Get Even (Don't Get Mad)

Gretchen McNeil

Published by Balzer + Bray, 2014
ISBN 10: 0062260855 / ISBN 13: 9780062260857
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Synopsis:

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process. 

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

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QUIZ: Who is your perfect John Hughes boyfriend—and corresponding GET EVEN character?

1. The perfect boyfriend is...

  • a. Pretty
  • b. Talented
  • c. Hilarious
  • d. Wealthy
  • e. Buff
  • f. Edgy

2. Pick a book:

  • a. Atlas Shrugged
  • b. On the Road
  • c. The Catcher in the Rye
  • d. A Farewell to Arms
  • e. The Great Gatsby
  • f. To Kill a Mockingbird

3. Who is the perfect romantic couple?

  • a. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth
  • b. Han and Leia
  • c. Ron and Hermione
  • d. Rhett and Scarlett
  • e. Mr. Big and Carrie
  • f. Romeo and Juliet

4. Your boyfriend has an afternoon alone. He spends it:

  • a. Napping
  • b. Playing video games
  • c. Reading a book
  • d. Watching the big game
  • e. With his guitar, writing a new song
  • f. Alone? Never. There's always a party when he's around.

5. Pick your favorite Hollywood icon:

  • a. Cary Grant
  • b. Steve McQueen
  • c. James Dean
  • d. Gregory Peck
  • e. Jimmy Stewart
  • f. Bob Hope

POINTS

1. a-4, b-2, c-5, d-6, e-3, f-1

2. a-6, b-1, c-2, d-3, e-5, f-4

3. a-3, b-1, c-2, d-6, e-4, f-5

4. a-6, b-5, c-4, d-3, e-2, f-1

5. a-6, b-3, c-1, d-4, e-2, f-5

RESULTS

5–9: John Bender (The Breakfast Club)
Who doesn't love a bad boy? Especially one who can make you laugh and happens to be tall, dark, and handsome. In GET EVEN, your match is Shane White, senior at Bishop DuMaine high school by day, lead singer of the local punk band by night.

10–12: Keith Nelson (Some Kind of Wonderful)
He's the strong, silent introvert who might not say much, but when he does, it makes you believe in one breathtaking moment that he knows you better than anyone else. In GET EVEN, your match is John Baggott, Bree Deringer's comic book-loving best friend.

13–15: Andrew Clark (The Breakfast Club)
A man in uniform gets you going. And while popular jocks get a reputation as selfish d-bags, you just happened upon the most sensitive and caring “sporto” on the block. In GET EVEN, your match is Donté Greene, star forward of the Bishop DuMaine varsity boys' basketball team.

16–18: Jake Ryan (Sixteen Candles)
A guy so hot he makes a sweater vest look good. Tired of sycophants who are only interested in his money and his red Porsche, he's ready for something more, something deeper. And you're just the girl to give it to him. In GET EVEN, your match is Logan Blaine, the happy-go-lucky surfer.

19–21: Farmer Ted, AKA “The Geek” (Sixteen Candles)
It's the age of the geek! Brains over brawn—and personality counts for quite a bit. Not everyone might see the potential in our scrawny little business man, but you do. In GET EVEN, your match is Ed the Head, Bishop DuMaine's resident fast-talking, wise-cracking bookie, and purveyor of fine junk food.

22–25 points: Phil “Duckie” Dale (Pretty in Pink)
The pompadour, the vintage vest, the wing tips— he's simply irresistible. With his geek chic and outlandish R&B karaoke skills, he'll steal your heart. In GET EVEN, your match is Ed the Head, Bishop DuMaine’s resident fast-talking, wise-cracking bookie, and purveyor of fine junk food.

26–30 points: Blane McDonough (Pretty in Pink)
He’s rich, popular, and has a mega-watt smile that lights up when you enter the room. You may come from opposite sides of the track, but he doesn’t care. He sees something in you that transcends social status or financial statements. In GET EVEN, your match is Logan Blaine, the happy-go-lucky surfer.

Get Even Playlist

1. “Don’t Get Mad . . . Get Even” by Age of Chance
t’s like a 1987 theme song for my series!

2. “The Promise” covered by New Found Glory
The original ’80s version by When in Rome is one of Bree Deringer’s favorite songs. So when her best friend John, newest member of the local punk band Bangers & Mosh, serenades her with it, Bree is more than a little confused about her feelings. This cover by New Found Glory is the closest I could find to how Bangers & Mosh sounds . . . in my mind.

3. “Revenge” by Ministry
When the angriest band—ever—says “Ain’t got time for what you feel,” you listen.

4. “Rave Up (Shut Up)” by The Rave-Ups
If you’re a fan of Pretty in Pink, you know the significance of this song. For those of you who don’t, The Rave-Ups were Molly Ringwald’s favorite band and their appearance in Pretty in Pink was at her request.

5. “Our Lips Are Sealed” covered by The Hippos
I love the original Go-Go’s version but I wanted something punkier (more Bangers & Mosh-ish) for this playlist. I feel like Kitty, Margot, Olivia, and Bree could do a smashing cover of this song.

6. “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” by The Wombats
There’s tremendous irony in the title alone, but the message of this poppy little British song is one the DGM girls live with every day: “’Cause this could all go so wrong, but we’re so happy.”

7. “Dead Man’s Party” by Oingo Boingo
Aside from being a quintessential creepy song, I have a personal connection to Oingo Boingo. I sang with a circus troupe called Cirque Berzerk for many years, and the bassist in our band was Johnny Avila from Oingo Boingo. We covered this song one night, and I shared a mic with Johnny, which I think officially makes me one degree from Danny Elfman, yes? Yes.

8. “Little Dead Bodies” by Algebra Suicide
My husband introduced me to this gem, which is essentially a spoken word poem about dead bodies. I think these lyrics say it all: “Imagine dressing dead people, straightening their ties and fluffing up their hair so you can afford to take a girl out to the movies on Saturday night.”

9. “Wallies” by Anne Clark
It’s a new wave anthem against bullies. How perfect is that?

10. “Head On” covered by the Pixies
In 1990, I saw The Jesus and Mary Chain (aka JAMC) at the Warfield in San Francisco. A year later I saw the Pixies at the very same theater. What’s the connection? This song. Why is it on this playlist? “Makes you wanna feel, makes you wanna try, makes you blow the stars from the sky.”

11. “Talking in Your Sleep” by the Romantics
“I hear the secrets that you keep/When you’re talking in your sleep.” Creepy McStalkerson? Maybe, but DGM is all about secrets.

12. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” covered by Lick the Tins
You might recognize this from the closing credits of Some Kind of Wonderful. I tear up every time Eric Stoltz says, “You look good wearing my future.” Also, I walked down the aisle to this cover version at my wedding.

13. “There’s a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends” by Morrissey
Like any good playlist, this one ends with a ballad: Morrissey’s torch song from Kill Uncle. This song highlights the underlying pathos of DGM. Bullying, revenge, payback—there’s a price you pay for it, deep inside. And the girls all know it.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Get Even (Don't Get Mad)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 2014
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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