Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan



10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club

When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he’s Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He’s Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it’s also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust…

Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-who also received invites-are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security “catches” them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It’s time for Rule #7: Always get payback.

Let the prank war begin.

This was the second book this year that was billed as being “for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell” that I was determined, from the very first time I saw the blurb, to read.

Of course, comparing a debut novel to a John Green book is a pretty high bar to set right off the bat, so I tried to keep my expectations low.

Don’t Get Caught is an entertaining read. The plot it intriguing, and the characters are well-drawn. I found myself wanting to know what happened next, which is about the only reason that I made it through the whole thing.

I don’t know exactly why this book didn’t resonate with me. I wanted it to. I thought that the premise was interesting, and I rooted for Max. Maybe it’s because I’m not much a heist film aficionado, and I’ve only seen The Breakfast Club once, and that was a long time ago at that.

I think a lot of people are going to love this book. I think Kurt Dinan is a good writer, who knows how to turn a phrase. I enjoyed many of the twists and turns this book took, and there were several quotes that I found delightful.

“Here’s a quick tip: If you’re ever talking to an adult and need a fast explanation for something unexplainable, say you did it with an app. Adults are awesomely ignorant when it comes to technology.”


Anyway, I think this is a great contemporary for anyone who loves the aforementioned things. Unfortunately, the characters just didn’t connect with me – I felt like they were pretty cliche, and I really did not approve of their behavior in many scenes. While Max does sometimes feel bad for the things they’re doing, it just wasn’t enough. In the end, this was a cute book that just fell short of its mark with me.

Rating: 3.5 stars 

Did you read Don’t Get Caught? Did you like it? What’s a great YA mystery you’d recommend to me?

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