Don't Get Caught

Don't Get CaughtWow I don t think I ve laughed out loud during a novel this much since I read King Dork by Frank Portman Dinan s crafted a whip smart, fast paced screwball comedy about the pitfalls of high school bullying, unrequited love, the social ladder, parents, teachers, and the school security guard Max is indelible, a delight, with a pitch perfect voice and I wish I d known someone like him in high school Dinan s ear for how teenagers speak is uncanny, but he s also got something else in spades a heart He never forgets that as breezy and uncaring as young people want to appear to be, they are still vulnerable to hurt and pain He respects his characters enough to be attentive to this, which I loved. Find all of my reviews at and welcome to Dissenting Opinion 101 I ll be your host, Principal VernonIf I m promised a book that is going to be a mutant baby of thisAnd Ocean s Eleven let s just say my expectations are going to be extreeeeeemely high going in For me, the only giffy inspiration that came from Ocean s was the followingDon t Get Caught is the story of a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal a bunch of kids who are set up by The Chaos Club thinking they are being recruited to join their ranks and be a part of pranking infamy, but instead discover they ve been duped and left to take the fall for the club s latest prank Dubbing themselves The Watertower 5, the kids decide to take matters into their own hands and prank the pranksters Things start off harmless enoughBut it doesn t take long for the pranks to take a turnAnd for the kids to go from fun loving to a bunch of revenge seeking entitled twats who were jackasses at best and criminals at worse and who all needed a good ass whooping from their parents or some quality time in juvie I think I channeled my inner Ron 2.0 on this one because I really did not see the charm Don t bother trolling me, kiddos, I m aware that I m getting too old for this shit.I had this on a no thank you list because of reasons and seriously debated giving it 1 Star after being far less than thrilled with the end product However, it read quickly so it obviously wasn t the absolute worst thing I ve ever experienced Also, Delee loved it and wrote an amazing review so good that she maybe should have copyrighted it wink and I don t want to hurt her feelings whispers She gone Okay good Between you and me, this one was really . Tonight At The Water Tower Tell No One Chaos ClubWhen Max Receives A Mysterious Invite From The Untraceable, Epic Prank Pulling Chaos Club, He Has To Ask Why Him After All, He S MrGPA, Mr No Social Life He S Just Max And His Favorite Heist Movies Have Taught Him This Situation Calls For RuleBe Suspicious But It S Also His One Shot To Leave Just Max In The DustYeah, Not So Much Max And Four Fellow Students Who Also Received Invites Are Standing On The Newly Defaced Water Tower When Campus Security Catches Them Definitely A Setup And This Time, Max Has Had Enough It S Time For RuleAlways Get PaybackLet The Prank War Begin Okay, so I totally didn t mean to click Want to Read on my own book Now I can t change it back I look like such a narcissist April Fools You can buy this now No, like, for reals It s available today, on April Fools Day, because perfect timing is perfect.After reading karen s review of this book, I commented to her, This sounds like what I d hoped for from The Best Night of Your Pathetic Life but didn t get so now I ll have to read this when it comes out in two million years and then all will be right with the worldand she was all, You know, I thought of you while I read this because I think you d like it and I know a guy that s not actually what she said and that guy was the author who is really friendly and trusting he gave me an eARC of his very first ever book which is sort of crazy because we all know how curmudgeonly I am only NOT THIS TIME That s my disclosure.First, I d like to say that fans of John Green and or Rainbow Rowell will probably enjoy this story I think this tale isentertaining and better written than what I ve read from those two authors but there are similarities mainly concerning off center teens doing not quite normal things.The Breakfast Club mentions you may have seen in other reviews Yeah, they re spot on That s going to be a draw for us oldsters who watched that movie at the theater when it was first released But that doesn t mean today s whippersnappers will think this an old fogey story, because it s not It s all up to date and relevant to this goldarned modern age.In fact, there were moments when I raised my eyebrow thinking Max s thoughts and responses were too obvious in showing he has a strong moral compass that is sometimes in direct opposition to his youth and hormones but I don t think that will be quite so obvious to the target audience I mean, I ve got a vast number of years full of experience under my old lady belt and hindsight gives me insight and this is why I m not a parent I can t even imagine the pretentious lectures I d give my teens The point being Some of Max actions seemed a little on the nose for a wretched, cynical crone of a reader such as myself but I don t think that will be the case with less ancient and get of my lawning folk.Regardless, this story is delightful It s got a bit of mystery, some unrequited love, shenanigans andshenanigans with some misadventure thrown in, good teachers and bad, and lots of friendship that builds slowly but becomes solid Max parents are not dysfunctional, there is no Horrible Trauma that befalls everyone, it s just kids getting through a bumpy patch, pushing boundaries, banding together and finding out what they can accomplish, and learning risk analysis It all comes together well and is fast paced without sacrificing depth You know, much like The Breakfast Club only with smartphones and fandangled technology.Thank you, karen, for making me aware of this tale that I didn t know I d been seeking.Thank you, author and author s publicist, for letting me read this ARC. This is a terrible idea any way you look at it It s stupid, irresponsible, and borderline suicidal But I m going anyway Max Cobb is tired of being a nobody, a mediocre student, a disappointment to his parents and to his teachers When he finds in his locker an invitation to join the school s most prestigious secret club, responsible for pranks and vandalism for several decades, Max is decided to throw caution to the wind, and for once in his life act like one of his heist movie heroes confident, daring, cool.Of course, things go pear shaped, and 16 y.o Max gets caught, becoming once again the laughing stock of the whole school But this time, he s not going to meekly accept his fate This time he s going to strike back at those secret whiz kids who made fun of him Because this time he is not alone four other social outcasts have been snared in the same trap as him, and Max is about to put into practice the lessons he learned from Ocean Eleven , The Fast and the Furious, Leverage Timothy Hutton and all the other heist movies he watches compulsively Operation Payback is on The debut novel of Kurt Dinan is a thinly disguised fanfic of The Breakfast Club , but that s OK, because for me this movie is a perfectexample of how to tell a great highschool story, one that will appeal to both teenagers and older, nostalgic readers An aspiring writer could do a lot worse than trying to capture some of the rebellious energy, the tongue in cheek humour and the fragile, tentative yet enduring friendships that form the most memorable memories of highschool A look at the members of the newly minted Watertower Five criminal crew should be enough to illustrate the connection to the cult movie Maxwell Cobb the brainy Geek codename Bleeder Ellie Wick The Princess codename Crybaby Dave Wheeler the low grade Rebel codename Potatoes Kate Malone the hot Goth Art Chick codename Shadow Tim Adleta the lacrosse Jock codename Goon opposing them is Stranko The Dick, their aggravating assistant principalHere s something every student ever can relate to, describing Asheville High as another sort of standard movie settingThe entire building is a prison, with the staff as guards, students as prisoners, and rules that dictate when we can stand up and leave, talk, and even go to the bathroom The school even has security cameras, which are positioned in all corners of the cafeteria Having made my observation about typecasting, I feel the need to underline that Don t Get Caught is not simply a re telling of The Breakfast Club Kurt Dinan makes good use of the heist movie angle, both for comical effect and for adding a sense of danger, of mystery to the proceedings Maxwell Cobb serves as a charming guide in his first person narration through the pitfalls of school life, with his wisecracks about Heist Rules and his self deprecating running commentary on troubles with girls and with identity issues The rest of his crew also manage to step outside their traditional roles occasionally Ellie shows a devious side to her preacher s daughter image, Kate gives back as good as she gets in the constant rude banter with Dave, Tim steps out from under his father s bullying shadow, Dave is ready to cast out his recalcitrant refusal to do homework Eventually, they grow up into their new roles as the new criminals on the block, challenging the established Chaos Club dominance in the prank business As in any good heist movie, expect the unexpected, the accidents, the double dealing, the improvised solutions when carefully laid capers go wrong And, since this novel is after all written by a parent, expect some moral lessons to be learned by the end of the journey But it s not exactly the lesson a politically correct writer would choose Let s just say I believe the world is a muchinteresting place with a little chaos thrown in I could find things to criticize if I really tried to find fault with the novel some of the jokes are really cringeworthy, most of the capers are full of plot holes, the main characters are not truly original , but why should I The important thing is that I had a great time reading about Cool Max and his Watertower Five Gang I woud like to see a movie version, and even read a sequel or another teenage oriented book from Kurt Dinan There s a lot of promise in this debut story. I am a lover of all books with capers, cons, and heists Now I have to add pranks to that list Who doesn t love a good prankwellas long as you re not the target of said prank.One day Max gets an invite to the Chaos Club the school group that pulls epic pranks from year to year When he arrives at the clandestine time and location, he finds a hodgepodge of other students with the same invitation Soon it becomes evident that they were targeted for a prank.Thus begins the plan to unmask the Chaos Club and new friendships There are certainly some Breakfast Club themes and moments In some way or another, each of the characters is held hostage by their persona the nobody, the jock, the screw up class clown, the goody goody preacher s kid, and the artistic protester The book even has a Richard Vernon like character that is continually trying to catch the pranksters in the act.Max becomes the glue that holds the small group together as they work to identify the members of the Chaos club He is a long time admirer of heist films and finds himself doing quite well as the mastermind of the crew As plans go awry, they each find a way to grow and mature.You ll find snarkery, my balls jokes, suspense, come uppances, and some surprises hidden in plain sight I definitely recommend this one Thank you Kurt for graciously helping me secure a copy through a Sourcebooks Netgalley invite for an honest review. I ll be the first to admit that I m not a huge reader of YA, but after seeing the author read an excerpt from this at a recent literary event, I knew I had to give it a try And I m glad I did A crime heist comedy novel by way of highschool drama., Dinan clearly has a lot of fun with his characters, and as a result so too does the reader And not once did I feel like I was reading something specifically written for young adults This novel works for any age group With enough twists and turns to keep even the most jaded reader turning the page, you are bound to find yourself getting ensnared by DON T GET CAUGHT Can t wait for the sequel 3 1 2 stars I m not sure I m the right audience for Don t Get Caught, but I can t deny that this book is pure entertainment I don t really like to stick gender labels on books, but I think Don t Get Caught would be a great book to get teenage boys reading It s very silly, celebrates the underdogs and misfits, and is full of pranks, dirty jokes and hilarious misfortune Some people are comparing it to John Green s work, but I personally like Dinan s styleHe isn t too concerned with being deep, philosophical, and imparting a message the book is just a whole lot of fun Don t get me wrong, though the author is a great writer, despite the light, funny subject matter I especially like how he frames the narrative in a series of heist rules Heist rule, 1, etc The story is immediately engaging and the narrator s humorous self deprecation drives the novel.As for all the John Hughes comparisons, that I can definitely see This story about an unlikely group of high school misfits coming together and waging a prank war against the school s mysterious Chaos Club has eighties teen movie written all over it Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller s Day Off, Pretty in Pink Don t Get Caught fits in perfectly among themNobodies can be good people They re just not very important Like Dan over there He s nice and people like him, but he s not special or anything I looked up from my notebook, wondering just who Tami was talking about because there isn t any Dan in our class.Then I saw where she was pointing.And everyone was looking my way too.This is my life My name s Max, I said.Tami did a perfectly executed whatever shrug that made my face burn We ve been in classes together since kindergarten, I said. The narrator is Max a guy drowning in his own miserable averageness, until one night he receives an invite from his school s Chaos Club Why would anyone single him out It must be a prank So, naturally, he goes anyway And his life just gets crazier and crazier from that point on.I think sometimes the jokes are milked a little too much, and the book lacks a lot of realism at points the secret service come on , but I didn t care that much It was still an enjoyable read.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Store 5 Every so often a book comes along, that as soon as you read the first few paragraphs it gives you tingles in your belly.because it takes you back to a time in your youth when anything seemed possible The world was new and exciting when things went wrong it was okaybecause with youth on your side, you could face whatever it threw at you as long as you had friends that were all going through the some of the same things It may take a while to find those soulmatesbut once you did, everything clicked into placeJust for ONE PERFECTMOMENT things made sense.For me one of those perfect moments took place watching The Breakfast Club surrounded by my soulmates in the movie theater Yes Someone got us Kids from different circles but bonding in spite of it.The 80s were not pretty but what we were given to make up for the scary hair, circus freak make up and the one hit wonders of musicwas John Hughes He made movies that understood what it was like to be a teen in that decade Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pinketc Hughes knew teen angst like no other adult from that time period And I embraced him for that knowledge.Kurt Dinan takes over from there His book may be set in this day and agebut he gets me, and where I came from I saw little bits and pieces of me all through this story and I loved every minute of it Rule 1 DON T GET CAUGHT.Rule 2 Be cool.Rule 3 If questioned, be evasive.Rule 4 Be suspicious.Rule 5 When in doubt, run10 00 Tonight at the water tower Tell no one Chaos Club When Max receives a mysterious invite from the Chaos Club he is kind of suspicious Why him Max is not a kid who normally takes chancesand not someone who is usually stands out among his peersbut he shows up just the same along with fellow students Dave, Kate, Ellie, and Tim.On the surface none of them seem to have anything in common except they were all summoned and all of them are curious to see what happens next.DON T GET CAUGHT A YA novel that made me think someone one was following me around school grounds and taking notes while I fought my way through my teenage years I can t recommend it enough As kids say these days It has all the feelz They do still say that, right Thanks so much Kurt, for allowing me to have an advanced sneak peek at your work I hope I did it justice.

Kurt Dinan is a high school English teacher living in Cincinnati His debut novel, DON T GET CAUGHT, will be released in April of 2016 He is represented by Kerry Sparks of LGR.

➸ [Read] ➳ Don't Get Caught By Kurt Dinan ➽ –
  • Kindle Edition
  • 336 pages
  • Don't Get Caught
  • Kurt Dinan
  • 04 January 2019

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