Revenge Rhapsody

revenge

I have a brother who is two and a half years older than me. When I was in school, he was always 2 grades ahead of me. The older I get, the waters of my childhood get a little murky and I don’t recall things the way they exactly happened-just that they happened. But one thing sticks firm: the bus ride home from Lowell Elementary school, a bully named Sheldon, and my seemingly fearless brother.

Sheldon was a typical bully because he picked on smaller kids-boys and girls. The rumor was he used the tears of his victims to mix with his after school glass of Kool-Aid. Every day after school on the bus Sheldon would start threatening me, promising that when I got off the bus he would beat me up. I think Sheldon may have been dumber than a bucket of hair because he never seemed to realize that my brother made sure he got off the bus first and he would stand, arms crossed over his chest as I hopped off the bus with Sheldon on my heels. Short story long, my brother always had my back. He was my protector. Then again, a few hours after making sure the bully didn’t get me, he’d sit on me and fart until I cried but since I was his little sister, he was allowed to torture me.

premeditatedIn Josin McQuein’s Premeditated, Dinah is as close to her cousin Claire as any sister would be. They grew up together and made plans for the future that involved being around each other. Then Dinah’s family moves away, leaving behind not only her cousin but her two best friends as well. Dinah’s mother is a real bi-….nag. She harangues Dinah and her father, criticizes, yells, and tears them down any chance she gets. In fact, I thought the lady was bonkers and at some point in the book was going to be fitted with a jacket that makes her hug herself and get three rounds of meds a day. Dinah has no real relationship with her mother and can’t figure out why her father puts up with her mother’s behavior, let alone stay married to the woman.

And then the family gets a phone call that Dinah’s cousin Claire has slit her wrists.  The act in itself wasn’t enough to kill her, but Claire somehow lost her balance and cracked her head against the sink or the bathtub. She’s now in a coma and there seems to be little hope she’ll come out of it. Dinah’s on the first plane back to her home town to be with her cousin and her aunt and uncle. Dinah searches her cousin’s room for any clues and finds her diary. In her diary Claire wrote that she met someone over the summer, fell in love, gave herself to, and then was dumped the next day. The boy who did this goes to the prestigious Lowery Private School where Claire would have entered as a freshman had she not tried to kill herself.

Armed with the name of the boy who treated Dinah’s cousin like a piece of garbage, Dinah dyes her black hair blonde, takes out all of her piercings, dons a plaid skirt and knee socks and enters the elite private school bent on exacting revenge on Brooks Walden. With the help of her two best friends, Brucey and Tabs, Dinah attempts to bring the rich kid down with a revenge plan that could ruin his present and future life. But Dinah finds herself grudgingly liking Brooks. And she likes his best friend Dex, who she can see herself spending more time with. Can she avenge her cousin even though she’s confused about who the bad guy really is?  How far does Dinah have to go to set things right? Is Brooks the monster she believes him to be? Will Claire come out of her coma and if she does how damaged will she be? Will I ever remember to refill the ice-cube tray?  Just seeing if you’re paying attention.

Take everything you know about revenge, put it in the kitchen sink, and throw a match on it. Because you haven’t seen revenge until you read Premeditated.

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