Tradition – Brendan Kiely

This book appealed to me because it was for ‘fans of Cruel Intentions’.  I didnt really get the link, but I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The copy I received was an ARC,  from Penguin Random House, and it made me pay attention because there was a download issue with the ‘ff’ characters and and ‘fi’ and similar. It made words like the office become oice and bluffs the blus.  I had to really think sometimes.  The positive is that it didnt detract from the book.

We follow the story of small time activist Jules Devereux and small town boy James Baxter who has made mistakes in the past and has a second chance to redeem himself at Fullbrook. An exclusive school. Jame is a top ice hockey goalie, and all round good guy.

Jules is promoting womens health, trying to normalise tampax and focus on being her best self. She becomes friends with James and along with Javi and ‘the viking’ they become a foursome of outsiders.

The book focuses on social groups and what is acceptable. One guy proudly displays his conquests yet for the ladies they are considered to be sluts if they sleep around. One night at a party Jules is taken advantage of, and despite saying No it takes an interruption for her to be saved. When she finally comes forward she is made to feel like the bad guy, and it points to being male and having money is what gets you ahead in the world.

The book tackles some topics that are often avoided, sexual abuse, homosexuality and the power of money.

This ones a nice change from the usual, I like that it doesnt shy away from how privilege gets you ahead in life and can save you no matter what.

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