maturity or legal age to choose not to report a crime. It's not empowering to portray a family who gives a teenager girl this right.

Today, I'm still haunted that my abuser walks free because I didn't know how to report the crime. If one adult had helped 16 year old me report the abuse, no matter what kind of court fight ensued, at least the adult would have done the right thing. Survivors of abuse shouldn't be shackled with the guilty and weight of an abuser's crimes not being reported.

I'm sick at the thought of a teenager reading this and deciding, like Jade, that reporting an assault isn't worth the time. Truly, truly sick at the sheer irresponsibility of the author to frame this as empowering.

And my second main problem with this story - Revenge free of Real Life Consequences.

Sure, revenge in itself isn't wrong. But murder is murder for whatever reason you chose to kill. it still leaves massive wounds behind and should never be framed as a good thing.

I work in a newsroom. A few weeks ago our station reported on a women who is serving ten years in prison for killing her husband. He was an abuser, an awful man who didn't deserve anything good. But this woman took justice in her own hands and killed him - not in self defense - but in an act of frustration and anger at all the abuse she'd dealt with.

I'm frustrated for this woman because her husband was an abuser. She deserves better. But now, according to the law, she's in prison. And her five children won't be with their mom for the next ten years.

So, yes, people do take revenge. But the consequences are harsh for the innocent folks involved - this woman's children are now without their mother. This woman now has to suffer prison for a decade after suffering years of an abusive relationship.

Revenge rarely benefits anyone. I say this as someone who stewed on getting revenge against my own abusers and as a person who works in a newsroom. I read police report after report of folks taking revenge for crimes done against them. The pain, the consequences of taking the law in your own hands, it hurts not just the avenger, but those they love most.

I'm just so frustrated and bewildered by Foul is Fair.
That a revenge story was written in this way, that a young girl killing her abusers is presented in a poetic way to appeal to young readers.

A MUCH better story of revenge and consequences is Sadie from Courtney Summers. Sadie seeks to get revenge for her sister's death and deals with all the consequences, brutal as they are. It's not pretty. Or glorified, simply the honest truth of what young girls have to deal with every day.

Right now, I'm checked out Chanel Miller's book Know my Name from the library.
Miller was assaulted by a college player. Justice wasn't served. But I think surviving - telling her own story, is a form of revenge. I look forward to reading her story and feeling empowered and encouraged - something Foul is Fair completely did not do.

I'm not going to judge anyone who reads Foul is Fair. But I do think it's dangerous. Marketing this book for young readers will harm people. If I had read this when I was younger - it would have deeply harmed me.

Please carefully think about this before recommending this book.
Profile Image for aphrodite.
380 reviews860 followers
April 10, 2020
my video review

it’s 4am, I just binged this in one sitting. i’m shaking and smiling with my fangs out.

this won’t be for everyone but it was everything I could ever want and more. if you wanted more revenge & bloodshed from sadie wrapped in a prom queen package, look no further.

I’m not gonna try to be coherent in this just read the fucking book okay?

I can’t believe this book exists.

okay I’m going to bed now
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,157 reviews36.5k followers
April 8, 2020
3.5 Stars

Well, Holy Sh&t! Talk about the Ultimate Vengeance is Mine Storyline!

When Elle (nka Jade) goes to a St. Andrews Party with her friends Jenny, Summer and Mads, things go horribly, horribly wrong. None of the girls is the same after. Especially “Jade,” who takes on a completely different persona and who seeks the ultimate revenge on the boys who harmed her. Of course her “coven” is all in.

Jade’s plan of attack: Infiltrate their school and take revenge. Not just any revenge. We’re talking about a Murderous Rampage, and by gosh Jade gets others to do her dirty work. Talk about Brilliant, in a Sick and Twisted Kind of Way!

“Foul is Fair” includes sexual assault, violence, blood, drinking and drugs. This is not your typical Young Adult novel! For me, it started out really strong and I was all in until around the 70% mark where it started to get both redundant and just plain over the top. I am in the minority here as most others liked this novel from beginning to end, thus I would go into this with an open mind (being aware of the disclaimers).

This was a buddy read with Kaceey. (Thanks for sticking with me Kaceey!)

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Hannah Capin for the arc.

Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 4.5.20.
Profile Image for Hannah Capin.
Author 4 books371 followers
May 25, 2019
hello all! i'm hannah, the author of FOUL IS FAIR. i look forward to sharing this book with you soon! i'd also like to share the link to the content advisory page for the book: hannahcapin.com/foulisfair. FOUL IS FAIR discusses several difficult subjects, including sexual assault and relationship abuse, and may not be a safe read for everyone. please keep your own wellbeing in mind. thank you!
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,257 reviews2,940 followers
December 27, 2019
Sometimes even when you don't particularly care for a book, you can at least recognize it wasn't necessarily a bad book, more it just wasn't for you. That is the case for Foul is Fair. I have read many positive reviews for it already and have seen it compared to various films and tv shows. And what is interesting to me is basically all of the comparisons are for things that aren't among my faves and therefore maybe I wasn't the best audience for this type of story.

The story is pretty wild and over the top and for the most part it just didn't work for me. The Swallows by Lisa Lutz is another book that has a revenge storyline and I just connected with the characters in that one more. I think early on you will be able to figure out if the writing style and plot is for you. Again, many readers thought this book was amazing so I highly recommend checking out their reviews. I can at least recognize it was a unique and well-written book and therefore have no regrets reading it.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,086 reviews30.1k followers
February 9, 2020
To me, Foul is Fair is the Mean Girls’ retelling of Macbeth, or more specifically, if Mean Girls became a horror movie and was also a Macbeth retelling!

It’s on the dark and violent side, so be warned, but the way that it’s written had me fully invested from the beginning, and this rare horror reader could not put this down. I thought this was such a creative and smart way to revisit Macbeth, and since this is technically young adult, could possibly help pique interest in Shakespeare’s work.

In a nutshell, “Sweet Sixteen is when the claws come out.” Also, this is part of a series and I cannot wait to see what’s next.

I received a gifted copy from the publisher.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone.
1,485 reviews189 followers
October 18, 2021

you have to be brilliant.
you have to be patient.

make your rage fight for you. it’s your greatest gift.
we learn to fight with our sabres and our claws. with schemes and patience.

with rage.

Well let me categorically say that I don’t condone revenge.

Luckily it was on such a ridiculous and implausible scale that I could enjoy this for the fictional scenario that it was. Therefore, I found it disturbingly and deliciously thrilling to see these vile beings get their comeuppance delivered to them in such a dramatic fashion. Dramatic is the key word. Just remember when you are reading this that it’s a Shakespeare re-imagining. This means that whilst the writing may seem overdone in its lyrical darkness and the author’s liberal use of repetition seems a bit over the top, it is in keeping with the tone set by Shakespeare in 'Macbeth'. It is after all, a dark play about betrayal, manipulation, madness and murder. The coven's evil machinations leave no doubt that they are master manipulators bent on 'righteous' revenge.

Be warned, the ‘out damn spot’ moment was actually quite harrowing as Elle relives her attack and I strongly suggest reading the content warnings.

I’m not going to forget this twisted revenge book in a hurry and am quite frankly, a little shooketh.

What’s done, cannot be undone.
Profile Image for Alana.
653 reviews1,246 followers
February 21, 2020
"You picked the wrong girl."

This book was truly a WILD ride from start to finish and I was here for it every step of the way. It's dark, twisted, wicked, and so beautifully written. Foul is Fair is the ultimate story of revenge after Elle is sexually assaulted by a group of boys at St. Andrew's Prep. Her and her group of friends work together with a touch of magical realism to make every last one of the boys pay. How far do the girls go? Well, you'll just have to find out for yourself. But when Elle says "you picked the wrong girl", she wasn't kidding y'all.

There are so many things I loved about this but I think the one thing that stands out the most to me was how fantastic the writing was. As soon as I picked this up I was hooked and immediately texted my friend that was buddy reading this with me saying this was going to be really, really good. It was one of those times where I could just feel it in my bones that this book was going to be one hell of a ride. But aside from the writing I absolutely adored the touch of magical realism that Elle and her coven had. It definitely added a unique element to the story that kept me entranced from start to finish. I don't even think I need to really comment on how much I loved Elle, because you already know I am a total sucker for badass women who stop at nothing to take what they deserve. But just in case you forgot...I am a total sucker for that.

The only "issue" and I say issue super lightly that I had was that I would have preferred a few more questions answered before finishing the book. The ending of the book felt a little rushed since it was action packed until the very last page. But the good news is that it looks like there is going to be another book?!?! At least Goodreads makes it seem that way, which in that case I'd be willing to overlook it knowing we're getting more time and answers from Elle and her coven, especially when it come to their magic too.

Favorite Quotes 

"They want me to be a doctor. I want to be the queen."

"Killing hurts worse if somebody you love is holding the knife."

"But bravery isn't being fearless - it's swallowing the fear and spitting it back out."

All in all, while this book does tackle heavier topics it is absolutely worth the read if you think it's something you can tolerate. This wicked tale of revenge and dazzling group of girls is one that you won't forget even long after you've finished it!

Buddy read w/: Amanda

Thank you Wednesday Books for providing me with a review copy in exchange for a honest review and asking me to be a part of the blog tour!

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Profile Image for Laurie Flynn.
Author 9 books1,067 followers
March 17, 2019
I was lucky enough to read this one early, and it pretty much shattered my eyeballs. (Is that a thing? It is now.) FOUL IS FAIR is both a scream and the silence that follows. It's an unapologetically dark, feminist Macbeth, and I am here for it. Hannah Capin's writing is truly out of this world. It glitters and cuts, is both bold and poetic. The dismantling of these golden boys is raw and powerful and damn satisfying. Jade is not your typical protagonist and you will love her for it.

If books had teeth, this one would have fangs. Preorder, friends.
Profile Image for Fadwa (Word Wonders).
543 reviews3,550 followers
March 19, 2020
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review

Content warnings here

I read Foul is Fair months ago and I came to the conclusion, at the time when I have sat down to write this review, that it’s one of those books that will probably stick with me my whole life. It’s one of these books I often go back to and find myself thinking about. It’s monstrous and haunting and the revenge fantasy that I never knew I needed in my life until I actually read it.

Foul is Fair is a Macbeth retelling and this is where I must confess that I know next to nothing about Shakespeare’s works but that changes exactly nothing about what’s important about this book and how much of an impact it will leave on its readers. The first thing that made me love Foul is Fair from early on is how visceral and powerful the writing is. You feel it get under your skin and wrap around your bones, making you uncomfortable and shifty even though you have nothing to do with the story. It makes you feel like you’re in it, with Jade in that school as she executes her revenge, unable to do anything about the trainwreck.

Full review posted on my blog : Word Wonders
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,386 reviews11.8k followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
February 19, 2020
Like Red Hood, it just feels morally misguided. Revenge plot isn't something I am totally against, but I am definitely against it in this form. Murder is not the final solution, and has more consequences besides eliminating predators. Read Sadie, which shows the true cost of revenge.

The writing style isn't for me either.
Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
976 reviews776 followers
May 26, 2020
OMG...this book. Dangerous, deadly hellfire right here.

This is a very particular book, for a very particular audience. And I loved it. Not everyone will. But that does not lessen my enjoyment of it, and honestly, the twist at the end had me reeling. I was not ready.

A contemporary, modern retelling of Macbeth that touches on an all too relevant issue for young women today. Rape. It is dark and wicked and violent. Giving power to a young woman society would all too readily label a victim, or worse, in some cases, a liar.

The Ensemble:
Jade, our dear heroine or anti-heroine, our Lady Macbeth, will not let anything or anyone stand in her way of teaching the monstrous boys behind her attack a lesson they will never forget. She is determined. She is beautiful. She is smart. And she is oh so twisted and dangerous.

Those boys might be golden, but they're not invincible—all men can bleed.

Mack, our Macbeth of sorts, is a decent person, but he lacks agency and is all too easily manipulated. He is not bad, but he can be weak. That being said I still must admit I liked him for some reason. Maybe because the others guys were trash, so he came out shining in comparison? I don’t know it’s a little inexplicable.

Jenny, Summer and Mads, Jade's best friends and the three witches of prophecy. Helping their fellow sister raise hell and bring down The Kings.

Lastly, The Kings.
Aka the pieces of human garbage, we all hate.

The story was compelling, dark, humorous and often ruthless. Though there were times it felt slightly unrealistic. Such as the overall timeline of events. It was just unbelievable how quickly things came to pass. Mack seemed to fall for Jade so quickly, ready to kill for her so easily, it was almost unnatural. And the fact that no one was able to track down any information on Jade during the before time, in an era where social media exists, and these students seem to have limitless amounts of money was baffling.

But that putting that aside, this book was addicting. The ending was not what I expected, but I am okay with that. If you are looking for a bloody tale of revenge, that holds true to its promise of blood, death, and mayhem, with a heroine who certainly had some questionable morals, then this is the book for you.

I received a free ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thank you to the Wednesday books for providing me with a copy to read and review!
Profile Image for Madalyn (Novel Ink).
491 reviews824 followers
April 19, 2020
*4.5 stars*

I can't remember the last time I had this much of a change of heart about an author. After, uh, not enjoying Capin's first book, I wasn't even planning on picking up FOUL IS FAIR, but after some friends I trust gave it rave reviews, I decided to give it a shot-- and oh boy, am I glad I did. Not only is this a fantastic Macbeth retelling in its own right (seriously, such a smart retelling), but I just really appreciated how unapologetically angry it was. Also, despite knowing the original Macbeth like the back of my hand, this book managed to keep me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Yes, it's one of those YAs that's absolutely unrealistic, but this book GOES THERE, which I really respect. Loved it so much.
Profile Image for Umairah (Sereadipity).
201 reviews109 followers
February 28, 2020
Foul is Fair was a dark tale inspired by Macbeth about revenge after sexual assault and about survivors taking power into their own hands. It a was a raw, raging and visceral read.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5

Trigger warnings: sexual assault (off-page), rape culture, abusive relationship, bullying, transphobia, suicide attempt. A detailed page of trigger warnings can be found here on the author's website.

On the night of Elizabeth Jade Khanjara's sweet sixteen, she crashed a St. Andrew's Prep party with her closest friends- Mads, Jenny and Summer. She became the target of a group of rich, privileged 'golden boys' who drugged then sexually assaulted/ raped her, thinking she wouldn't remember, that they'd get away with it like they always did. But not this time. Because, although Jade's memory of what happened was fragmented she remembered enough and she and her coven of friends swore to take every single person involved down.

Jade (our Lady Macbeth) didn't want to be a victim or a survivor, she wanted to be an avenger. She was fierce and there would be consequences for anyone who crossed her or her friends. Her way of dealing with what happened to her was completely detaching herself from who she was before. She changed her name, dyed her hair 'revenge black' and became a new person, filled with rage. She targeted everyone involved- including the people who gave her the drink, who guarded the door, who stood by and did nothing- and transferred to St. Andrews Prep. Mack (our Macbeth) seemed to be the only member of their group who wasn't involved and she exploited and amplified his hesitant ambition to pit them all against each other, manipulate their fears and make them meet their ends.

As a character, Jade was brutal. She revelled in exacting her revenge and wielding her power and she didn't hold back. Her coven of friends were equally brutal and extremely loyal to one another. I liked their tight-knit friendship, how they could trust each other completely. In terms of Macbeth, they were like the witches, spreading toil and trouble and lurking in the background to ensure everything went to plan. The 'golden boys' were all on the lacrosse team and observed a strict ranking. Duncan was their 'king' and they were all abhorrent human beings, raping and assaulting girls at parties because they knew there would be no consequences for them- until Jade came along.

The writing style in the novel was unlike anything else I've ever encountered. It was disjointed, uncompromising and razor-sharp- at times extremely dramatic. I loved it and I think it worked really well with the story but I do think there will be some people who find it an odd and confusing style to follow, it's just a matter of taste.

The reason I dropped a star was that many parts of the book were very unrealistic. In real life, I don't think Jade's plan would have worked out how it did in the novel. For example, the way Mack fell in love with her after a day or so and soon enough was willing to kill for her was very unconvincing.

I think the novel aimed to be as dramatic and vicious as possible to make a statement. Because while murder is never the answer, perpetrators of assault/ rape shouldn't be allowed to escape justice, survivors and victims need to feel empowered not let down by the authorities. Another thing I liked was the message that there's no right way of being a survivor and the people around Jade like her friends and parents were very supportive.

In conclusion, Foul is Fair was a ruthless tale about revenge, with social commentary on rape culture that made for a gripping read.

Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Sandra Hoover.
1,170 reviews186 followers
February 3, 2020
In the past year or so, I've expanded my reading boundaries to include genres I've previously shied away from like Young Adult. And the rewards have been tenfold! I've discovered amazingly talented authors spinning fantastic tales in the genre, and as a matter of fact, one of my favorite books of 2019 was of the Young Adult genre. Go figure! lol But still - to say Foul Is Fair is out of my reading wheelhouse is a gross understatement. So why did I love it so much? I honestly can't say other than it spoke to me on a deeper level, sparking a dying flame. And I'm happy to say it rewarded me with another Young Adult favorite author and book!

Hannah Capin's rendering of Foul Is Fair is BOLD, brutal, violent - with inspiration drawn from a teen Macbeth, no doubt. Through edgy and daring prose and first person point of view, the story of Elle and three of her closest friends is told. Drugged and gang raped at a Prep Party at the age of sixteen, Elle is the banner-child for the old saying, "Don't get mad, Get even!" And heaven help me, I cheered for her all the way as she and her friends methodically planned and served up vengeance to the boys who violated Elle in such a despicable way. I'm not going any deeper into the story or plot lines, but I will say that the author's brilliant writing sucked me into this story much more than I anticipated. However, beware the trigger warnings of rape, language, and extreme violence as it is prevalent in this book.

Author Hannah Capin takes on real world issues faced by girls and women in their daily lives in Foul Is Fair. Through a dark narrative, she spotlights the good-old-boy mentality as people's willingness to turn a blind eye to the violence often perpetrated against girls and women is prevalent. This story also features the issue of a bullying mentality often found among students as they seek to climb the social ladder and reign supreme over their school mates, holding court with their own little clique of friends. Issues of class, race, and sexuality often dictate ones place in the hierarchy. The fact that I felt empathy and actually pulled for Elle and her friends during their reign of terror and deliverance of vengeance to her abusers is simply amazing. I kept thinking I should find their brutality revolting...but I didn't. I can only credit that to the amazing story telling abilities of Capin. She sold me this story hook, line, and sinker. Could it have been told in a lighter, less violent manner? Maybe, but there's little doubt it wouldn't have had the same dramatic impact as Foul Is Fair. Raw, dark, and gritty, this story sends a warning to bullies and abusers who manage to elude justice - Beware...we're coming for you. You picked the wrong girl this time. Or should I say the right girl? A fantastic read in the genre! Highly recommended!

*Many thanks to Wednesday Books for an arc of this book via Netgalley.
**This review will post on Cross My Heart Reviews during the Foul Is Fair Blog Tour Feb. 11-25
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,414 reviews7,417 followers
February 24, 2020
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

3.5 Stars

I’m a little late to the party on this one and didn’t get around to reading it before its Pub Day. But as I always say: better late than pregnant never. For those of you who don’t dip your toes in the Young Adult pond, Foul is Fair is what would happen if . . . .

Had a baby with . . . .

And . . . . .

The result???

The story here is one of revenge after Elle goes to a party in order to celebrate her Sweet 16, is violated and comes out reborn as Jade. For those of you who are squeamish, please note no graphic details are provided and all atrocities happen off screen. That’s not to say this is a book for everyone. Those of you who would be triggered should be well aware this isn’t for you. The same goes for the writing. You’ll know right away if you are going to hate it.

This was a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge winner amongst my friends. I think I need to admit straight up revenge stories just aren’t my jam. And when a shoutout to an old fave like Heathers is added to the marketing campaign I can’t help but hope for a bit of dark humor. This was a solid first experience for me with this author, but maybe my hopes were set a bit too high. I think I need to check out her first book – a high school version of Henry VIII and his six wives.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Profile Image for Dennis.
746 reviews1,426 followers
October 14, 2019
A fun young adult novel that is at times cringeworthy and also very dark. Think Cruel Intentions meets American Horror Story! I really enjoyed the narrative, but felt that the writing at times was a bit scattered. Definitely a fun lazy weekend type of read. Multiple trigger warnings throughout the book, but the author deals with them carefully and professionally. More to come.
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