Susan's Reviews's Reviews > Call It What You Want

Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer
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Maegen and Rob are outcasts: Maegan cheated on her SATS and Rob's father defrauded almost the entire town of their life savings through a fraudulent investment scheme.

They've banished themselves to the fringes of high school society, keeping a low profile and counting the days to the end of the school year. Things only get more complicated when Maegan's sister Samantha returns home from college, pregnant and emotionally out of control. The story starts to build with tension, with each new layer triggering a sense of foreboding: this is not going to end well! We just know it!

After once being the most popular boy in high school, Rob is now stripped to his bare essentials: no more lacrosse and partying. His goals are to get good grades and hope for a scholarship. It irks him that his father was his biggest supporter in his lacrosse scholarship aspirations and came to every game. They had a loving relationship and Rob never wanted to disappoint his father. But, in the end, his father cheated all of his investors out of millions, and Rob has been tainted by the scandal. No one believes he wasn't aware of his father's scam.

Through a random set of circumstances, Rob takes on the persona of Robin Hood, by taking from the rich and passing on the spoils of his plunder to the poorer kids in their high school. Owen - the poorest kid in town - provides some much-needed comic relief and willingly assumes the role of Will Scarlet to Rob's Robin Hood. He joins Rob in his attempts to redress the economic imbalance. He and Rob become increasingly entangled in the ethics of Rob's illicit actions.

It almost seems as if Fate has set Rob up for a major life lesson: how can he hate his father for stealing the townsfolk's money when Rob is now just as guilty of theft, albeit on a much smaller scale?

Maegan and Rob share an undeniable physical and emotional attraction almost from the start, and Rob is the textbook gentleman when it comes to making sure that Maegan's boundaries aren't crossed whenever things get hot and heavy between them. (Applause, applause!)

This story had a lot going on at one point, but then suddenly, towards the end, all kinds of balls just seemed to drop down to the ground with a thud. (Spoiler alert: Yes, Maegan confronted Rachel and Drew and made them admit they had been unfair to Rob, and she also stood up to Samantha's lecherous prof in front of an auditorium full of students, but that last scene seemed a bit out of character and, frankly, way over-the-top melodramatic. How is poor Samantha supposed to return to college after that Jerry Springer-like type of reveal?!

I got the impression that the story may have been going in a different direction at one point: the about face with the school Librarian and the calculus team project that Rob and Maegan never actually really work on. I also couldn't figure out why (again, SPOILER ALERT) the two boys' mothers had to be dragged into the conspiracy mess. The last time I checked, a spouse can not be compelled to be a witness against her spouse in a criminal case, and neither of the spouses were employed by their husbands' investment corporations. How far do they pierce the corporate veil in the U.S.? Well, I can only suppose that the corporate conspiracy laws in the U.S. are totally different from Canadian law when it comes to business fraud. This is the reason I reduced my rating by one star. Otherwise, this is a very well-written story, as usual, but the ending left me wanting a bit more closure on several issues.
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Reading Progress

January 1, 2019 – Shelved
January 1, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
July 3, 2019 – Started Reading
July 6, 2019 – Finished Reading

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