"She's so right. I am in over my head. At least it's nothing new.
I'm still holding out my head, and Andrea's still smiling as she shakes it."
Title: Con Academy
Author: Joe Schreiber
Amount of Pages: 236
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Geared Towards: Teens
Summary (From Front Flap): Meet Will Shea, a con artist who has bluffed his way into one of the nation's most exclusive private schools. But Will isn't the only scammer at Connaughton Academy-Andrea Dufresne is there too, and the ivy-covered campus isn't big enough for the both of them.
So they make a bet-and the winner gets more than just a high school diploma. In this twisty tale of secrets, lies and deception-it's hard to figure out who's double-crossing who. May the best con win!
Wdebo's Review: I have always enjoyed stories about hackers or con artists, so I quickly picked this book off the library shelves even without reading the summary. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading the book. It was a true pageturner for me, I just could not put it down until I was done. However, even though it was a fun and light read, that was all it was, it did not give me any deeper connection to the story or the characters.
I like how the story started out as Will telling his lie and if readers did not read the summary before (like me) you will start going along with his fake backstory until the sudden reveal of his deception. Afterwards, the writing was light and easy to breeze through as you follow Will through his bet with Andrea and to the little twist at the end.
Even though you are going on this journey that was supposed to get suspenseful at times, I just did not feel any intense emotions from the story which did disappoint me. Stories with con artists should have those moments where you are cheering for the protagonist to pull off whatever heist they are involved in and feel the various emotions that they are racing through, but I just did not get those. Additionally, I hoped the ending would have been better constructed, it wasn't bad and I actually did like it, but it did seem a bit rushed and could have been better tied together and elaborated on.
As for characters, I did like them, they were fairly interesting in their own way but they felt flat to me. A lot could have been done to flesh out and truly draw out each of the characters, and a few of them started to have that, but it just felt unfinished and I really wished the author had done more in that regards so I could truly connect with the story especially through the characters themselves.
However, even though there was those faults that I found with that story, I did enjoy it and it was quite fun to read.
Cafe Cover Chit Chat: I think the cover is cute with the poker chips and the little devil paraphernalia. (B+)
All in all, though the story was not deeply fleshed out, it was still a fun con game story that can help you kill a few hours!