The tone of the book from the description is meant for people who like to do all the things our Health teacher tells us not to do. Being naughty and doing criminal activity is not recommended by even me, but this Mandel Academy in the story promotes and broadens the abilities of criminals, from being serial killers to poachers to business fraud. Throughout the book, we meet and learn about the abilities of a ton of these characters. One has the source code for Facebook, another can create fires in the science lab with her brain of chemistry, preventing an alarm in the process, and the main character, Flick, knows how to be the biggest and best pickpocket around.
It all sounds like a stretch, but what happens is Flick decides to go to an academy that recruits about eighteen talented people a year. Why? Lucian Mandel told him that he had proof that his forever hated father was responsible for the murder of his brother Jude and mother, Flick having to live ever since in crime with a girlfriend named Joi, whom he doesn't even know her last name let alone her old family. Like Divergent, there are winners and losers at this academy, and even though everyone is talented at a different thing, the poor are seen as worthless and the best are worshiped like everyone else carries a shoe brush for them everywhere they go. Things seem fishy to every character, and for us, when tracking chips are put in their skin. Like Harry Potter, most of the book is spent in the school, trying to get around, while a certain mystery is taking place. Some try to escape, but nobody has really gotten out, yet. At least the Dux, the highest of the highest, is allowed outside.
Now, when it comes to being naughty, it's really well done. Except to me, Flick is an interesting but very unrelatable character. Joi is the only girl he's ever loved, who he has to give up and do a year at the school just for revenge against his father. Jude, as I mentioned earlier, isn't exactly not in this book. Like Peter Pan, he talks to Flick like a figment of his imagination. Maybe he is, maybe he's magic, it's never plain. There were two bumpy things, though: Not all students can graduate. Some aren't allowed. A few characters are executed right in front of our eyes, one by two students we know a lot about already. Flick still talks to them even if they aren't friends, and I don't need to tell you that doesn't make sense. Another is that the Academy should have been explored more for escape preparation. There are listening devices, guards, you aren't allowed outside, and even the dorm rooms are locked at night. This academy has all the highlights of a prison. It's no wonder Flick was the only volunteer in the school. It's still entertaining in some parts, with mixed up relationships, one of which has two people that say they'll kill each other eventually, even if teens swearing is not my favourite kind of story.