Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Con Academy

For his senior year, Will has conned his way into an elite prep school.  It's a far cry from his childhood years spent in Trenton, New Jersey, pulling cons with his parents.  Since his mother's death, his father has become nasty and unpredictable, and Will wants to separate himself from that life.

That's why he's at Connaughton Academy.  If a spin at this school doesn't open doors (or at least a few wallets), nothing will.  Everything seems to be going without a hitch until he meets fellow student and con artist Andrea.  She sees right through Will's "poor little orphan" sob story, and she's determined to get rid of him.

Thus the ultimate challenge is born.  The first one to con a fellow student out of $50,000 gets to stay.  The other has to leave.  Will has selected the perfect mark, Brandt Rush.  The guy is loaded and so full of himself as to be blinded by a carefully constructed lie.

The game is on, but as it progresses, Will starts to see things in a different light.  First, there's Gatsby the cute girl who is becoming his friend and maybe more.  But when Will involves his dad in the con, he's introduced an unpredictable element.

This was a really fun read, but I did feel frustrated with the bet structure.  The purpose of the game is to stay at school, but it quickly becomes obvious that neither of them will be able to stay  when it's over.  If you can overlook that, you'll enjoy Joe Schrieber's fun game of spy vs. spy!

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