*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
The three Bolan sisters look like they came from a fairy tale. With their freckled-faces and long auburn hair, they could easily come across as illustrations from your favorite stories. Except, their life is no fairy tale. Everyone in the small Upstate New York town knows what their mom did years ago. One day she picked all the girls up from school early and drove into a lake. The girls survived, she didn’t.
While most people in the town gossiped about a murder suicide, Calliope Bolan, the oldest sister, always thought there was more to the story. That’s why Calliope enrolled at the Tipton Academy, an exclusive prep school that her mother attended. She can’t wait to learn more about the young Kathy Callihan she never knew.
While Lorelei and Serafina stay home and try to forget, Calliope can’t let it go. Enter the Haunt and Rail Society, a secret society at Tipton dedicated to social justice and reform. Calliope is inducted quickly and realizes these mysterious fellow students are the key to solving her own personnel mystery.
Very Bad People hooks the reader right away with the story of the car crash. Immediately, we know this YA mystery will have a lot of dark secrets to be revealed.
First of all, we loved the secret society element of the book. It gave Calliope a purpose, but also had her question how far she is willing to go. The members of the society are morally gray. While they want to protect people and the campus as a whole, they have some inhumane tactics.
Calliope Bolan served as an interesting protagonist because she stuck to her morals, even in difficult situations. While she did have a narrow focus, it was interesting seeing her view of the academy and its students.
The one reprieve from the mystery was Nico Hale, Calliope’s love interest. He was such a sweetheart and he did a great job with Lorelei’s endless interrogation. We wish Nico had more page time because we wanted to learn more about him.
Very Bad People impressed us for most of the story, but there is one aspect we didn’t like: the ending. It felt rushed and abrupt, with nothing really being solved. Yes, we do know why Kathy did what she did, but not a lot else. There should be some intense fallout and we have no idea what will happen to Calliope. If there is a second book, we can forgive this. But so far it doesn’t look like there will be.
Overall, we had a lot of fun piecing together the details of this story. We just wish it ended on a better note. For more on Kit Frick, check out our review for I Killed Zoe Spanos.