First sentence: “Everything is gray.”
What does Rebel Bully Geek Pariah have? The Breakfast Club? Eh, sort of. Cinematic storytelling? Well, you can say that. Compelling emotional depth? No, not really for me. Thrilling ride? I guess.
Reading Rebel Bully Geek Pariah was like watching a drama, but it turned into a crime flick I hadn’t intended to watch. You think it’s gonna go a certain way, but it does a 180 turn. I thought this book would be like an ode to The Breakfast Club—where you see the characters chilling and having heart to hearts, and although you see the resemblance, the over-the-top events stray away from every assumption I had about this book. (I should’ve really read the synopsis carefully.)
Expectation #1: Rebel Bully Geek Pariah will have The Breakfast Club elements.
Reality #1: Well, yes it does. In Rebel Bully Geek Pariah, you have four characters with designated stereotypes come together because of the crazy events that happen—
- The Rebel: Andi, the dreadlocked and former popular girl, who ropes Sam into her life.
- The Bully: York, the jock, who bullies everybody and tries to get his brother to break out of his shell.
- The Geek: Boston, the younger brother of York, who just wants to go to an Ivy League.
- The Pariah: Sam, who has an addict for a mother and tends to stay on the sidelines—be invisible.
They are all forced together after they try to flee from the cops, and find themselves with something that puts their life at jeopardy. Other than the whole designated stereotypes and being forced together, The Breakfast Club comparison is loose and holds little weight because the book uses common high school character tropes that exists in most books/tv shows/movies. To specify it’s like The Breakfast Club makes me expect something that’s similar to it.
Expectation #2: The book will be written through four points of views.
Reality #2: Not at all. Just one character. I had been under the impression we’d get four points of views because of the synopsis, but no such thing. Where are the other POVs? I was misled! It’s just told through Sam’s point of view.
Expectation #3: The characters break out of their stereotypical molds.
Reality #3: Not really. I never felt like these characters were more than or grew out of their respective stereotypes. They were the stereotypical rebel, bully, geek, or pariah character with added parental issues like their parents who were addicts, deadbeats, or putting pressure on them to achieve greatness. The characters weren’t likable, which would be no big deal because I like unlikable characters but only when they feel like realistic people. The back stories of each characters felt forced and one-note, and didn’t evolve to give that emotional impact I expected. These characters hadn’t been developed to their full potential.
Expectation #4: It’s like watching a movie.
Reality #4: Rebel Bully Geek Pariah has the cinematic storytelling down. I can confirm that! You know those films where a group of characters are just hanging out and they find themselves with a bag of drugs? That’s exactly this book. I could imagine everything playing out like a movie.
Expectation #5: These characters will have an emotional bond.
Reality #5: Eh, it fell flat. I didn’t believe that they genuinely liked each other by the end. I feel like they would’ve just gone their separate ways at the end because they don’t really have anything in common outside the events that happened. You need more than a crazy event to bond you. Everything felt shallow.
Do I recommend Rebel Bully Geek Pariah? I’ll give you a tentative maybe? What may not work for me, may work for you! I had too many assumptions about what this book was going to be about, which ruined my experience of the book. I know a few people have called this book fun. You’ll be breezing through this book with the way it’s written. You have to suspend your disbelief a bit because the events gets slightly ridiculous and cliché, but maybe you’ll enjoy it better than I did.