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[Review] Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Content warning: This book is not for the light-hearted. If you are unsure about this title, please consult the author's list of trigger warnings.

Jade Khanjara and her three best friends rule their glittering L.A circle. They decide how the party ends - every night but one. The night four boys spike Jade's drink, lock her in a room and brutally attack her. The night they try to ruin her. But they chose the wrong girl. Certain that the boys will face no consequences, Jade and her friends take vengeance into their own hands. There's no mercy left: and now Jade won't rest until she gets bloody satisfaction.

Occasionally a book comes along that burrows itself under your skin and completely captures your mind. Foul is Fair was that book for me. I couldn't think about anything else when I eventually merged to tear myself away from these heated, vengeful pages. From the first page, I knew that this was a book that wouldn't allow me to forget it.

This is a dark and intense book, but none of these darker themes are treated lightly. They are discussed honestly, with sometimes graphic details, but without shying away from the horrors they can wreck on people. However, there are moments of (often dark) humour and the power of the female friendships allows glimmers of hope into the story.

This book burns with righteous rage, so much so that you can almost feel the heat searing off the pages and into your soul. It grapples with our misogynistic society and rape culture through the lens of a modern day Macbeth re-telling wherein Lady Macbeth takes on her own Taratino-eque revenge thriller.

Jade is such an excellent protagonist, complex and nuanced. You can't help but root for her, despite her manipulative and destructive nature.

Capin's writing is exquisite - all at once lyrical, fantastical, devastating and raw. It's like the thorns surrounding a rose, looking stunning but containing a dark and bloody truth. Flowing brilliantly, it is both poetic and dramatic with a cutting edge.

This review is by Emily Mitchell.