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Review - Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

I point at my hair, and I say, This color. You know what it's called?
She shakes her head: No.
She says Good girl. Kill him.
Revenge is a bitch.
Jade Khanjara and her three best friends rule their glittering LA circle. They control everything.
Until one night.
The night four boys spike Jade's drink, lock her in a room and attack her. When they try to ruin her.
But they chose the wrong girl.
Jade is made of claws and fangs and cruel sharp edges. Jade will have them clutching at their throats and choking on blood.
She wants revenge. She has no mercy. And now she won't rest until she gets satisfaction.

Fair is foul and foul is fair and this book is bloody wonderful!

It's a very modern retelling of Macbeth and it took me a shamefully long time to realise that. When Jade is assaulted at a party she goes looking for a very bloody revenge on the boys responsible, becoming the Lady Macbeth character and turning them against each other. It's Macbeth as played out in Heathers, vicious, cruel, unforgiving and downright nasty.

It's also absolutely, stunningly, well written. Hannah Capin's writing fizzes and sparks with a wild, vibrant energy and her prose is lyrical and beautiful. It has that poetic quality to it, not a word wasted, short, sharp and snappy.

It opens with a sexual assault, and frequently returns to it. I felt this aspect of the novel was handled in a responsible and respectful way. It doesn't dwell on the details of what happened in that room, instead focusing on the events immediately leading up to it, Jade's actions following it, and the reactions of the people involved. In fact, though there's violent acts throughout the book, the narrative never dwells on the violence. For the most part it happens just out of sight, just off-page, leaving you in no doubt what has happened but not glorifying in the gory acts at all. 

It's fierce, powerful and feminist though. Jade never sees herself as a victim, never lets the assault on her define her even as it turns her whole life around.

Her group of friends is brilliant too. It's great to see trans and lesbian representation in supporting characters, where sexuality and gender identity is not the point of the story but just an incidental part of it. 

I was completely gripped by Foul is Fair, as revenge schemes unfold and complex plots play out. The characters, the story and particularly the writing are all absolutely top notch.

I'm giving Foul is Fair five moons.


Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin is published by Penguin Random House. It will be released on 16th January 2020.

I was sent a proof copy by the publisher in return for an honest review.


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