Book in Review: The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer

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Title: The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy
Author: Kate Hattemer
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Format: ARC
Hardcover: 336 pages
Rating: 4.5/5

Ethan and his groups of friends decide to fight against a reality tv show being filmed in their school via long poems. They believe that the tv show is ruining their school and taking away their freedom. While studying Ezra Pound, they get the idea to use long poems to take away the reality tv show and show their fellow students what's going on. Luke, one of Ethan's friends and the one who came up with the idea of rebellion, turns against them and joins the reality tv show, For Art's Sake. The remaining 3 friends and a certain gerbil named Baconnaise try to get Luke back while still rebelling against the show. Along the way, they unravel a web of corruption going on in their school involving their principal, vice principal, and even their favorite teacher. Will they be able to get Luke back? Can they stop For Art's Sake? Can they stop the corruption?


I really, really, really enjoyed this book. It was funny, witty, smart, a little bit immature, but still heartwarming. Hattemer managed to make a book that would find its way into your heart without you even knowing it. Ethan and his three best friends, Elizabeth, Jackson, and Luke, share a special bond with each other. They are all unique, they all have they own distinct voice and they all are very intelligent  in different ways. The characters were well-developed. You can easily understand the motives of the characters and relate to them. The plot wasn't too complex and the way it was written was excellent. From the very start I was hooked.

The author must have put a lot of effort into this because if it wasn't written in the right way, it could easily come off as obnoxious or pretentious. There isn't really anything that I would change in the book aside from maybe a little more detail about what happened to Luke and his relationship with his friends after he betrayed them. I loved the poems that were placed at the start of the chapters, I even highlighted the ones that I liked. The writing went straight to the point and didn't try to gloss over the events. The author was able to give just the right amount of detail in which you can still fill out some of the blanks yourself while leaving enough so that you can easily understand the story.

At first glance, you would think that this book is just about a bunch of kids rebelling against a certain reality tv show but no. It's so much more. It shows just know deep the bonds of friendship can be. It shows how people are affected by what the people around them do. Its about how people fall in love with people they don't really know. How they think of those people as perfect therefore also thinking that they will never be able to be with that person. They don't even know that that person isn't who the person really is the person they think about is someone who has been idealized by them. It's even about how siblings can love each other so much because even if Ethan may act like he only plays with his little sisters because he has nothing better to do, you can see the love he has for them. It's so much more than just a book. It's someone's emotions and doubts. It's love, jealousy, and betrayal embossed on the pages. 

All in all, this was a great book and I would like to thank the author for giving me a copy. This book would be perfect for anyone who wants a fun yet heartwarming read or anyone who just wants to read a good book.

Have you read The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy? What did you think about it? Leave a comment!

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