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Con Academy by Joe Schreiber
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Con Academy

by Joe Schreiber

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Apparently this author's prior YA novels have been highly praised by no less than the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; one of the jacket blurbs described the reading experience as akin to diving headfirst into an ocean of Red Bull. With accolades like that, how could I go wrong?

Well, I should have remembered that I don't particularly like Red Bull, even in its recommended dosage.

There were a LOT of plot holes and bits that required more suspension of disbelief than I could muster. And even if I bought into the story, the text was overrun with overwrought metaphors and similes.

Two examples from the very first chapter: Steam from his Connaughton Academy coffee cup floats above his head like an empty thought bubble. I shift my food around on my plate, forming complex algebraic equations with my asparagus and potatoes.
Mostly, this book just tried way too hard in some ways and not nearly enough in others. I can imagine it as a reasonably successful teenage caper film (maybe an ersatz Matchstick Men), but as a book, it just didn't satisfy me--in fact, it left me feeling a little disgusted with myself. But maybe that's how one should feel after diving into an ocean of Red Bull, anyway. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Aug 8, 2017 |
Con Academy isn’t a great book but it is a fun, quick mindless read perfect for summer or for when you just want to read something entertaining but not really deep.
In this novel, Will Shea is a con artist. He has scammed his way into one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country. At first, he enters Connaughton Academy with the best intentions: receive a diploma from a well-respected school and use that to enter into an Ivy League school and leave behind a life of crime. However, all that changes when he meets fellow student Andrea Dufrense. Andrea is also a scam artist and can spot Will’s con. Once she confronts him the fun begins. In order to stay at the school, Will decides on a contest using their skills as con artist. If he wins, he stays and if she wins he has to go. What follows is an exciting book with bluffs, cons, more cons, revealing secrets and more!
I would recommend this book for ages 11 and up for anyone who just wants to relax with a purely fun book. --RR ( )
  WhitneyYPL | Jun 23, 2016 |
55370000483546
  Bookman1954 | Oct 21, 2015 |
I picked up a copy of this book because it sounded intriguing. When the book arrived and I read a reference to Ocean's Eleven I got really excited. The Ocean's movies were great. With each movie I would try to figure out the con and how it was pulled off before the reveal at the end of the movie. This book had none of the same cool moments or intrigue as the Ocean's movies.

Will and Andrea were fine but neither one made me really cheer for one over the other. Their target was not anyone that I cared for at all. This was supposed to be the point so that as Will and Andrea each were trying to top the other one, me the reader would say that the target got what he deserved. Which by the way I did say this and meant it as well. The con was nothing too elaborate which I was looking forward too. Overall, this book was alright. ( )
  Cherylk | Aug 9, 2015 |
I was very interested in this book - thinking that based on the cover it would be about playing cards or some type of that con, but when I read the synopsis I realized that it was much more than that. The book follows a high school boy who happens to con people - he gets into a situation that means that he has to con a big-wig at the fancy school he is attending in order to play out the rest of his life the way he wants it.

It was a pretty great book too. The main character is believable as a kid who is trying to escape his real life and obtain another, and a lot of the high school drama is fairly realistic too, although blown out of proportion for this wealthy high school population.

The characters were easy to follow and the plot was very good and I expected a twist of an ending but nothing like what happened and it was great and I could think back to bit where the new ending made SO much more sense.

There were only a few points that I was like '...ehhhh...' about but I don't want to go into detail because it would spoil some huge plot points. Overall this was a fun read and I am so happy to have experienced it. I am passing this one along to my husband to read, I think he will enjoy it too. ( )
  sszkutak | Aug 5, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0544320204, Hardcover)

It's his senior year and Will Shea has conned his way into one of the country's most elite prep schools. But he soon runs into Andrea, a fellow con-artist. With the school not big enough for the both of them, they make a bet that whoever can con Brandt Rush, the richest, most privileged student in the school out of $50K, gets to stay at the school. Will starts setting up his con (an online poker scam) with his uncle who's one of the best grifters in the business, but also with the unwanted help of his father.. The plot thickens as Will starts falling for fellow student Gatsby, and some of Will's lies start to catch up with him.

In this twisty tale of scams, secrets, lies and deception, it hard to figure out who's conning who!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:45 -0400)

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